Dragonflies at the Sacramento Wildlife Refuge

Come along with us on a driving tour through the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge to see what dragonflies have emerged so far for the summer.  The refuge is home to a wide variety of dragonflies including 8-Spotted Skimmer, Flame Skimmers, Variegated Meadowhawks, blue and green Pond Hawks, Widow Skimmers, Black Saddlebag dragonflies and large Darners.  There should also be a lot of damselflies for us to see.

For this trip, you can stay in comfort of your air-conditioned car as you travel the well-marked auto tour route at the refuge. There are a couple stopping places along the route where we can lunch.

If the loop to the permanent wetlands is open, we’ll also have the chance to see Grebes, Pelicans, Cormorants and other waterfowl… and maybe even some Great Horned Owls.

Tuleyome will supply dragonfly identification information.  We’ll also have binoculars and loaner cameras for your use if you’d like them.

Bring your own lunch, snacks and water.

We will meet at the Tuleyome office, 607 North Street, Woodland, CA 95695 and can caravan to the refuge from there.   (We’ll have someone on hand to show you where you can park your car, if you’d like to leave it there and carpool with someone else in the group).

Because it gets VERY hot at the refuge this time of year, we will be making a very early day of it.  Please meet us at the office by 5:30 am, so we can depart before 6:00.  We’ll then get to the refuge around 7:00 am.

The Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge (SNWR) is part of a huge complex of protected wildlife areas which includes the Delevan Wildlife Refuge, the Colusa Wildlife Refuge, and the Sutter Wildlife Refuge, and by itself comprises over 10-thousand acres of  permanent ponds and seasonal marshlands.  It’s an annual stop-off point for a wide variety of waterfowl during the migratory seasons.  The SNWR is open from one hour before dawn to one hour before dusk.  You pay a small fee to enter ($6 for a day pass, $12 for a year’s pass) at a kiosk by the front gate (that takes credit cards or cash).  Parking is adequate and there are accessible restrooms on the outside of the visitor’s center (so you can get to them even when the center is closed). Other than the entrance fee, this tour is FREE to the public.

The Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge is located at 752 County Road 99W, Willows, CA 95988.

To get to the refuge:

  • Take I5 past the city of Williams, north to the exit at Road 68 / Princeton Road.
  • Turn right when you come off the off ramp from the highway, and then turn left onto Highway 99 West
  • Stay on Highway 99 West for about 1-1/2 miles.
    • You’ll see the signs on the right side of the road.
  • Turn RIGHT into the entrance and pay at the kiosk.
    • Past the kiosk is the parking lot, and access to the driving tour road.
Starts 5:30 am
Ends 3:00 pm
Location Meet at the Tuleyome office for the drive to the refuge
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