Laws and Regulations

  • Public entry is permitted on units open to the public from sunrise to sunset year-round. 

  • Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge should be a quiet place to enjoy nature--leave fireworks, loud radios, and other sound equipment at home. 

  • Introduction, collection, or destruction of plant and animal life is prohibited. 

  • Camping, overnight parking, and fires are prohibited. Camping is allowed at nearby Bottomless Lakes State Park; for more information call 575-988-3638. 

  • Only legally licensed vehicles are allowed on refuge roads that are open to travel. No all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles, dirt bikes, etc. are allowed on or off refuge roads and must remain on the Wildlife Drive.  

  • Swimming, personal watercraft (i.e., jet ski, kayak, rafts), and water skiing are not allowed within the refuge boundaries. 

  • Fishing and bowfishing are prohibited on the refuge to protect rare native fish species found here. 

  • Launching, landing, or disturbing of wildlife by aircraft (drones) is prohibited on the refuge. 50 CFR 27.34/27.51 

  • Marking any tree, trail or other refuge feature with paint, flagging tape, ribbon, trail tacks or similar substance is not allowed. 

  • Littering, dumping garbage or waste is prohibited. Pack out what you pack in! 

  • Pets are allowed on the refuge but they must be kept on a leash at all times. Pets are not allowed in the Visitor Center and no pet is to be left unattended in a vehicle due to the temperature extremes. 

  • Artificial light (spotlighting) may not be used to find wildlife.  

  • Seasonal public hunting opportunities are offered and require a state hunting license and appropriate stamps. Hunters should be familiar with the refuge's current season hunting regulations. 

  • Persons possessing, transporting, or carrying firearms on National Wildlife Refuges must comply with all provisions of state and local laws. Persons may only use (discharge) firearms in accordance with the refuge's current regulations. 

  • Use or possession of alcoholic beverages while hunting is prohibited. 

Help Us Keep Wildlife Wild By Following These Simple Rules

  • Do not approach or disturb wildlife.  

  • Do not feed wildlife. 

  • Do not leave anything behind or take anything from the refuge