The San Diego National Wildlife Refuge is not just a place for wildlife, but a refuge for the city-dwelling neighbors who surround it. Established in 1996 and stretching over 12,300 acres from the city of Jamul to communities in Spring Valley and eastern Chula Vista, the refuge is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s contribution to the San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP), a landscape-wide habitat conservation plan to preserve habitat and species while allowing appropriate development.
Hunting is OPEN at San Diego NWR on designated area

Please refer to this page for more information. 

Visit Us

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge offers one of the last expanses of open space in coastal southern California with exceptional biological, social, historical, and economic values and is protected as a sanctuary not just for plants and animals but also for people. Visitors have the opportunity to go hiking, biking, birding, and horseback riding as well as photograph endangered species and get a tour from a refuge ranger.

Location and Contact Information


      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.

      Our Species

      The San Diego National Wildlife Refuge supports an extremely diverse assemblage of habitat types and species. More than 14 species are currently listed as threatened or endangered, including some species addressed in the San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP). Although a comprehensive wildlife inventory has not yet been completed for the refuge; however, various surveys have been conducted over the years for different portions of the Refuge.  More information about the wildlife present on the Refuge is provided in the Comprehensive Conservation Plan

      Projects and Research

      Resource management include listed and sensitive species, habitat restoration and enhancement, and habitat and wildlife protection.