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Merced National Wildlife Refuge

Horn Photo gives Merced National Wildlife Refuge a generous 4 stars

Where else can you see tens of thousands of waterfowl, plus sand hill cranes, swans, white pelicans, egrets, owls, hawks, coyotes, and if you’re lucky, a bald eagle? Easy to get to, and guaranteed to deliver great wildlife shots right to your camera lens.

  • 45 minutes north of Fresno, 15 minutes south of Merced.
  • Open daily, dawn to dusk. No entry fee.
  • Easily accessible by car. Minimal or no walking required.
  • Best time of year to go: November through February.
  • Best time to take pictures: Dawn to dusk.

Photo Tips

Most important to take a fast zoom or telephoto lens, and a wide angle lens, and a tripod or monopod. This is a wetland, so a polarized filter and neutral density filter are helpful.