Trails

Bobcat Trail 

  • Open Season: Open–year round  

  • Length: 0.8 Miles (1.0 km) 

  • Surface: Caliche (gravel and sand)

  • Difficulty: Difficult, because you need to add an additional 1 mile to get to the trail. Therefore, roundtrip is 3.6 miles. 

  • Information: This is the only caliche trail that is available for bikes. It cuts down the middle of Wildlife Drive/Auto-tour loop and makes the biking ride 4 miles.  

Cattail Lakes Trail 

  • Open Season: Open–year round 

  • Length: 1.6 Miles (2.6 km) 

  • Surface: Dirt

  • Difficulty: Difficult, 3.2 miles roundtrip. 

  • Information: Meander through four distinct plant and animal communities along this 1.6-mile trail and discover the amazing biodiversity of the lower Rio Grande delta. Look for cactus wrens nesting in the prickly pear. Watch the great kiskadee pluck insects from the air! 

Chachalaca Trail 

  • Open Season: Open–year round 

  • Length: 0.5 Miles (0.8 km) 

  • Surface: Crushed granite and dirt

  • Difficulty: Easy, family friendly trail 

  • Information: This is one of the most popular trails. It goes through rare subtropical woodland. Here, you will see what much of the landscape along the Rio Grande looked like before European settlers arrived. 

Jaguarundi Trail  

  • Open Season: Open year round 

  • Length: 1.5 Miles (2.4 km) 

  • Surface: Dirt

  • Difficulty: Very difficult, because you need to add an additional 1-mile to get to the trail. Therefore, roundtrip is 5-miles. 

  • Information: Southern Trail 

 Malachite Trail 

  • Open Season: Open year round 

  • Length: 0.2 Miles (0.3 Km) 

  • Surface: Paved, Boardwalk, ADA compliant

  • Difficulty: Easy, family friendly trail

  • Information: Take a leisurely walk on this user-friendly short trail with benches and picnic tables overlooking the pond. Watch for a variety of butterflies, waterfowl, and other colorful birds. 

Mesquite Trail  

  • Open Season: Open–year round 

  • Length: 0.4 Miles (0.3 km) 

  • Surface: Dirt

  • Difficulty: Very difficult, because you need to add an additional 2.8-miles to get to the trail. Therefore, roundtrip is 6.4 miles.

  • Information: Southern Trail 

Oriole Trail 

  • Open Season: Open-year-round 

  • Length: 1.2 Miles (1.9 km) 

  • Surface: Dirt

  • Difficulty: Very difficult, because you need to add an additional 1.8-miles to get to the trail. Therefore, roundtrip is 6-miles. 

  • Information: Southern Trail  

Owl Trail 

  • Open Season: Open–year round 

  • Length: 0.3 Miles (0.5 km) 

  • Surface: Dirt

  • Difficulty: Very difficult, because you need to add an additional 1.3-miles to get to the trail. Therefore, roundtrip is 3.2 miles. 

  • Information: The Owl trail takes you straight to the ‘Cementerio Viejo”. The “Old Cemetery” is one of the most popular attractions. The cemetery contains about 30 graves, probably of workers or descendants of Benigno Leal, and a tomb constructed of hand-made bricks.  

Pintail Lakes Trail 

  • Open Season: Open year round 

  • Length: 2.0 Miles (3.2 km) 

  • Surface: Dirt

  • Difficulty: Difficult 

  • Information: This trails winds around Pintail Lake, and part of the trail parallels the Rio Grande River. 

Resaca Loop Trail 

  • Open Season: Open year round 

  • Length: 1.4 Miles (2.3 km) 

  • Surface: Dirt

  • Difficulty: Very difficult, because you need to add an additional 1.7 miles to get to the trail. Therefore, roundtrip is 6.2 miles. 

  • Information: Southern Trail 

Tower Trail 

  • Open Season: Open year round 

  • Length: 0.5 Miles (0.8 km) 

  • Surface: Dirt

  • Difficulty: Easy, family friendly trail. 

  • Information: This short trail leads directly to Santa Ana’s unique attraction. Climb the 40-foot tower for a rewarding view of the surrounding habitat and amazing wildlife. 

Vireo Trail 

  • Open Season: Open year round 

  • Length: 1.1 Miles (1.8 km) 

  • Surface and Difficulty: Dirt

  • Difficulty: Very difficult, because you need to add an additional 1.5 miles to get to the trail. Therefore, roundtrip is 5.2 miles. 

  • Information: Southern Trail 

Wildlife Drive/ Auto-tour loop 

  • Open Season: Open-year-round 

  • Length: 7.0 Miles (11.3 km) 

  • Surface: Pavement

  • Difficulty: Very difficult because of length 

  • Information: The auto-tour loop is the designated area for the nature Tram ride. On this ride you may see the various trails and main attractions at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge. Visitors can also ride their bikes on the tour loop. 

Willow Lakes Trail 

  • Open Season: Open year round 

  • Length: 1.6 Miles (2.6 km) 

  • Surface: Dirt

  • Difficulty: Moderately difficult due to length 

  • Information: This lush wetland attracts birds that depend on watery habitats for food and protection. Don’t miss the photo blinds, towers and canopy walk for wildlife viewing. 

Pintail Lakes Trail

Trail Length (mi)
1.57
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Resaca Loop Trail

Trail Length (mi)
1.36
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Bobcat Road Trail

Trail Length (mi)
0.62
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Tower Connector Trail

Trail Length (mi)
0.02
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Cattail Access Trail

Trail Length (mi)
0.02
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Cattail Lake Loop Trail

Trail Length (mi)
0.79
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Willow Lakes Connector Trail

Trail Length (mi)
0.06
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Cattail Lake Trail

Trail Length (mi)
1.68
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Willow Lakes Trail

Trail Length (mi)
1.16
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Chachalaca Trail

Trail Length (mi)
0.55
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Jaguarundi Trail

Trail Length (mi)
1.45
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Headquarters Pond Trail

Trail Length (mi)
0.23
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Mesquite Trail

Trail Length (mi)
0.32
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Trailhead Trail

Trail Length (mi)
0.11
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Willow Lakes Photo Blind Trail

Trail Length (mi)
0.03
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Photoblind Trail

Trail Length (mi)
0.05
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Pintail 1 Trail

Trail Length (mi)
0.10
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Pintail 2 Loop Trail

Trail Length (mi)
0.36
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Pintail 3 West Trail

Trail Length (mi)
0.26
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Pintail 5 Loop Trail

Trail Length (mi)
0.31
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Pintail Access Trail

Trail Length (mi)
0.18
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