- Sacramento River NWR is located along the Sacramento River of the Sacramento Valley of California. Landscape is very flat, bordered by the Sierra and Coast ranges, with intensive agriculture (rice, with walnut, almond, and prune orchards along the river).
This riparian community is one of the most important wildlife habitats in California and North America. Large-scale riparian habitat restoration is ongoing. Riparian habitat along the Sacramento River is critically important for various threatened species, fisheries, migratory birds, plants, and the natural system of the river itself.
There has been an 85% reduction of riparian vegetation throughout the Sacramento Valley and foothills region, and probably over a 95% reduction along this area's major river systems. The relatively small amount of riparian woodlands that remains provides a strikingly disproportionate amount of habitat value for wildlife.
The primary wildlife includes pintail, green-winged teal, mallard, gadwall, and shovelers ducks, sandhill crane, bald eagle, peregrine falcon, yellow-rumped warbler, white-crowned sparrow, black-necked stilt, and American avocet.
Recreation - Recreation activities include wildlife observation and nature photography on the Llano Seco Unit. There are two multilevel platforms providing panoramic views of the Sacramento Valley and wildlife. A 2/3-mile walk, connecting the two platforms, offers a stroll through the marsh with interpretive exhibits. Wildlife observation is best during mid-November through January.
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.
From Gridley, exit Highway 162 off Highway 99E. Travel east to Road Z. Turn north and travel approximately 11 miles to the refuge entrance.
From Chico, follow signs through Dayton. Exit Ord Ferry Road south on Seven Mile Lane. Travel approximately 3 miles to the refuge entrance.