Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge
Pacific Region

Wildlife Photography

Close-up photo of American bittten; Photo by Ed Bustya
Photo (c) Ed Bustya

There are excellent opportunties throughout the year to photograph wildlife on the refuge.  Wildlife overlooks along the year-round trail and expansive landscape views from the parking area overlooks are prime locations.  A wildlife photography blind, located near the end of the year-round trail, is open on a reservation basis.

Wildlife Photography Programs

The refuge is proud to partner with Friends of Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge and their Tualatin River Photographic Society. The Friends provide photographers who have an interest in nature photography a variety of opportunities to improve their skills and share knowledge with others. Photographers of all levels participate in meetings, field trips, and educational programs. Visitors and new members are welcome.

The Society meets the first Thursday of each month from September through June. Meetings begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Riparian Room at refuge.

Enter the Focus on Nature Photo Contest. Entries due September 2nd.

Sign up for workshops at the 2013 Focus on Nature Festival coming up October 5th-6th

Wildlife Photography Blind


  • The photography blind is available by reservation only. You may reserve teh blind for a maximum of 2 people in your party.
  • There is no charge to use the blind.  A refuge entrance fee may apply in the future.
  • The blind is open on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, year-round.  The blind may be reserved from dawn to 12:00 p.m.; from 1:00 p.m. to dusk; or all day from dawn to dusk.
  • Advance reservations are accepted by sending an email to Kim Strassburg or by mailing a written request to the refuge at the address below.  Include your name, address, phone number, email address and the date(s) and time(s) you wish to schedule.  If corresponding by email, please enter “Wildlife Photo Blind” in the subject line.
  • Refuge staff will notify you by email, postal mail, or phone call to confirm your reservation.  If the date you have requested is unavailable, you will be given the option to choose another date or be put on a waiting list for your original choice.
  • Please contact the refuge if you must cancel your reservation, so that others may schedule the blind.
  • Reservations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis.  Up to 4 advance reservations can be made up to one year ahead of time. 
  • “Last minute” reservations can be made up to 7 days ahead of time by calling the refuge during business hours, Monday-Thursday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Sunset view from wildlife photography blind.  Photo by Ed Bustya.
Photo (c) Ed Bustya


Using the Blind—things you need to know

  • The refuge is open daily from dawn to dusk. 
  • Park at the main visitor entrance at 19255 SW Pacific Hwy (99W), Sherwood, OR.
  • A year-round walking trail leaves from the main parking lot.  Near the end of this 1 mile long trail is a short, 0.2 mile long spur trail that leads to the blind.  The year-round trail and photo blind trail are relatively flat and fully accessible. Photographers must use the established trails to access the blind.  No off-trail use is allowed.  A series of seasonal trails are open from May 1st – September 30th; you may use these trails to access the blind during these times.  The seasonal trails are uneven, gravel roads.
  • Approach the blind quietly and slowly.  You will minimize wildlife disturbance and maximize your wildlife photography opportunities.
  • Walking only—no jogging, driving, or bicycling.  Pets are not allowed anywhere on the refuge.
  • Visitors needing special assistance accessing the blind will be accommodated.  Call the refuge for more details.
  • Restrooms are located in the parking area only.  There are no restrooms along the trail.  Please plan accordingly.  If you take a break, please leave and return to the blind quietly.
  • All refuge regulations posted at trailheads and along trails must be observed.


Download a copy of Photography Blind Guidelines here.

Trail approach to photography blind.  Photo by Ed Bustya.
Photo (c) Ed Bustya


Contact Us:

Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge
19255 SW Pacific Hwy
Sherwood, OR 97140
Phone: 503-625-5944
Fax: 503-625-5947


Last updated: August 9, 2013