Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge, Muleshoe

#174 of 227 in Wildlife in Texas
Must see · Nature / Park · Hidden Gem · Wildlife Area
Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge is a 6,440-acre (26.1 km2) wildlife refuge located about 20 mi (32 km) south of Muleshoe, Texas, on Texas State Highway 214. It is the oldest national wildlife refuge in Texas, having been established as the Muleshoe Migratory Waterfowl Refuge by executive order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935. Roosevelt issued a proclamation in 1940 to change the name to the Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge. In 1980, Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge was designated as a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service.
The refuge is a stop for migratory waterfowl flying between Canada and Mexico. The refuge includes several intermittent salt lakes, some of which have been modified to extend their wet periods. Paul's Lake, on the east side of Highway 214, is spring-fed, and hosts wildlife during times when the other lakes are dry. If sufficient water is present during the winter, the refuge hosts tens of thousands of sandhill cranes. The largest number of cranes ever recorded was 250,000, during February, 1981.

Other wildlife includes wood warblers, meadowlarks, raptors, burrowing owls, black-tailed prairie dogs, jackrabbits, cottontail rabbits, coyotes, black-footed ferrets, spotted chorus frogs, and badgers.

The prairie ecosystem includes plant life such as wildflowers, grasses, yucca, cacti, and mesquite. Rangeland management techniques include controlled burning and grazing.

Northeast of White Lake is a small area of white gypsum dunes, similar to those found at White Sands National Park in New Mexico, though these are much less expansive.

Work out when and for how long to visit Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge and other Muleshoe attractions using our handy Muleshoe trip planner.
Create an itinerary including Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
16 reviews
  • I went to see the Sandhill Cranes in November. Only saw a couple of visitors while I was there over a two day period. The cranes are best seen just before sunrise or right at sunset. You can hear...  more »
  • We arrived at sunset in late November. A short wait at Paul’s lake and we were rewarded with thousands of cranes flying in. We could hear them before we saw them. A spectacular sight!  more »
  • Went on a beautiful morning with shade and plenty of birds out. I come by periodically to see what's out there. There are some amazing views out there.
  • Amazing sight! Great place to strech your legs! Beautiful plains. My boyfriend and I fell in love with this place!

Plan your trip to Muleshoe

  • Get a personalized trip
    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.