Laws and Regulations


  • All 83 campsites are primitive.  
  • Camping is permitted only at numbered sites, designated by a triangle symbol.  
  • Stays on the refuge are limited to 14 days within a 30-day period.  


  • Fires are permitted only in fire rings at the numbered campsites.  
  • Campfires may be prohibited when fire danger exists. Fuel burning stoves (e.g., propane) may be used when campfire restrictions are in place. 
  • Use only wood that is dead and down.  
  • You may collect firewood for refuge campfires only.  
  • Campfires must always be attended. 


  • All human waste must be buried immediately or removed. Don't bury plastic bags of waste.  
  • Remove all trash --- do not bury it 


  • Persons possessing, transporting, or carrying firearms on national wildlife refuges must comply with all provisions of state and local law. Persons may only use (discharge) firearms in accordance with refuge regulations.  
  • Any discharge of a firearm except to take legal game is not permitted. 
  • Firearms are not permitted in any government facility. 
  • The use or possession of crossbows, bows and arrows, air guns, spears, gigs or other weapons is prohibited except as may be authorized under approved hunting regulations. 

Mechanized Vehicles 

  • Mechanized vehicles (including bicycles) may only be operated on designated public roadways. Designated roads are provided on refuge maps. Seasonal road closures may occur.  
  • All motor vehicles, including OHVs and motorcycles, must be licensed, insured, and equipped to legally operate on state highways. Many states do not allow for the modification of OHVs for legal operation on state highways and cannot be legally operated on national wildlife refuges. 
  • OHVs and motorcycles registered in Arizona must have valid motorcycle (MC) plates. Motor vehicle operators must possess a valid driver’s license and insurance.  
  • The speed limit on refuge roads is 25 mph unless posted otherwise.  


  • Horseback riders may ride cross country, on roads, and in washes. Please avoid creating trails/ruts.  
  • Groups using four or more horses must possess and carry a refuge permit.  
  • Groups using horses must provide their own water and weed-free feed and clean the campsite of horse manure. 

Natural Items and Artifacts 

  • Introducing or attempting to introduce, disturb, injure, spear, poison, destroy, or collect any plants or animals or the destruction, injury, defacement, disturbance or unauthorized removal of any public property, including natural objects or private property on or from any national wildlife refuge is prohibited. This includes antlers, bones, or any other animal parts. 
  • Searching for, removing or defacing any object of antiquity (e.g. arrowheads, potshards) or other valuable objects, including minerals, rocks and stones, is prohibited. 

Miscellaneous Regulations  

  • The use of artificial light, including automotive headlights, to illuminate wildlife is prohibited. 
  • The use of flagging tape, reflective tape, or other signs or markers is prohibited.  
  • Leaving property abandoned on a national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
    A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

    Learn more about national wildlife refuge
    is prohibited.  
  • Pets must always be under the control of the owner. Unconfined domestic animals are not allowed.  
  • Disturbing the peace or other disorderly conduct on the refuge is prohibited. 
  • All accidents involving injury to people or wildlife and/or property damage must be reported to an on-duty refuge official within 24 hours of the accident. 
  • Persons under the age of 21 years may not possess or consume alcoholic beverages on the refuge. Providing alcoholic beverages to persons under age 21 is also prohibited. 
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia, including any instrument that facilitates the consumption of a controlled substance, is prohibited. 
  • See the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Hunting section for hunting information. 
  • Fishing is prohibited.