Facility Activities

There are many activities available at this refuge including: hunting, fishing, driving the auto tour, birding, watching wildlife, photography and crystal digging. For more information about activities, wildlife species and regulations check out the general brochure. 

The Selenite Crystal Digging Area is open for crystal digging April 1 through October 15 from sunrise to sunset and is located 66003 Garvin Road, Cherokee, OK 73728. During this time and in specific areas, anyone can dig for free selenite crystals on the salt flats. Visitors are permitted to remove up to 10 pounds of crystals, plus one large cluster for their personal use. Visitors can still view the salt flats when the dig area is closed from the observation tower.

More information about regulations, locations, and species can be found with the refuge hunting brochure. White-tailed Deer and Spring Turkey hunting are only allowed via permit with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's Controlled Hunting Program. Hunters must apply directly with...

Fishing (Open April 1 - October 15)

All fishing follows Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) regulations with additional refuge regulations. Special regulations apply to Bonham Pond and Great Salt Plains Lake. Fishing trails are only open during the fishing season.

Areas open to...
Auto tour routes offer a great all-season way to see wildlife and habitats from the comfort of your car. By using your car as a viewing blind, you can often see more wildlife than you can see on foot.

Three hundred and fifteen species have been observed since 1930. More information about species, abundance, and occurrence can be found with this refuge bird list.

Many refuges champion wildlife viewing as a key recreational activity.
Whether you wield a smartphone or a zoom lens, you’ll find photo-worthy subjects at national wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries. Wildlife photography is a priority public use on national wildlife refuges, so you’ll find wildlife drives and blinds and overlooks to help you get the images you’re after.