Things To Do

Wildlife Observation and Photography

Wildlife observation and photography are available from the four trails, the Auto Tour Road, the gazebo overlooking Cascade Pond, and overlooks along the county road. The kiosk at refuge headquarters is equipped with two spotting scopes and offers good views of Greenwing Pond, Snipe Pond, Waterline Pond, and Redhead Pond. Also near the kiosk is an eagle interpretive display including a replica eagle nest. This is a good stop for information before venturing out on the Auto Tour Road to see the nest. About 230 bird species and 45 mammal species have been observed on the refuge. See the KNWR Watchable Wildlife brochure for a list of animals you might observe. Visitors should remain on designated trails, the Auto Tour Road or county roads at all times. Leashed dog walking is only permitted on the Auto Tour Road.

In the waterfowl hunting season, the waterfowl hunting area has designated days for different activities. Currently only hunting is allowed on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Wildlife viewing and photography are allowed on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Stop by the refuge headquarters for detailed information.

Auto Tour Road
This 4.5 mile long gravel road offers views of the Refuge’s wetland and grassland habitats and Myrtle Creek. The one-way road has 3 pull-outs, and begins at the refuge office and exits on the county road near the mouth of Deep Creek. The Auto Tour Road is open to licensed vehicles, bicycles, and walkers/hikers during daylight hours, year round, weather and road conditions permitting. Leashed dog walking is allowed on the Auto Tour Road. The road is not plowed in the winter and is open to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. See more

Photo by Deb Staal

Trails & Overlooks
Four trails and one overlook (map) provide access to the refuge. Depending on the season and conditions the trails are available for walking, jogging, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing while observing wildlife and refuge scenery. Bicycles are not allowed on any of the foot trails. Most trails are open year round. In winter when they are not plowed or shoveled the trails are an excellent place to snowshoe or cross country ski. During the fall waterfowl hunting season some trails close periodically for public safety.

  • Deep Creek Trail – a 2.2 mile (one way) level trail on top of the Deep Creek Dike. This well maintained trail is largely forested with cottonwood and other broad-leaved trees.
  • Chickadee Trail – is a flat, 1,000-foot-long ADA accessible trail with benches and interpretive signs.
  • Ole Humpback Trail – this steep, one-mile-long trail winds it way through forest habitat up to land owned by the U.S. Forest Service. Short Loops offer vantage points of the Selkirk and Purcell Mountain Ranges.
  • Myrtle Creek Falls Trail – this steep ¼-mile-long trail takes visitors off Refuge property and onto U.S. Forest Service land to an unimproved observation point of the 100 foot tall Myrtle Creek Falls. The Refuge trail is fully accessible up to and including the bridge over Myrtle Creek and becomes a primitive trail past the bridge. The trail is not maintained past this point and should be used only at your own risk.
  • Cascade Pond Overlook – Accessed from Westside Road, this overlook offers excellent opportunities to view wildlife at close range.

Chickadee Trail © Laura Roady

Deep Creek Trail © Laura Roady

Picnic Area
The picnic area, equipped with wheelchair accessible picnic tables, is near refuge headquarters bordering Myrtle Creek. An interpretive panel describing Bonners Ferry’s use of Myrtle Creek water stands near this site.

Persons with Disabilities
The Chickadee Trail and Refuge Headquarters are wheelchair accessible, as is the picnic area. Visitors are also encouraged to drive the Auto Tour Road.

Hunting and Fishing
Sport fishing and hunting of certain species are permitted in designated areas during the state season. Waterfowl hunting is permitted only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Big game and upland game hunting is permitted seven days a week. A separate information brochure is available showing areas open for hunting and their regulations. Contact the Refuge Manager for more information on sport fishing and hunting opportunities.

Photo by Ray Walsh