Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge is located in the southern extent of Texas, with ecological influences from the great plains, tropics, gulf coast, and desert, creating one of the most biologically diverse regions in North America. The refuge was established in 1946 under the Migratory Bird Conservation Act of 1929, primarily for the Redhead duck. To be used as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose, for migratory birds & for conservation and enhancement of other wildlife species, as well as providing opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation to the public.
Laguna Atascosa is situated at the confluence of Mississippi & Central flyways; this is a crucial stop-over point for millions of migrating birds, with numbers peaking during the fall migration. The 3,500-acre freshwater Laguna Atascosa Lake & adjacent wetlands of the Laguna Madre host approximately 80% of the nation's wintering Redhead duck population. Laguna Atascosa has more recorded species of birds than any other national wildlife refuge, over 417 bird species!
All visitors at Laguna Atascosa are required to pay an entrance fee. Please be prepared to show your hard copy pass or digital pass on your mobile device.
Print out or download the pass on your mobile device in advance of your visit. Connectivity may be limited, and the pass must be available to show at all times when visiting Laguna Atascosa.
A printed copy of this pass is also required for your vehicle. Fold the printed pass on the dotted line and display it on the dashboard, with the QR code visible, at all times during your visit.
This pass allows access to all trails on Laguna Atascosa NWR. All members of the public must remain on trails at all times.
Visitors may not possess or be under the influence of alcohol on the refuge. Violators will be prosecuted.
Littering is strictly prohibited. Recycling is encouraged. Leave the areas BETTER than you found it for others to enjoy.
Commercial groups (birding and photography) or researchers require special use permits and fees.
Pets are permitted on the refuge but must be on-leash at all times.
The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset. Entrance fees or passes are required for all vehicles. Overnight parking is prohibited.
Disturbing or collecting plants, animals and artifacts is strictly prohibited. The refuge has a no-take policy. Recording wildlife calls and the use of playback tapes are prohibited. Please help keep the wildlife healthy and safe by not feeding or harassing them.