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 many ways. The vast landscape and the solitude of Wilderness provide unique recreational opportunities. 

Driving Directions

The refuge is located 40 miles north of Yuma, Arizona, on the east side of State Highway 95. The coordinates for the King Valley entrance are 33.24977, -114.21724

Fees

There is no charge to visit.

Restrooms

Restrooms are available Monday – Friday during normal business hours at the Refuge Headquarters/Visitor Center in Yuma, AZ. There are no other restroom facilities located on the refuge.

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. 

 

If you have half a day or more:

  • Explore the refuge. Drive to Crystal Hill, Palm Canyon, King Valley, or the Castle Dome – all of which are major entrances to the refuge from Highway 95. 

  • Hike or backpack and enjoy the thousands of acres of Wilderness. 

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. Most refuge roads are not maintained. Many are passable only by four-wheel drive vehicles. Some roads may be passable by two-wheel drive, high clearance vehicles. There are not facilities on the refuge for towing, gasoline, sanitation, or drinking water. Cellular phone cover is absent over most of the refuge. Visitors are advised to let someone know where they are going and when they plan to return.

Visitor Tips

 Follow the tips below for the best wildlife watching experience on the refuge. 

  • 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 or a spotting scope. 

  • Try sitting quietly in one good location. Let wildlife get used to your presence and animals that have hidden may reappear.  

  • 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.  

  • Call refuge staff to obtain current road conditions. 

Activities

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

Other Facilities in the Complex

Kofa National Wildlife Refuge is part of the Southwest Arizona National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The refuge complex consists of Cibola, Imperial, and Kofa National Wildlife Refuges.

Rules and Policies

  • Observe wildlife from a safe distance. Young animals should be left alone. 

  • Vehicles and bicycles are limited to designated roads which can be identified by numbered markers at junctions. Off-road driving is prohibited. 

  • Pets are permitted if they are confined or on a leash. Dogs may only be off-leash when they are participating in quail and cottontail hunting. 

  • Help protect resources. All plants, wildlife, and cultural features on the refuge are protected and it is illegal to remove them. 

  • Recreational (noncommercial) rock or mineral collecting is restricted to the designated 1.5 square mile Crystal Hill Area. The use of tools, including metal detectors, in collecting rocks and minerals is forbidden. 

  • Camping is allowed on the refuge. However, campsites cannot be located within ¼ mile of water sources and vehicles must remain within 100 feet of the road.  

  • Campfires are permitted, but only dead, down and detached wood may be used. Dead wood may only be collected from areas on the refuge that are not designated as wilderness. Wood is very scarce; please consider bringing your own supply of firewood. 

  • No person who is intoxicated shall enter or remain upon the refuge. 

  • Seasonal hunting opportunities are offered and require licenses (for all types of hunting) and permits (for deer and desert bighorn sheep hunting). Hunters should be familiar with the refuge’s hunting regulations. 

  • 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. 

  • Unexploded ordinance may be encountered. Picking up items that appear to be military hardware could be hazardous to your health. Please report these items to the refuge, with GPS coordinates if possible, as soon as you are able by calling 928-783-7861. 

  • All vehicles must be registered. On National Wildlife Refuges, all vehicles, including all all-terrain cycles, dirt bikes, motorcycles, sand rails, “gators”, and “E-Z Go” golf carts must be registered, insured, and street legal, {50 CFR 27.31(f)}. All drivers must also have a state issued drivers’ license in good standing. In order for the vehicle to be registered it must have all safety equipment required by the State of Arizona. A license plate beginning with “MC” is registered, while an “RV” plate is title only and may not be operated on any of the National Wildlife Refuges. This regulation provides for the safety of all visitors since everyone must share the designated roadways.  

Locations

Kofa National Wildlife Refuge
9300 E. 28th Street Yuma, AZ 85365
Driving Directions

The refuge is located 40 miles north of Yuma, Arizona, on the east side of State Highway 95. The coordinates for the King Valley entrance are 33.24977, -114.21724.

Hours
Visitor Center/Headquarters Office Hours
Mon - Fri
8 am - 4:30 pm
Lands, Roads, and Trails
Daily, Year-round
Note: On rare occasions, southern portions of the refuge may be temporarily closed for public safety due to military testing.