Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge offers a unique experience being the largest wetland complex in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and where different wildlife habitats converge. The Refuge offers landscape beauty and wildlife viewing opportunities that few places can match. Come see for yourself!
Road Conditions and Grizzly Bears

Road Closed East of Refuge Headquarters

The South Valley Road east of the Refuge Visitor Center & Headquarters to Elk Lake Road and Red Rock Pass is closed due to deep snow.  Travel beyond the road closed sign is by snowmobile or track vehicles only.  The road will reopen the second week of April 2023.   

*The Refuge is not permitted to pull stuck vehicles out. 

*Snowmobile traffic is not allowed on the Refuge, but is permitted on county roads.


Grizzly bears are present on all areas of the Refuge to include, but not limited to: forest, willows, sagebrush sagebrush
The western United States’ sagebrush country encompasses over 175 million acres of public and private lands. The sagebrush landscape provides many benefits to our rural economies and communities, and it serves as crucial habitat for a diversity of wildlife, including the iconic greater sage-grouse and over 350 other species.

Learn more about sagebrush
-steppe, grasslands, wetlands, lakeshores, and creeks.  The carrying of bear spray on your person where it is readily accessible is strongly recommended.

Draft Environmental Assessment Public Comment Period 

Public comment for a Draft Environmental Assessment to improve Arctic grayling overwinter habitat in Upper Red Rock Lake is in effect until March 28, 2023. Please visit our Library for a copy of the assessment and News for a copy of the release


Visit Us

Visitors to Red Rock Lakes Refuge should be prepared for a remote wilderness setting. To maintain the wilderness and sense of solitude, facilities are minimized and recreation off the established roads involves non-motorized or non-mechanical means of transport -- foot traffic only. This approach provides both wildlife and wildland viewing opportunities in an uncrowded setting. All visitors are encouraged to use good wildlife viewing practices and ethics, especially when viewing species sensitive to human disturbance, such as trumpeter swans. 

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      The Refuge acts as a corridor for some mammals (like the grizzly bear) for moving between Yellowstone and other areas of Idaho and Montana. It encompasses over 53 thousand acres, of which 32,350 are wilderness. Many elk, deer and pronghorn call the Refuge home during spring through fall, as do many migratory waterfowl and songbirds.

      The Refuge provides a Visitor Center, two primitive campgrounds (one each at the Upper and Lower Red Rock Lake), and two easy-rated hiking trails (Odell Creek and Sparrow Pond trails). The Refuge is also known for its superb landscape photography in all seasons and in various locations, with the Centennial Mountains being a favorite subject.


      The Refuge has few roads, all of which are constructed and maintained with dirt and gravel. Note that roads are generally restricted to dry times, as snowmelt and rain will make roads very muddy and nearly impassable. Some roads may require 4WD high-clearance. There are no service stations with gasoline or tow trucks within at least 45 miles, so please plan accordingly. 


      What We Do

      Conservation efforts at Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge aim to provide habitat for breeding and staging migratory birds, native fishes, and both transitory and resident wildlife that maintains the biological diversity and integrity of a montane wetland system. 


      Our Species

      Some of the species that call the Refuge home, whether migratory or year-round residents include grizzly bears, black bears, elk, deer (mule and whitetail), Shiras moose, pronghorn, trumpeter swans, tundra swans, bald eagles, golden eagles, sandhill cranes, ground squirrels, badgers, wolves, coyotes, foxes, martens, all species of waterfowl in the Pacific Flyway, and numerous neotropical migrant songbirds to name just a few.

      Our Library


      Draft Environmental Assessment for Arctic Grayling Conservation at Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. This document is available for review with a public comment period running February 28 - March 14, 2023. 

      Supplemental Information on RRLNWR Draft EA.pdf

      This supplemental information document provides briefs on the Draft Environmental Assessment for Arctic Grayling Conservation and its next steps. 

      Projects and Research

      Research projects on the Refuge take place in all seasons and range from working with fish and wildlife to their different habitats. Research and projects are designed to inform management in making the best possible decisions for wildlife and wildlife habitat.

      Former Refuge biologist Kyle Cutting holds a radio collared sage grouse hen ready to be released.  Collared grouse are tracked using radio-telemetry providing a greater understanding of the breeding ecology of these magnificent birds.