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California > California National Wildlife Refuges > Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge
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Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge

Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge
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General Information

Description - The refuge encompasses several habitat types including sand dunes, pickleweed salt marsh, river lagoon, riverine and a saline pond. The area provides habitat for several threatened and endangered species.

Attractions - Salinas River NWR encompasses 367 acres consisting of several habitat types including ocean, beach, grassland, river, sand dunes, pickleweed salt marsh, river lagoon, riverine, and a saline pond.

The area provides habitat for several threatened and endangered species, including the California brown pelican, Smith's blue butterfly, western snowy plover, peregrine falcon, and Monterey spineflower. The refuge is also a resting and feeding area for waterfowl, shorebirds, and other water birds.

Recreation - Recreation activities include wildlife and wildflower observation, study, and photography. Surf fishing for striped bass, starry flounder, sand sole, surfperch, steelhead, jacksmelt, and small sharks is permitted along with hunting for waterfowl, small game, and migratory birds. There are also several hiking trails to enjoy.

Climate - The climate is Mediterranean, so it tends to be windy and cold. The best weather is in spring and fall. From February through July, mild weather carpets the land. Summer is the time when fog can blanket the coastal areas, while the inland valleys remain warm. The best advice is to dress in layers.

Location - The refuge is located 11 miles north of Monterey at the confluence of the Salinas River and Monterey Bay. Take the Del Monte Avenue exit from Highway 1 and drive 3/4 mile west to the parking lot.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Genevieve Matherly (Soquel, CA)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: There were a flock of terns yapping at eachother sitting in a huge body of water near the ocean at Salinas River Refuge. The plovers were nesting at the beach. There were not that many plovers, which is sad. I walked the beach from Marina to Moss Landing and only found 55 or so. They hide pretty good in the sand, though. They were collecting food at the ocean's edge about 7:30 pm last night. It was great to see the terns catching fish. It was also great to see so many of them. On the beach, there were a dozen or so sand dollars and many differnt complete shells. I am glad that people are not collecting them. It makes me feel good to go to a beach and watch the pelicans and other shore birds. On the way back to the car, saw three owls. Two barn owls and one white one that I couldn't identify. That was about 8 pm. I had a great time!

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Biology
ICON Viewing Wildlife

More Information

Contact Information:
Salinas River NWR, P.O. Box 524 , Newark, CA, 94560-0524, Phone: 510-792-0222
, doug_roster@fws.gov

Additional Information:
California National Wildlife Refuges - The refuges offer opportunities for bird-watching, viewing numerous other types of wildlife, fishing, hiking and environmental interpretation, and simply enjoying nature.
Central Coast Region - The Central Coast Region covers a tranquil expanse between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Dramatic seascapes and coastal resorts, together with the pastoral atmosphere of its inland agricultural communities, make this region an idyllic destination.


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