Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge is a network of wetland habitats on the coast of Northwestern California. Established in 1971, the refuge is composed of several different units totaling almost 4,000 acres and forming a mosaic of mudflats, estuarine eelgrass meadows, saltmarsh, brackish marsh, seasonally flooded freshwater wetlands, riparian wetlands, streams, coastal dunes, and forest. The refuge supports over 316 species of birds and 40 species of mammals and provides habitat for approximately 100 species of fish and marine invertebrates. Its diverse habitats also attract a variety of migratory birds, including shorebirds, ducks, geese, swans, and black brant. As part of the Pacific Flyway, Humboldt Bay NWR provides unique bird watching opportunities, especially between January and April with the Aleutian Goose fly-off.

Less than 1 mile off the coast of Crescent City, Castle Rock Refuge is a resting location for marine mammals such as the harbor seal, northern elephant seal, California sea lion, and Stellar’s sea lion. The island is also the second-largest seabird nesting colony south of Alaska.

Directions: Highway 101 to Hookton Road, follow signs to Ranch Road and start at the Richard Guadagno Visitor Center.

Recreational Opportunities

Birding, photography, volunteering, hiking, hunting, boating, fishing, etc.

Numerous trails along the levees are available to visitors which provide bird watching opportunities. Boaters can also launch canoes and kayaks at Hookton Slough.

Fees: Hunting Fee

Pet Friendly Notes
No pets permitted on the refuge.

For More Information, Contact:

Shawn Brophy
[email protected]
1020 Ranch Road, Loleta, CA 95551


Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge