Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge

Fish and Wildlife Service, Oklahoma.

Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge was established March 26, 1930, originally encompassing the majority of the salt flats. The refuge was expanded through the construction of the Great Salt Plains Reservoir by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and through the purchase of lands with funds from the federal Duck Stamp. The refuge consists of 32,197 acres within Alfalfa County in north-central Oklahoma. Landscapes include salt flats, mixed-grass prairie, herbaceous wetlands, forested riparian areas, rolling sand hills, and open water.

The salt flats have always held an important role to wildlife and people. When these lands were designated as the Cherokee Outlet, lands granted to the Cherokee Nation by treaty, the area of the salt flats were withheld by the U.S. Government for use by other tribes. This was due to the attraction of wildlife to the salt flats and dependent hunting by tribes and use of salt from the flats for preservation of meats. 

The refuge has been designated a Globally Important Bird Area by the American Bird Conservancy, and a site of International Importance within the Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Network.

Nearby Activities


To the Headquarters Office: From junction of State Highways 11 and 38 travel south 2 miles on Highway 38 and then 1 mile west to the office.

Additional Information