Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we ask that you recreate responsibly.

  • Check alerts and local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information. Operations vary based on local public health conditions.
  • Consistent with CDC recommendations, all visitors (age 2 and older), who are fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask inside of federal buildings in areas of substantial or high community transmission.. All visitors who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick and continue to watch for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow CDC guidance on how to protect yourself and others.


  • sparrow photo by David Buckley

    2021 Refuge Events: October-December

    We are happy to announce our Special Events for Fall 2021. There are virtual and in-person events. Check the flyer for more details.

    2021 Fall Events Flyer

  • Cliff Swallow Catherine Harris

    2021 Photo Contest!

    Calling all photographers! It is photo contest time. Enter your Refuge photos before December 31. Email entries to

    How to Enter

  • JDS 2019 winner image

    New Mexico Jr. Duck Stamp

    Calling all youth artists! Now is the time to create your best duck or goose art for the Jr Duck Stamp Contest. Deadline March 15th 2022.

    Learn more on how to participate

  • Kildeer head CU cpyr Laurel Ladwig 150 x 119

    Updated Refuge Map 8.5.21

    View the updated Refuge map and tips for enjoying your visit.

    Refuge Map

Refuge Happenings

Refuge Access Updated 8.2.21

July 29, 2020 SacRefugeflyout-150-x-115

Attention friends and neighbors. Starting the first week of August, the west side of the refuge will be closed to all visitor uses. Valle de Oro NWR will be closing the west side of the refuge for wetland and storm water swale construction beginning August 1st. Project completion will determine reopening timeline. Our priority is your safety and restoring the land back to native habitat. The east side of the refuge will remain open. However, opportunities will be limited. You are welcome to walk, hike, walk you dog (on leash) and bike ride on open trails and roads. Please see maps for details. Stay tuned for the opening of our visitor center this fall and additional opportunities If you have any questions or concerns please reach out to Valle de Oro staff at We appreciate your support and understanding as our refuge takes the steps to transform into the place we have envisioned together. ------------------- As of July 29, 2020, access to Valle de Oro NWR is open 6am to 6pm daily. However, due to COVID-19, Welcome Center operations are currently suspended. Please check the kiosk at the entrance to the refuge for maps and updated refuge information.

Click here for more information

UPDATED: Construction Projects

July 15, 2020 visitor center small

Visitor Center construction- The Visitor Center construction is also still continuing on the refuge. Wetland Construction- The Bureau of Reclamation, our great partners who were doing the construction of wetlands 1 and 2 on the west side of the refuge, have paused their work right now. We hope to continue construction this spring. We are happy that these projects are continuing but are always keeping an eye on health, safety and security. We will keep you posted if things change. As always, keep up with us on Facebook- #TransformationThursday or join our weekly list-serve at

Check the Valle de Oro Facebook page for weekly updates
Birding on the Refuge

On-line Observation Entries

Yellow-headed blackbird Bernadette Madison 218 x 116

eBird Google Gadgets is a real-time, online checklist program that has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. A birder enters when, where, and how they went birding, then fills out a checklist of all the birds seen and heard. The observations of each participant join those of all eBird users. For more information: Current entries at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, can be seen on our Wildlife & Habitat page, in the header section up above, and then open the left menu link titled: Report a Bird Sighting.

eBird On-line Program

Helping Our Wildlife

For our wildlife and you

American kestrel Ruby Lake NWR 135 x 115

Before visiting Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, please view our refuge Rules and Regulations. These regulations help ensure our refuge continues to be a safe place for wildlife and people.

Learn more here

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS