U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Lower Klamath
National Wildlife Refuge

Hill Rd, about 5 miles west of
Tulelake, CA   
E-mail: r8kbwebmaster@fws.gov
Phone Number: 530-667-2231
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
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  Wildlife Observation and Photography
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Open from sunrise to sunset, a 10-mile gravel auto tour route gives visitors access to the heart of the refuge. Interpretive panels direct and educate visitors as they travel through permanent marshes, seasonal wetlands, dry uplands, and agricultural units. This variety of habitats ensures a diversity of wildlife sightings. Staying in your vehicle will increase your observation opportunities and reduce disturbance to wildlife.

The varied wildlife of Lower Klamath can be a photographers dream. A limited number of photographic blinds are available by advanced reservation and require a $5 user fee. Contact the refuge headquarters for photo blind maps, descriptions, and more information.

The best viewing time to observe wildlife is early morning and evening. From March through May the spring migration brings great numbers of birds through the refuge. White pelicans and Canada geese return to Lower Klamath and begin nesting. The first Canada goose broods can be seen by early April. Ducklings begin to appear in early May. Large numbers of young can be seen from June through August. Look carefully to observe young grebes riding upon their parents' backs. Most waterbirds such as snowy and great egret, grebes, cormorants, and pelicans have left the area by late October.

The fall migration begins in early September with the arrival of northern pintails and white-fronted geese. Peak numbers of 1 million ducks, geese, and swans are usually present by early November with other major species including mallard, wigeon, green-winged teal, snow, Ross', and Canada geese, sandhill cranes, and tundra swan.

From December through February, Lower Klamath and nearby Tule Lake Refuge host the largest concentration of bald eagles in the contiguous United States. Some years, more than 1,000 of these majestic birds are present on the two refuges. During these months, be also on the lookout for other raptor species, including golden eagle, northern harrier, rough-legged and red-tailed hawks. Waterfowl numbers begin to increase dramatically again in February with the arrival of the first northbound migrants.

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