Visitor Center and Headquarters
for Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex

The Visitor Center for Sacramento NWR Complex is located at the Sacramento NWR.  Visitors can enjoy our wildlife exhibit, bookstore, Discovery Room, native plant garden, picnic area with bird feeders, two miles of trails and a viewing platform located on the six-mile auto tour.


January, 2022 - the Sacramento NWR Office and Visitor Center was closed for a major remodeling effort. During the remodel, the Visitor Center, including it's restrooms and kiosks, is closed to the public. Portable restrooms are provided at the Visitor Center parking lot. The parking lot, trails, and auto tour will remain open throughout construction. Visitors can still call the office (530-934-2801) with questions regarding visiting the Refuge. Construction is anticipated to be completed Fall 2023. 

The Sacramento NWR Office and Visitor Center remodel project will include an expanded Visitor Center with new interpretive displays, a new environmental education classroom, and updated office facilities and meeting spaces for refuge staff and partners.

 Plan Your Visit  <--- Click here to return to the Plan Your Visit page


Visitor Center

Visitor Center Hours: (Currently closed January 2022 - Fall 2023 for building renovation)
   - Winter Hours (Nov-Feb) 9 a.m.-4 p.m. open every day
   - Spring-Fall Hours (Mar-Oct) 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday
   - Visitor Center closed on federal holidays 

Entrance Fee (covers all non-hunting uses of Sac Refuge...see hunting permits and regulations page for hunting permit 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)

See our Permits and Passes page for more info.


Discovery Room

Explore the Discovery Room and see the diorama and wildlife displays, view the Complex's film Unfinished Symphony, and meet our rotating tenants (fish, frogs, snakes....all in aquariums of course!).  Visitor Center hours.







Visit the Bookstore, run by Altacal Audubon Society, 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!  A variety of bird-feeders surround the four picnic tables located 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

Thanks to our hard-working volunteers and visitor donations, we have a beautiful native plant garden located at the entrance to the Visitor Center!  Catch a glimpse of a monarch or hummingbird feeding at the flowers.  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.