Colusa National Wildlife Refuge

  • Picnic
  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Accessible Parking


  • Picnic
  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Accessible Parking


O’Hair Rd. at Hwy 20, Colusa, CA, 95932
Sacramento Valley
Info: (530) 934-2801
1 hour before sunrise to 1 hour after sunset.
On leash
Last Visited:
February 2022
For thousands of years the Sacramento Valley, part of the Pacific Flyway, has provided a winter haven for migratory waterfowl. Today, over 90% of California's wetlands are gone because of development however, the birds continue to crowd into the remaining habitat. In 1937, the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) was established to create and protect the remaining seasonal wetlands. Today the complex is made up of five Refuges, including Colusa, that includes11,000 - acres of seasonal marsh, permanent ponds, and uplands in the heart of the Sacramento Valley

Each refuge offers a range of activities including hiking, auto tours, environmental education programs, and wildlife viewing; accessibility varies at each refuge. A good place to start to get an overview is Sacramento NWR in Willows––headquarters of the complex. There is a visitor center with wildlife exhibits, a bookstore and staff can provide information and direct you to the other units. (closed for remodel until fall 2022)

Colusa has a small Visitor Area with a parking lot, restroom, information kiosk, picnic tables, native plant garden, trailhead, and 2 observation decks with excellent viewing. A 3-mile Auto Tour begins at the observation deck and takes you through wetlands, grasslands, and a riparian area.

Trails and Pathways

Time to Complete:
15 minutes
Trailhead Location:
West of the parking lot
Trail Length:
Under one mile total
Typical Width:
4 ft. & above
Typical Grade:
Typical Terrain:
Moderately Firm
Trail Overview: Just past the parking lot and before you reach the large viewing platform turn right onto the trail.  The only reason to take this short trail is to check out the smaller viewing deck a few hundred yards in otherwise the trail follows Powell Slough but there are no views of the large pond where all the wildlife gathers and after the viewing platform the terrain becomes rugged.
More Info: Fairly bumpy terrain and wouldn’t be fun in a manual wheelchair.

Accessibility Features

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.
Accessible Parking:
Yes – designated accessible parking, van accessible, firm, level or slope no greater than 2%;

A second accessible parking space is at the large viewing deck just beyond the small parking lot.

Accessible Restroom:
Yes – Clean vault style restroom but no hand washing station.

Accessible Picnic Table:
Yes – firm & stable path to tables, firm & stable surface, 27" or greater knee clearance

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