General Info

KNWR Sign © Laura Roady ()

Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge (KNWR) is nestled in Idaho’s Panhandle beside the Selkirk Mountains. It is located about 5 miles West of Bonners Ferry, ID, just west of the National Scenic byway the  “International Selkirk Loop.” KNWR is about an hour south of the Canadian Border. It is about a half hour north of Sandpoint, Idaho.

The Refuge is open to visitors daily during daylight hours. Office hours are weekdays from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm.

Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge


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This 2,774 acre refuge was established in 1964, primarily to provide important habitat and a resting area for migrating waterfowl.

Tundra swans

Photo by Nancy Russell, © NLRPhotography ()

The Refuge is comprised of a wide variety of habitat types. Wetlands, meadows, riparian forests and cultivated agricultural fields (for producing valuable wildlife food crops) are interspersed in the valley bottom adjacent to the west banks of the Kootenai River.

Over 300 different species of wildlife can be found on Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge, indicating the richness and diversity this area holds. Read more»