Facility Rules and Policies

There are no fees to visit the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge Complex.


Permits are limited to research oriented activities or deemed necessary by Refuge Management.

Hunting Permits are issued by the California Departement of Fish and Wildlife.  They can be reached at 1-760-359-0577.


A series of passes covers the entrance and standard amenity fees charged for using federal recreational lands – including national wildlife refuges.

Existing Golden Eagle Passports and National Parks Passes with an expiration date will be honored until they expire. Paper versions of the Golden Age or Golden Access Passports should be exchanged for the new Senior or Access passes. However, plastic Golden Age or Access passes are valid for the pass holder's lifetime and do not need to be exchanged.

The Senior and Access passes are good for the lifetime of the holder and make available (to the pass holder only) 50 percent discounts on some expanded amenity fees.

For the first time, decals and hangtags are available: decals for those who park open-topped vehicles (like Jeeps) or motorcycles at unstaffed federal recreation sites, and hangtags for those who anticipate parking closed vehicles at unmanned facilities.

Please visit our partners at the U.S. Geological Survey, on their website for more information about passes.