Visitor Center and Headquarters
for Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Sacramento NWR Home Page  <--- Click here to return to the Sacramento NWR Home Page

The Visitor Center for Sacramento NWR Complex is located at the Sacramento NWR.  Newly remodeled in 2024, visitors will soon be able to enjoy our new interpretive displays, bookstore, Discovery Room, Environmental Education Classroom, future native plant garden with picnic area and bird feeders, two miles of trails and a viewing platform located on the six-mile auto tour.

January, 2024 - the Sacramento NWR Office and Visitor Center is now open on a limited basis following a 2-year remodel. Over the course of the upcoming year, the Visitor Center will be open on select days as our new interpretive displays are built and staffing schedules are developed.


Visitor Center

This big hall is soon-to-be filled with exciting displays, but in the meantime you can come check out the conceptual designs and check in with staff to find out about birding hotspots and check out a pair of binoculars for the day!

Visitor Center Hours: (anticipated during re-opening, and subject to change)
   -  TBD, anticipated as:  Monday, Thursday, Friday  9:00am - 3:00pm
   - Visitor Center closed on federal holidays 

Entrance Fee for Sacramento NWR Auto Tour/Trails: (See our Permits and Passes page for more info)
   - $6 daily use fee per vehicle
   - free with Annual Pass ($12)
   - free with current Federal Duck Stamp ($25)
   - free with Interagency Pass
       - Annual $80
       - Senior $10
   - free with Military Pass
   - free with scheduled school pass 
   - $20 for commercial vehicle (buses, vendors)

Admission to the Hunt Area requires different permits/fees...please see our hunting permits and regulationspage for information.


Discovery Room

Explore the Discovery Room and view the Complex's film Unfinished Symphony, then explore the interactive mural [coming soon!], touch station with feathers and skulls and hides, Kids Corner [coming soon!], and meet our rotating tenants (fish, frogs, snakes....all in aquariums of course!).  Visitor Center hours.


Environmental Education Classroom

A new classroom facility is available for school groups to come learn all about the wetlands and wildlife of the Sacramento Valley.  This space also functions as a meeting space for workshops and collaborative events with partners.  See our Educators page for more information.



Visit the Bookstore [coming soon!], run by Altacal Audubon, and find great field guides, nature books, postcards, t-shirts, caps, stickers, pins, and even fine-art prints!  Visitor Center hours.


Picnic Area

Get in some extra bird-watching while you eat your lunch.  Along with the development of a the new Native Plant Garden, four picnic tables and a variety of bird-feeders [coming soon!] will be placed just outside the Visitor Center.  Or enjoy your lunch on the shady benches located under the willow trees nearby.  Restrooms are available.  Open 7 days a week, year-round, from 1 hour before sunrise to 1 hour after sunset. Please pack-out what you pack-in (no public trash cans).


Native Plant Garden

[Coming soon!]  Over the coming year, a new native plant garden will be developed at the entrance to the Visitor Center, thanks to our hard-working volunteers and partners. Sit on the new stone bench and enjoy the tiny visitors (hummingbirds and butterflies!). Open 7 days a week, year-round, from 1 hour before sunrise to 1 hour after sunset.


Wetland Walk

Head out onto the 2-mile Wetland Walk (pdf, brochure with map) from the Visitor Center. Walk through wetlands, a riparian riparian
Definition of riparian habitat or riparian areas.

Learn more about riparian
area, and vernal pools. Take an interpretive brochure (pdf, Wetland Walk brochure) along and learn about the plants and animals you encounter. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leash. Open 7 days a week, year-round, from 1 hour before sunrise to 1 hour after sunset.

An additional 5 miles of Spring Trails (pdf) are available on the south part of the refuge from Feb 15 - June 30. Visit our Trails page for additional hiking opportunities.


Auto Tour

The 6 mile Auto Tour (see map, pdf) begins at the Visitor Center and takes you through wetlands, grasslands, riparian areas, and vernal pools.  Visitors are required to stay in their vehicle but can get out of their vehicles at one of the 3 Park-and-Stretch areas.  A multi-level platform is located about halfway around the Auto Tour, 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.

Visit our Auto Tours page to find out more about additional Auto Tours on the Complex.