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Bear River Bird Refuge - Utah Outdoor Activities

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The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge encompasses approximately 75,000 acres. It is the largest freshwater component of the Great Salt Lake ecosystem. The refuge lies along the eastern edge of the Pacific Flyway and the western edge of the Central Flyway, making it an important resting, feeding, and nesting area for birds (212 species) in both flyways. There are 72 species known to nest on the refuge.

The importance of the refuge as a staging area for migratory waterfowl is evidence by the tremendous numbers of ducks (500,000) and Canada Geese (5,000) found on the refuge each fall. In addition, roughly 75 percent of the western population of tundra swans (more than 30,000 birds) use the refuge for fall staging and wintering in mild years.

Visitors to the refuge may drive or bicycle on a 12 mile auto tour route which starts and ends at the old headquarters site. Activities are confined to the auto tour route dike. All other areas on the refuge are closed to public use except during approved hunting seasons. The Refuge is open every day from sunrise to sunset year round. In the Spring and winter the access road to the refuge may be covered with water or snow please call in advance to check road conditions. Tour Route may also be closed due to snow or water. All visitors must be off the refuge before dark. Please review and comply with all special refuge regulations:

FISHING- Permitted in main river channel only. Fishing on the rest of the Refuge is reserved for the birds. NO FISHING FROM TOUR ROUTE.

WILDLIFE VIEWING- Viewing opportunities are restricted to the auto tour route dike, and two viewing platforms. Please do not disturb the wildlife.

AUTO TOUR ROUTE- A 12-mile auto tour route is open daily during daylight hours year round. In the spring and winter call for road conditions.

BICYCLES- Permitted only along the auto tour route.

PETS- Pets must be on a leash and controlled at all times.

CAMPING- Not permitted. Camping opportunities are available in Brigham City, Willard, and Mantua.

FIRES- Not permitted.

FIREARMS- Not permitted, except for shotguns during approved hunting seasons.

BOATING/CANOEING- Not permitted. Bear River Channel is open to public boating upstream from the old Refuge headquarters site year-round.

ALL TERRAIN VEHICLES (ATVs)- prohibited

Driving Directions: The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is located 50 miles north of Salt Lake City via I-15. The interstate exit is the 366 or Forest Street in Brigham City. Take Forest Street west for 15 miles to get to old refuge headquarters. Before you visit the Bear River Bird Refuge be sure to stop by the new visitors center.

  • Contact Information:
  • Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge
  • 2155 West Forest Street
  • Brigham City, UT 84302
  • Refuge Office: 435-723-5887
  • Visitor Information: 435-734-6425
  • Hunting Information: 435-734-6427
  • Nearby City - Brigham City Utah
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