Laws and Regulations

There are lots of fun, interesting, and educational things you can do on the refuge. Keep in mind, if an activity is not wildlife related and doesn’t help in the protection or understanding of wildlife or their habitat, there are probably refuge rules governing this activity.  

The following activities are prohibited in the refuge:  

  • Camping  
  • Swimming  
  • Boating  
  • Littering  
  • Fires  
  • Harassing of wildlife  
  • Collecting of plants, animals, minerals, antlers, and items of antiquity  
  • In addition, weapons in possession outside of established hunting seasons must be dismantled or cased. 

The refuge is open during daylight hours only. The headquarters and visitor center are open year-round, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and are closed all federal holidays. The visitor center restrooms are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Walk-in public access is allowed on and after February 1st. Interior refuge lands, gates, and roads, including Wildlife Drive auto tour route, open April 1 for the spring, summer and fall seasons and close to non-hunting public access in mid-October for the winter months. Roads may close periodically after April 1st due to weather conditions and spring run-off. Please call to confirm the October closing date and for updated road conditions.  

Please obey all signs, and stay out of areas marked “Closed”. Check with the refuge management before participating in an activity that could harm the environment or yourself. There are plenty of activities on Sand Lake for you to enjoy. Be safe and have fun!