Facility Rules and Policies

Drones are NOT ALLOWED. 
Launching, landing or disturbing of wildlife by aircraft (drones) is prohibited. 50 CFR 27.34/27.51

Stay on trails.
If a trail looks too narrow, is eroding, or is too uneven/steep, then do not take it. The refuge is currently undergoing a trail system plan.  Until the trails are finalized, please use trail ethic to respect other trail users. Pedestrians and bicycles yield to horses, bicycles yield to pedestrians.

Geocaching is not allowed.
The placement of geocaches on national wildlife refuges is prohibited. This is due in part to Federal regulations that prohibit the abandonment of property (50 CFR 27.93) on any national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

Learn more about national wildlife refuge
, but also because such activity can result in disturbance to or destruction of refuge resources. As a result, all caches found on the Refuge are removed.

Be aware of wildlife that could take your presence by surprise. 
Rattlesnakes love to come out when the sun is shining. They can also be hiding under rocks, so do not ever step on rock piles. If you see a rattlesnake, go around it or turn around and leave. If you get bit by mistake, remain calm, call 911, and if you have a fellow hiker to help you, get to an area where an emergency vehicle can come pick you up.

Mountain lions have been seen in the vicinity of the refuge, however encounters with them are rare. Make sure you know how to stay safe in mountain lion habitat. 

Keep dogs on a leash at all times.  
Keeping your dog on a leash is not only a county-wide law, but prevents wildlife disturbance on the refuge, safer for the other hikers/dogs on the trail, and prevents your dog from getting bitten by a rattlesnake.

Pick up after your dog or horse.
Leaving your animal's waste is not only disturbing to other hikers and wildlife, it severely contaminates the water after rains. Almost all creeks drain to the Sweetwater River or Otay River, which is drinking water for the citizens of San Diego.

Do not use the refuge night. 
The refuge is open sunrise to sunset and closed at night.

Try to hike with a buddy. 
It is wisest to not hike alone.

If you see something disturbing or unlawful, please contact the Refuge Manager. Call 911 for emergencies.
Please make sure you know the date, time, and location of the unlawful activity. Contact Refuge Manager Dwane Binns at Dwane_Binns@fws.gov or (619) 385-1190.