Facility Activities

The Refuge’s auto tour route, open during daylight hours, allows you to observe wildlife in desert uplands, wet meadows, marshlands, and open waters. Early morning and late afternoon are ideal times to view wildlife and take pictures. Whether you are a birder, a photographer, a hunter, a student of the natural environment or share interest in the cultural history of the area, Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to visit.

You will find exciting birding opportunities at this Refuge year-round. Spring and fall migrations provide peak numbers of shorebirds, waterfowl, and many land birds. During the breeding season, you can easily spot nesting colonies of black-crowned night heron, white-faced ibis, great blue heron, and snowy egret.  Winter highlights often include tundra swan, numerous ducks, raptors, and the secretive American bittern. More than 290 bird species have been recorded on the Refuge.

Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge, on the southern edge of the Great Salt Lake Desert, is covered with beautiful, lush wetlands fed by springs. The water is brackish and warm, creating a distinctive habitat for a rare native fish, the Utah chub. The springs and impoundments also attract a...

Birding is one of the fastest growing past times in the nation, and is also one of the most popular activities pursued by the public at Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge is well known among birders as a birding hotspot and location of unusual bird sightings.

The...

Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge offers a self-guided Auto Tour Route with interpretative signs describing the various wildlife species that you may see, as well wildlife habitats and the management activities that are used to support them. Be sure to pick up the Refuge’s general brochure...

Due to its isolation and small staff size, Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge has limited environmental education opportunities. Educational lectures and tours can be arranged with Refuge staff by calling 435-693-3122.

Perhaps the fastest growing activity on National Wildlife Refuges in the past ten years has been wildlife photography. That’s not surprising – the digital camera population explosion and cell phones with ever-improving picture-taking abilities are increasing the number of nature photographers at...

Backpacking is allowed, by permit, on some sites where trails that pass through a refuge are too long or remote to hike in one day.
Biking is a good way to see wildlife, learn about habitats and photograph nature. Yield to pedestrians; many refuge routes are multi-use trails. Biking may be permitted at sites where it is consistent with a refuge’s statutory purpose. E-bikes are permitted on any refuge roads and trails where traditional bicycle use is allowed, if it is consistent with a refuge’s statutory purpose and the refuge manager determines it to be a compatible use.
From bald eagles to spoonbills, from condors to puffins, birds abound on national wildlife refuges. Refuges provide places for birds to nest, rest, feed and breed making them world-renown for their birding opportunities.
Many Fish and Wildlife Service sites make great destinations for flatwater canoeing or kayaking. Some sites have concessions that rent canoes or kayaks. Some sites offer scheduled paddle tours. See individual refuge websites for details.
Some sites have dog training areas. See refuge websites for details.
Many sites do not allow dogs because they can disturb wildlife. Refuges that do allow dogs generally require that they be leashed. Some sites allow hunters and sledders to bring dogs.
While traditional geocaching (the burial or removal of "treasure") is generally not permitted at national wildlife refuges because it disturbs wildlife habitat, virtual geocaching may be allowed. In this variant, GPS coordinates lead to points of interest, such as cultural sites or exhibits, that participants can check off on a list.
Horseback riding is permitted on designated trails of a limited number of refuges. Riders must follow refuge rules and regulations for this activity. See individual refuge websites for details.
Painting and sketching in nature is possible at nearly all sites open to the public. Sometimes, sites host public displays of artworks created on the refuge.
Many multi-purpose trails are open to runners and joggers as well as walkers and, in some cases, bicyclists. Some sites host annual fun runs. Check individual refuge websites for details.

This is a Leave No Trace facility.  Please pack out what you bring in.