U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service logo A Unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System
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Des Lacs
National Wildlife Refuge

A panoramic view of Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge shows a vast expanse of grassland with a large wetland.  The wetland is thick with waterfowl floating on its surface.
1 Mile West of Kenmare, County Rd 1A
Kenmare, ND   58746
E-mail: deslacs@fws.gov
Phone Number: 701-385-4046
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
In the fall, snow goose concentrations can reach 500,000 birds on the Refuge.
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  Recreation and Education Opportunities

Environmental Education
Groups interested in using the Refuge as a field trip destination should contact Refuge staff for assistance in planning your visit.

Educational programs are scheduled throughout the year. Click "Learn More" to see what's going on right now!

Learn More>>

Many hunting opportunities exist for visitors. Archery and rifle deer hunting is permitted during regular state seasons. Late season upland game hunting starts annually in late November and continues through the end of the state season for sharp-tailed grouse, pheasant, partridge, and fox. No waterfowl hunting is allowed on the Refuge, but ample opportunities exist on adjacent private land to hunt ducks and geese. Peak waterfowl migration usually occurs during mid-October.

A visitor information center in the Refuge headquarters is open from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. An interpretive kiosk with informational brochures located beside the Refuge headquarters is available 24 hours.

Wildlife Observation
An 11-mile auto tour route is available to visitors starting at the south end of the Refuge and ending at the old Boat Dock picnic area. Tasker's Coulee Picnic Area is open from May through September and is managed jointly with the Kenmare Park Board. A stone picnic shelter with electrical power and fireplace was built by CCC in the 1930s. Several hiking trails offer opportunities to walk through grasslands and woodlands to observe wildlife.

Wildlife viewing and photography opportunities are very good May through June during spring migration and nesting, and also in the fall. Bald eagles follow the waterfowl migration, and it is common to see five to ten bald eagles from October through November. Sandhill cranes migrate through the area, and whooping cranes are observed annually in the area in spring and fall, though not on the Refuge. The sight of western grebes running over the water during their courtship displays draws many visitors each spring. Canoeing is permitted on Upper Des Lacs Lake, but no motorized boating is allowed. Winter activities such as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on hiking trails are also permitted.

Des Lacs NWR office hours are from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday, except on Federal holidays.

The auto tour route is open daily from 5:30 am to 10:00 pm.

Entrance Fees
The Refuge does not charge an entrance fee.

Use Fees
The Refuge does not charge user fees (i.e., hunt fees, camping fees, boat launch, meeting rooms rental fees, auto tour fees, guided tour fees, etc.).
- Refuge Profile Page -