Drive the Auto Tours
at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex

The Sacramento NWR Complex has 2 different Auto Tours (Sacramento NWR and Colusa NWR) that offer up spectacular wildlife viewing during the winter months.  
Visitors must remain inside their vehicles on the Auto Tours, except for the Park-and-Stretch areas on Sacramento NWR.  By using your vehicle as a viewing blind, the wildlife will remain calm and provide excellent viewing opportunities for everyone throughout the day!

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Sacramento NWR Auto Tour

Sacramento NWR has a 6-mile Auto Tour that begins at the Visitor Center and takes you through wetlands, grasslands, vernal pools and a riparian riparian
Definition of riparian habitat or riparian areas.

Learn more about riparian
area. Visitors are required to stay in their vehicles but can get out of their vehicles at one of the 3 Park-and-Stretch Areas. A multi-level Observation Deck is located approximately half-way around the Auto Tour in addition to a new low-profile deck, where there is a spotting scope, a restroom, and fantastic views! 

Open 7 days a week, year-round, from 1 hour before sunrise to 1 hour after sunset. 

An additional 1.5 mile loop called Pool 2 Extension is open from March 15 - September 10.  Pool 2 is drained every 3-5 years to allow for habitat work and road repairs, during which time the extension is closed.

  • Parking
  • Restrooms
  • Information kiosk
  • Observation Decks
  • Potable water is not available so make sure to bring your own
  • Bicycles are permitted on the Auto Tour from May 15 - August 15
  • entrance fee
  • Download the Map/Brochure (pdf)

Colusa NWR Auto Tour

Colusa NWR has a 3-mile Auto Tour that begins at the Observation Deck and takes you through wetlands, grasslands, and a riparian area.  Visitors are required to stay inside their vehicles.  Look for the black-crowned night heron roost in the button willow as you cross the bridge.  Keep an eye open for an occasional collared goose, and also for a western pond turtle in the "turtle pond" located at the very southeast corner of the Auto Tour.  

Open 7 days a week, year-round, from 1 hour before sunrise to 1 hour after sunset.

  • Parking
  • Restroom
  • Information kiosk
  • Observation Deck
  • Potable water is not available so make sure to bring your own
  • Bicycles are permitted on the Auto Tour from May 15 - August 15
  • no fees
  • Download the Map/Brochure (pdf)