Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we ask that you recreate responsibly.

  • Check alerts and local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information. Operations vary based on local public health conditions.
  • Consistent with CDC recommendations, all visitors (age 2 and older), who are fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask inside of federal buildings in areas of substantial or high community transmission.. All visitors who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick and continue to watch for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow CDC guidance on how to protect yourself and others.


  • Minidoka Deer

    The Ears Have It

    Some say early miners named this deer for their ears, resembling those of their common pack animal.

    learn more

  • Nesting pelicans and gulls

    Safety in Numbers

    Nesting on a island can reduce predation from mammals and avian species.

    Learn More

  • Pronghorn

    Where the Pronghorn Roam

    Fleet-footed pronghorns are the second fastest land mammal in the world, after the cheetah. Pronghorn are found in the sagebrush uplands

    learn more

  • Becker's White

    Pollination Professional

    The Becker's white butterfly of Western arid brushlands, fields, desert foothills and canyons, is one of nature's great pollinators.

    learn more

  • Great Blue Heron

    Great Blue Heron at Nest

    These long-legged birds nest in the trees at Minidoka NWR

Refuge Potpourri

What Does Minidoka Mean

Union Pacific Emblem

"Minidoka" likely has a Native American origin; the Union Pacific Railroad established the community of Minidoka as a railroad siding, and the company liked to use Native American names to avoid duplication of existing names. One possible meaning is “well” or “spring,” but since there was no water source until 1946, that seems unlikely. Other sources contend the word derived from Shoshoni for “broad expanse.” As the broadest part of the Snake River Plain is here, this seems more likely.

Expanded Hunting Opportunities Proposed

April 30, 2020 Bird Hunting

The comment period for the Minidoka National Wildlife Refuge draft hunting plans closed on April 30, 2020. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service would like to thank everyone who provided comments. We are currently in the process of reviewing comments. While we are no longer accepting comments, the draft is still available to provide everyone a chance to familiarize themselves with the proposed actions. Please continue to check this site for additional information and decisions on the proposed action. Comments on proposed changes to sport hunting and fishing regulations for the 2020-21 season (, covering all National Wildlife Refuge and Fish Hatcheries nationwide, are being accepted through June 8, 2020.

More Information / View Draft Plans
Pelicans, Pelicans

It's Nesting Season

Pelican Promo

American white pelicans are a favorite of birders and visitors everywhere. They nest in large numbers at Minidoka . . . look for these surprisingly graceful large birds on the islands in the river. The nests are simple affairs—really just a shallow depression scraped in the ground, with some twigs, sticks, reeds, or similar debris loosely gathered around.

About the Complex

Southeast Idaho NWR Complex

Minidoka National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Southeast Idaho NWR Complex.

Read more about the complex
About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS