Pixley National Wildlife Refuge

Tulare County, California

This is not the official site of the refuge: this is a fan site - find the official site here.


General Information & History

Pixley is a non-hunting refuge. The Pixley Refuge trail is open 365 days a year for nature observation. Please stay on the trail.

There is NO Hunting at Pixley NWR.

The Nature Trail is open year-round from dawn to dusk.

Both subspecies of Pacific Flyway Sandhill Cranes are found on Pixley NWR Alison Sheehey

Pixley National Wildlife Refuge consists of 6,833 acres of valley grassland and wetland habitats. Pixley National Wildlife Refuge is along the eastern edge of the San Joaquin Valley just north of Kern County.

Sandhill cranes are gone by early March and return in late September.

Home to a small marsh and a significant portion of valley grassland habitat. It is the best place in the southern valley to view wintering Sandhill Cranes. Pixley supports most of the endangered species that occur in the southern San Joaquin Valley. The focus of Pixley Refuge is to contribute to the recovery of targeted special status species-- the blunt-nosed leopard lizard and Tipton’s kangaroo rat, and provide wintering habitat for waterfowl and sandhill cranes.

Migratory Birds

Many acres of the marshland are managed to maximize the production of food for birds. The forage for native birds includes; ammania, swamp timothy, sprangle-top, and millet. Flooding of the units begins in August and ends in March to reduce the trend toward botulism outbreaks in summer. Occasional irrigation in April or May helps germination. Each year aerial surveys for waterfowl and ground surveys of shorebirds, waterbirds, and raptors are conducted.

Threatened and Endangered Species

Grazing is used to improve habitat conditions for Tipton kangaroo rat and blunt-nosed leopard lizard. Grassland habitat management research will help to better define the habitat needs of these species. The Service hopes to expand its surveying, monitoring, and research programs for special status species.

Visitor Info

The trail sign at the parking area has a map which outlines the refuge boundaries and the different habitats. The trail is open 365 days a year from dawn to dusk. There is no hunting allowed on the refuge, so if you encounter someone, please call the refuge office or CalTip to notify the proper authorities.

The areas behind these signs remain closed to protect the wildlife. Please respect our furry and feathery friends and stay on the trail. THERE IS NO HUNTING ALLOWED ON THE REFUGE. No water or trash service is available, please do not litter.

Birding Opportunities

The refuge is open from from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset, 7 days a week for birding and nature observation. From late September through late February cranes may be normally found early in the morning and late in the afternoon. The cranes leave the refuge to forage in nearby agricultural and natural fields during the day.


Kern National Wildlife Refuge Complex
P.O. Box 670

Delano, CA 93216-0670

(661) 725 2767

Refuge Weather by NOAA

USFWS Kern National Wildlife Refuge - Official Site

Maps & Directions

Directions to the refuge: From State Hwy 99. At Earlimart take Ave. 56 (Sierra Ave.) west 5.7 miles. Take Road 88 north for approximately 1 mile until you cross a small ditch (Deer Creek), on the left find a gravel parking area. The trailhead is here. Trail guides are available in the box on the information sign.


Central Valley Location of Kern & Pixley

Road Map

Trail and Planning Map

Websites of Interest




Refuge Wildlife


Kern River Preserve

Carrizo Plain National Monument

Windwolves Preserve

Desert Tortoise Preserve

Lokern Preserve

Sand Ridge Preserve

Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park Fort Tejon State Historic Park Pixley Vernal Pools Preserve Tule Elk State Reserve

Kaweah Oaks Preserve

Semitropic Ridge Preserve

Webmaster Alison Sheehey. Site Copyright 1998-2015
Nature Ali   All rights reserved.  

page updated 08-Jan-2015