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Imperial National Wildlife Refuge
Ranked #9 of 43 things to do in Yuma
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Attraction details
Owner description: Stretching 30 miles along the Colorado River, and encompassing desert and wetlands, this site has plentiful plant and animal life and is a great place for bird watching, hiking, boating and fishing.
East Riding of Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
530 reviews
305 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 340 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2014

The Wildlife Refuge is pretty big, about 30 miles along the Colorado. We just saw the Fisher’s Landing area - this is a landing point for small boats, popular with local fisherman. If you’re not there for boating, your options are limited. There is a café/bar there, with outdoor seating, you can go and feed the ducks and geese hanging around, or just watch the boats getting into and out of the water. Then it’s time to leave.

Visited November 2013
4 Thank Jeff P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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39 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level Contributor
38 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“unspoiled Colorado River”
Reviewed 16 February 2014

A must visit to see the Colorado River and accessible desert. The Painted Desert trail is a must to see plants, animals, and colors (there are some steps and steep inclines). Check out the various points (e.g. Palo Verde, Mesquite, etc). Bring your binoculars and camera.

Visited February 2014
5 Thank stylurus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Indio, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Dirt - Gravel roads”
Reviewed 27 January 2014

If you head towards Lake Martinez just before the marina you will see the right turn to the preserve. The paved road ends to a flat packed dirt 2-lane/sometimes 1-lane road to the preserve. There is little to actually see there but it is an interesting drive.

If you are more adventurous (as I was) continue past the preserve to the various viewing areas. I will warn you the road is rocking and rutty but not impassable in a normal non-4 wheel drive vehicle just be prepared for a slow drive but heck enjoy the scenery.

As always there is no cell service out there so always pack water and food anytime you venture into the desert.

Visited January 2014
3 Thank DesertSmile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Deming, New Mexico
Level Contributor
487 reviews
97 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
“Great for a day trip.”
Reviewed 18 November 2013

A little hard to find since it's on a dirt road off of Martinez Lake Rd, but worth the trip. Great visitors center with many exhibits on wildlife in the area. Information and knowledgable staff available to help plan hikes in the area and explanations of what you'll be seeing. All in all worth the trip out.

Visited November 2013
2 Thank dqdick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
54 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Just opening up for the season”
Reviewed 28 October 2013

Just visited Imperial NWR near Yuma AZ. We arrived in October, a few days before the usual opening date in November.
The NWR is a remote but a peaceful and beautiful location upstream from Yuma.
Fortunately, the visitor center is modern and informative. On the day of our visit, there was not much wildlife to be seen. There was a captive desert tortoise visible in its pen beside the visitor center.
All in all, worth the trip, even outside the usual season...

Visited October 2013
4 Thank 1eyeopen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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