Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1908, is located in southeastern Oregon on the northern edge of the Great Basin. It is adjacent to the newly established Steens Mountain Wilderness, with the Wild and Scenic Donner and Blitzen (thunder and lightning) River flowing into the refuge at its southern boundary. Malheur Refuge consists of more than 185,000 acres of prime wildlife habitat, including 120,000 acres of a wetland wonder in a sea of sagebrush. Malheur is a mecca for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts. More than 320 species of birds, 58 species of mammals, 10 species of native fish, and a number of reptiles can be found on the refuge. Spring is the most spectacular season at Malheur. More than 130 species of birds nest on the refuge, while other waterfowl using the Pacific Flyway stop at the refuge to refuel for their journey northward. In February, northern pintail and tundra swan begin to arrive, followed by large flocks of lesser and greater sandhill crane, and flocks of snow goose and Ross' goose.
Map + Directions
Take State Highway 78 two miles east of Burns, Oregon. Head south on State Highway 205 for 24 miles to the large refuge sign. Head east on Harney County Road 405 (narrows to Princeton Road) for 6 miles. Turn left at top of hill into headquarters area.