Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we encourage you to:

  • Check local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information
  • Follow current CDC safe practices by maintaining a safe distance between yourself and other groups
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick


Features

  • Refuge Fact Sheet Map

    Refuge Map Showing Visitor Access

    Map of Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge visitor areas and scenic routes showing trails, overlooks, observation blind, and lakes.

    Refuge Visitor Access Map

  • Dragonfly hitching a ride on Agency staff / © Bret Beasley

    Cancellation of Dragonfly Festival

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the restriction of large gatherings, we regret the cancellation of this year's Festival for public safety.

    Dragonfly Festival Cancellation Release Notice

  • Threatened status Pecos orange sunflower / USFWS

    Temporarily Closing Visitor Center

    . . . to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure the health and safety of our employees, volunteers, and you--our friends and neighbors.

    Agency's COVID-19 Announcement Letter

  • Killdeer plover / © Bernadette Madison, USFWS

    eBird Observation Entries

    Find out what birds are being seen at Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge, including the most recent sightings.

    eBird Daily Observations

For Our Refuge Visitors

Refuge Trails Open to the Public

Sunrise on Refuge Lake / © Bernadette Madison

View the Refuge's Visitor Access Map, linked below. The Refuge lands are open to the public, even though our Visitor Center remains closed due to COVID-19 pandemic. The map shows our visitor trails, overlook observation areas, auto tour road, and lakes. The Refuge is open every day from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset. The tour road is open daily.

Refuge Visitor Access Map

Agency Precautions to COVID

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announcement: Keeping with guidance from the White House and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and acting out of an abundance of caution, we are temporarily suspending (closing) operations of the Visitor Center at Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge. We are committed to doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure the health and safety of our employees, volunteers, and you--our friends and neighbors. Therefore, planned Refuge events and programs may not take place as scheduled. Refuge lands, including nature trails and outdoor recreational activities, remain open and accessible to the public. Please visit refuge information kiosks or brochure boxes for visitor information and refuge maps. We apologize for any inconvenience and will provide updates as they become available. More information is available by calling 575-420-4304 or emailing jennifer_romero@fws.gov.

REGRET TO ANNOUNCE CANCELLATION!

Upcoming Dragonfly Festival Cancelled

Eastern amberwing skimmer / Jessica Bolser, USFWS

FOR IMMEDIATE NEWS RELEASE: The Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge and Friends of Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge regrets to announce the cancellation of the 2020 Dragonfly Festival scheduled for September 12, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the restriction of large gatherings, the decision to cancel this popular event was based on public safety concerns. The refuge Visitor Center remains closed until further notice but the refuge auto tour route, hiking and biking trails remain open from sunrise to sunset. We plan to resume this annual event in September 2021. For more information you may contact the refuge at (575) 625-4011.

Event Cancelled

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System

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The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS