U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
Banner graphic displaying the Fish & Wildlife Service logo and National Wildlife Refuge System tagline

National Wildlife Refuge

This image is a scene of the Chocolate Mountains in the background and the Colorado River in the foreground.
P.O. Box 72217
Yuma, AZ   85365
E-mail: FW2_RW_Imperial@fws.gov
Phone Number: 928-783-3371
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Scenic image of Imperial National Wildlife Refuge.
Gray horizontal line
  Recreation and Education Opportunities

Fishing is permitted according to state regulations. Some areas of the Refuge are closed to all access during specific times of year. An accessible fishing dock and shoreline fishing locations are available at Meers Point Recreation Area. Please contact the Visitor Center for information on areas open to fishing.

The regulations listed in the hunt brochure (link below) are the general regulations that govern hunting on wildlife refuges as set forth in Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations. Hunting is also in accordance with applicable state regulations and state seasons.

Learn More>>

Stop by the Visitor Center to learn about Sonoran wildlife and this unique desert environment. From November through March, guided walks are available by signing up at the Visitor Center. The Visitor Center is open 7:30 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday all year long. From November 15 through March 31, the Visitor Center is also open from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. The Visitor Center and Headquarters are closed on Federal holidays.

Wildlife Observation
Wetland wildlife is most abundant in winter, when "snowbirds" such as cinnamon teal and northern pintail use the refuge. During the summer months, look for permanent residents such as great egrets and muskrat.

You can follow the Red Cloud Mine Road through the Sonoran desert landscape to access the lookout points and the Painted Desert Trail. If you intend to driver further than the Painted Desert Trail, a 4-wheel drive vehicle is recommended.

The Painted Desert Trail is a 1.3-mile self-guided trail. It provides an opportunity for visitors to see desert plants and wildlife. The trail takes you through a rainbow of colors left by 30,000 year-old volcanic activity and features a panoramic view of the Colorado River valley.

Palo Verde, Mesquite, Ironwood, and Smoke Tree Points offer beautiful views of the Colorado River valley. The backwaters seen from Palo Verde, Mesquite, and Ironwood Points are great locations to see migratory ducks and wading birds like Great Blue Heron. All of the lookout points can be reached by vehicle. Smoke Tree Point, however, requires 4-wheel drive.

Leave No Trace
Leave No Trace is a national educational program to inform visitors about reducing the damage caused by outdoor activities, particularly non-motorized recreation. Leave No Trace principles and practices are based on an abiding respect for the natural world and our fellow wildland visitors. We can act on behalf of the places and wildlife that inspire us by adopting the skills and ethics that enable us to Leave No Trace.

1. Plan ahead and prepare.
2. Travel on durable surfaces.
3. Dispose of waste properly.
4. Leave what you find.
5. Respect wildlife.
6. Be considerate of other visitors.

For more information on Leave No Trace, visit the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics Web site. (http://www.lnt.org)

- Refuge Profile Page -