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Imperial National Wildlife Refuge, Yuma

#1 of 7 in Wildlife in Yuma
Nature / Park · Wildlife Area
The Imperial National Wildlife Refuge protects wildlife habitat along 30mi of the lower Colorado River in Arizona and California, including the last un-channeled section before the river enters Mexico. The Imperial Refuge Wilderness, a federally designated, 15056acre, wilderness area is protected within the refuge. It also surrounds the Picacho State Recreation Area. This section of the Colorado River is popular for boating, hiking, fishing, camping, exploring old mining camps and wildlife watching.
The river and its associated backwater lakes and wetlands are a green oasis, contrasting with the surrounding desert mountains. It is a refuge and breeding area for migratory birds and local desert wildlife.
Even though it is located in the Sonoran Desert, the Imperial National Wildlife Refuge is home to a mostly wetland environment. Wetland wildlife is most abundant in winter, when birds such as cinnamon teal and northern pintail use the refuge. During the summer months, permanent residents such as great egrets are abundant. The Colorado River plays a vital role in the lives of desert fauna. It is the only water source for many miles. Small animals such as the black-tailed jackrabbit and western whiptail lizard are plentiful. Desert bighorn sheep and mule deer also call the refuge home.
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Imperial National Wildlife Refuge reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
51 reviews
  • Super hiking trails, bring lots of water and sunscreen. Lots to see if you enjoy peace and quiet, nature and geology!  more »
  • Great place to see Sand Hill Cranes flying over the Colorado River Be sure to visit at dusk to see thousands of Sand Hill Cranes  more »
  • This is a very scenic place with hills, lakes, a river, desert, desert scrub, wildlife and walking trails. I have seen wild donkeys, mule deer, coyotes, rams and many reptiles and birds. It is one of my favorite places to go when I am in the Yuma area.
  • Great place to drive your jeeps and motorcycle. Safe place to hike. Great path, well marked. The painted desert is the place to be. I felt very safe walking. Ample parking.

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