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Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge currently offers all of the Big Six wildlife-dependent public uses which include hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, photography, environmental education and interpretation. The 2,774 acre Refuge offers waterfowl, big game and upland bird hunting; fishing; four walking/hiking trails; an Auto Tour Route; and an Environmental Education Center. Public restrooms and a picnic area are provided to the public that are located near headquarters. No Fees are charged to the public.

Bring your binoculars and camera to view the many migratory birds and other wildlife on the refuge. Plan ahead with plenty of drinking water, snacks, insect repellant, sunscreen and other necessitates on hand. This is black bear and grizzly bear country--carrying bear spray while hiking is a good idea.  Dress appropriately for the seasons and wear comfortable walking shoes.

The Auto Tour Route may be closed in winter months or when conditions warrant. Please call ahead to check the status: 208-267-3888.

Trails

 Deep Creek Trail

  • Open Season:  year round
  • Length:  2.2 miles (one-way)
  • Location of trail: On top of the Deep Creek Dike, east or south entrance to the refuge.
  • Surface:  Well-maintained trail forested with cottonwood and other broad-leaved trees
  • Difficulty:  easy

 

Chickadee Trail

  • Open Season: year round
  • Length:  0.2 miles     
  • Location of trail: near headquarters building
  • Surface: paved loop with benches and interpretive signs
  • Difficulty:  easy

 

O’le Humpback Trail

  • Trail Name:  O’le Humpback Trail
  • Open Season: year round
  • Length:  1 mile (one-way)
  • Location of trail : Off Lion’s Den Road, south of the refuge headquarters.
  • Surface: Forest floor
  • Difficulty:  Steep
  • Information:   Winds its way through forest habitat up to land owned by the U.S. Forest Service. Short Loops offer vantage points of the Selkirk and Purcell Mountain Ranges.

 

  Myrtle Creek Falls Trail

  • Open Season: year round
  • Length:  0.25 miles (one-way)
  • Location of trail: : across county road from headquarters building
  • Surface: Paved from trailhead to bridge over Myrtle Creek, then dirt, rocky trail to waterfall.
  • Difficulty:  easy/moderate
  • Information:  The trail takes visitors off Refuge property and onto U.S. Forest Service land to an observation point of the 100 foot tall Myrtle Creek Falls. The Refuge trail is paved up to the bridge over Myrtle Creek. The remainder of the trail becomes a dirt trail with switchbacks past the bridge. 

Related Documents

The primary entrance to the Refuge can be accessed by Hwy 95 in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. From Hwy 95, head west on Riverside Rd. for about 6 miles, following alongside the Kootenai River to the refuge entrance sign. Access Refuge Headquarters and the Auto Tour Route by following Riverside Rd. another 2 miles, turn slightly right onto Westside Road, and headquarters is 0.25 miles on the right.

Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Use Sheet

Information for visitors on public uses at Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge.

Other Facilities in the Complex

The Inland Northwest National Wildlife Refuge Complex includes three National Wildlife Refuges, several subunits, and conservation easements in northeastern Washington and northern Idaho. The refuges, Turnbull, Little Pend Oreille and Kootenai, are managed as a complex, sharing common work priorities, budgets, and some staff. Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge serves as the complex headquarters. Turnbull, located just outside Cheney, Washington, is a 2-3 hour drive from Little Pend Oreille and Kootenai Refuges, respectively.

Despite common management oversight, each of the three complex refuges is unique.

Rules and Policies

For the protection of wildlife and visitor safety, rules and regulations apply throughout the refuge. Please abide by posted signs and contact the refuge before participation in an activity that could harm the environment or yourself.

Prohibited Activities

Camping, horseback riding, fires, firewood gathering, flying of drones/unmanned aircraft, overnight parking, swimming, and on-ice activities are prohibited on the refuge.  Snowmobiles and unlicensed ATV’s are not allowed on Refuge lands or roads.  The collection of any plant or animal or parts thereof is prohibited except licensed hunting in accordance with state and federal law or under Special Use Permit. 

Access to all closed areas of the refuge is prohibited.

Locations

Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge
287 Westside Road Bonners Ferry, ID 83805-5172
Driving Directions

The primary entrance to the Refuge can be accessed by Hwy 95 in Bonners Ferry, Idaho.  From Hwy 95, head west on Riverside Rd. for about 6 miles, following the dike along the Kootenai River.  After crossing over Deep Creek, you will see a welcome sign as you enter the Refuge property.  You may continue on to headquarters by following Riverside Rd. another 2 miles, turn slightly right onto Westside Rd. and headquarters is 1/4 mile on the right.

Hours
Headquarters Office
Open Monday-Friday; Office may be closed depending on staff availability.
7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and closed for all federal holidays
Auto Tour Road
Daily; During unsafe driving conditions, the tour road is closed to vehicles.
Daylight Hours
Trails, Roads, Land
Daily
Daylight Hours