Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
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.


  • Did you find an injured bird?

    Visit the Living Desert website to rescue injured birds and other wildlife. There you will find contact info for wildlife rehabilitators.

    Living Desert Wildlife Resources

  • Refuge Status - August 20, 2020

    The Refuge is currently open during normal hours and all trails are open. The visitor center is temporarily closed.

  • A young wildcat looking at the camera, surrounded by golden-brown grass.The cat's fur is also a golden brown color.

    Where Wildlife Comes First

    National Wildlife Refuges are managed for wildlife, their habitat, and to ensure future generations will have wild places to explore.

Visit Your Refuge

Download our Brochure

Cover from Sonny Bono Salton Sea Brochure-60x100

Do you have question about the refuge? Many of the answers can be found in our wildlife refuge brochure.

Sonny Bono Salton Sea Brochure (3.8Mb PDF)

Trails & Wildlife Viewing


The refuge has two walking trails: the Rock Hill Trail and the Michael Hardenberger Trail.

Visit our Trails

Plan a Field Trip

Environmental Education

We offer guided tours and activities. Contact us at 1-760-348-5278 to learn more.

For Educators
Baby Birds & Injured Wildlife

What to Do?


If you find a nestling in your yard, the best thing to do for these young birds is to place them back in their nest, if it can be found.

Continue reading to learn more....

About the Complex

Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Read more about the complex
About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS