Description - Sacramento NWR is in the Sacramento Valley of north-central California. Wetlands comprise about 70 percent of the total acreage, and approximately 3,500 acres are in upland.
- Sacramento NWR is in the Sacramento Valley of north-central California and consists of 10,783 acres of seasonal marsh, permanent ponds, watergrass, and uplands. Wetlands comprise about 70% of the total acreage, and approximately 3,500 acres are in upland. Topography is flat with a gentle slope to the southeast toward the Sacramento River.
Central Valley wetlands are critical for Pacific Flyway waterfowl, as 44% winter in the Sacramento Valley from September through March. As a result, the marsh management program is one of the most intensive in the refuge system.
The refuge supports wintering populations over 500,000 ducks and 300,000 geese from November through January. As wetlands of the Central Valley have been lost (95% over the last 100 years), waterfowl have become increasingly dependent on Sacramento Valley refuges.
Recreation - Recreation activities include wildlife observation, study, and photography. A self-guided auto tour and walking trail are open sunrise to sunset, year round. A multilevel viewing platform gives a panoramic view of the Sacramento Valley and wildlife viewing among the treetops. There are slide presentations, a wildlife exhibit, and interpretive panels at the visitor center. Hunting of ducks, geese, coots, snipe, and pheasants is permitted October through January on Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays. The spaced blind area contains steel and concrete pits and 10x20 foot islands. For a recorded message providing current waterfowl populations and public use information, call (530) 934-7774.
Climate - A generally warm, dry climate prevails in the Central Valley. It is hot in the summer, mid in the winter. In the Central Valley, precipitation falls mainly from October through April. Winter temperatures well below freezing produce frost, however, snow is very rare. Summer temperatures above 100 F are part of the normal pattern.
The refuge is situated about 90 miles north of Sacramento and 6 miles south of the town of Willows. Traveling north, headquarters and visitor center are 20 miles north of Williams. Exit Norman Road off Interstate 5. Refuge entrance is 1-1/2 miles north of the Norman-Princeton interchange.
Traveling south on Interstate 5, exit County Road 57 and go approximately 6 miles south on the frontage road to the entrance.