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San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, Los Banos

(4.2/5 based on 35 reviews on the web)
The San Luis National Wildlife Refuge in the San Joaquin Valley of central California is one of the great remnants of a historically bountiful wintering grounds for migratory waterfowl on the Pacific Flyway. Located in the Bear Creek, Salt Slough, and San Joaquin River floodplain, it hosts a myriad of tree-lined channels and oxbows, wetlands and native grasslands.Thousands of acres of wetlands, fed by an intricate set of canals, are managed to produce natural food supplies for migratory waterfowl. San Luis also contains the most extensive network of pristine native grasslands, shrubs, and vernal pools that still remain within the Central Valley.Thousands upon thousands of mallard, pintail, green-winged teal, and ring-necked ducks flock into the managed wetlands; while the wood duck lives throughout the tree-lined slough channels.Herons and egrets nest in majestic oaks and willows, then feed on the refuge's abundant frog and crayfish populations. A wide diversity of songbirds, hawks, and owls also use refuge habitat.
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  • This place has a nice visitor center but the unconnected restrooms are still pit toilets. It's much more expansive than the nearby Merced NWR. If you're here to view wildlife, bring binoculars, long c...  more »
  • Interesting exhibits inside in the building, but dress for mosquitos if hiking or you will be eaten alive. 
  • Geese in many places, but September has dried up wetlands water couldn't hardly see bio. Unfortunately. From Merced and about 30 minutes by car. Leave the car park you can see.
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  • The visitor center is very kid friendly. The auto tour routes are fun. The elk are always there. The water fowl route depends a little on the water and luck. Either way, don't forget to bring your binoculars!
  • First time fishing in year's. Took my wife and kid's. Caught our first fish. It was truly fun after the first fish. Gave us a new belief. We will go back to San Luis National Wildlife again. Thanks!
  • A lot of mosquitos flying around, be prepared for yhem.
  • Clean and curtious. Very cute decorated.
  • This is a great reserve! Thousands of birds, an amazing elk sanctuary, nice driving and walking trails. This is a great place to take the whole family to learn about the wildlife that is native to the area.