Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge
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Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge

Kootenai National wildlife RefugeKootenai National Wildlife Refuge is the place to go if you are a wildlife enthusiast or bird watcher. The refuge is 2,774 acres and was established in 1964 to restore and manage an important area of valley-bottom wetlands along the Kootenai River. The refuge is located in the Kootenai Valley, which is bounded on the west by the Selkirk Mountains and on the east by the Purcell mountain range.

The refuge hosts more than 200 species of birds, 45 species of mammals, 22 species of fish. Some migrants you might see include tundra swans, American wigeons, northern pintails, and redhead ducks. Summer residents include bald eagles, rough-legged hawks, herons, geese and ducks, ruffed grouse, and pileated woodpecker. Other wetland inhabitants include river otters, beavers, and muskrats. With luck, one may spot big game such as Rocky Mountain elk, white-tailed and mule deer, black bear or moose.

Visitor activities include hiking, wildlife observation, photography and driving the 4.5-mile one-way auto tour route. The auto tour route meanders around the main ponds and past several wildlife photo blinds. The refuge has many foot paths to hike on as well. Horseback riding and swimming are prohibited. The refuge is open daily during daylight hours. There is no entrance fee. To get there from U.S. 95 go west for five miles on Riverside Road in downtown Bonners Ferry to the refuge entrance. Continue on for two miles to the refuge office. Trail maps are at the office, or call for more information at 208-267-3888.

Map of Kootenai National wildlife Refuge

Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge

HCR 60, Box 283
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805