Visit Us

National wildlife refuges offer us all a chance to unplug from the stresses of daily life and reconnect with our natural surroundings. Visitors have an opportunity to connect with nature in multiple ways. The lower Colorado River and its backwaters provide numerous outdoor recreational opportunities as well as a vital resource: water! 

Driving Directions

If you are coming from Blythe, California or Quartzsite, Arizona:

  • Get on I-10 westbound. 
  • Take the Neighbors Boulevard Exit. 
  • Turn Left at the stop sign. 
  • Continue for 17 miles. 
  • Arrive at the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge visitor center. 

If you are coming from Yuma, Arizona:

  • Get on I-8 Westbound 
  • Take Exit 159 onto Ogilby Road 
  • Turn Right onto Ogilby Road 
  • Continue for 25 miles.  
  • At the Stop sign, turn right onto the Ben Hulse Highway 
  • Continue for 21 miles. 
  • Look for a green sign labeled, "Colorado River" 
  • Turn right at this sign. 


There is no charge to visit.


Restrooms are available at the refuge headquarters, at the front of the building next to the front entrance. Comfort stations are located at the Nature Trail, Island Unit, and Unit 2 parking areas. 

Points of Interest

Let our staff and volunteers at the visitor center help you plan your visit! This is a great starting point for visitors to become more familiar with the refuge and the wildlife that live here. Visitors can browse nature and wildlife exhibits, and obtain maps and brochures.

What To Do

If you have 15-minutes. 

  • Stop by the visitor center to browse the exhibits, pick up brochures, and ask questions. 
  • View the refuge from the observation platform next to the visitor center. 

If you have one hour. 

  • Drive the Auto Tour Loop. 
  • Hike the Nature Trail and observe wildlife from the observation platform. 

If you have half a day or more. 

  • Wildlife observation, hunting, fishing, or boating 

Know Before You Go

Visitors should bring plenty of drinking water, snacks, insect repellent, sunscreen, and other necessities. Please dress appropriately for the seasons, summer temperatures can be extreme while winter temperatures are mild to moderate.  

Visitor Tips

Wildlife viewing tips include: 

  • Dawn and dusk are the best times to see wildlife.  
  • In warmer seasons, few animals are moving on hot summer afternoons or on windy days.  
  • Observe from the sidelines. Leave “abandoned” young animals alone. A parent is probably close by waiting for you to leave.  
  • Don’t offer snacks to wildlife; your lunch could disrupt wild digestive systems or lead to the animal's premature death.  
  • For a closer look, bring binoculars.  
  • Try sitting quietly in one good location. Let wildlife get used to your presence. Many animals that have hidden will reappear once they think you are gone.  
  • Walk quietly, being aware of sounds and smells. Often you will hear more than you will see.  
  • Teach children quiet observation. Other wildlife watchers will appreciate your consideration.  
  • Look for animal signs. Tracks, scat, feathers, and nests left behind often tell interesting stories.  


Cibola National Wildlife Refuge offers wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities, including wildlife observation, hiking, hunting, fishing and wildlife photography. We hope that you enjoy this public resource to the best of your ability. 


The Desert Trail at Cibola National Wildlife Refuge.

Nature Trail

  • Open Season: Year-round
  • Length: 1 mile
  • Location of trail: Next to Goose Loop, auto-tour route
  • Surface: Gravel
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Information: The trail head is located at the parking lot and comfort station, near the start of the Goose Loop. The trail begins and ends at this location. Visitors walk through a gallery forest of cottonwood, willow, and mesquite trees. An observation platform is located mid-way along the trail, as well as benches at multiple locations.

Desert Trail

  • Open Season: Year-round
  • Length: 0.25 miles
  • Location of trail: Next to refuge headquarters/visitor center
  • Surface: Gravel
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Information: The trail head is located next to the refuge headquarters/visitor center, at an observation platform. The trail begins and ends at this location. Numbered posts set along the trail correspond to a trail brochure and highlight some of the interesting features of the Sonoran Desert.

Other Facilities in the Complex

Cibola National Wildlife Refuge is part of the Southwest Arizona National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Rules and Policies

Wildlife comes first on Cibola National Wildlife Refuge. Please be respectful, comply with refuge regulations, and help protect wildlife and their habitat.


Cibola National Wildlife Refuge
66600 Cibola Lake RoadRoute 2, Box 1Cibola,AZ85328-9002
Headquarters Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Visitor Center Hours
Daily, November 1 - March 14
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Federal Holidays
Lands, Roads, and Trails Hours
Sunrise - Sunset
Hart Mine Marsh Unit Hours
Daily, March 15 - September 30
Sunrise - Sunset
Daily, October 1 - March 14
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Cibola Lake Hours
March 15 - September 30
Sunrise - Sunset
October 1 - March 14
Closed to all entry
Goose Loop Auto Tour
30 minutes before sunrise through 30 minutes after sunset