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San Luis National Wildlife Refuge

The San Luis National Wildlife Refuge encompasses over 26,800 acres of of wetlands, native grasslands, and riparian forests, easily accessible by car.  The refuge is a major wintering ground for large populations of waterfowl, shorebirds and other waterbirds.  You will also surely see hawks and other raptors, egrets, herons, magpies, meadowlarks, and the occasional bald eagle.  

One of the big features of the San Luis Wildlife Refuge is it’s herd of Tule Elk.  You are practically guaranteed to see them if you look carefully as you drive around the 780 acre Tule Elk enclosure.  They are visible all year long, but best in October, during the rutting season.

There is a visitor center that is well worth checking out.  It is open daily.



  • 70 miles northwest of Fresno, near Los Banos
  • Best time to go:  October to mid February
  • Open daily dawn until dusk
  • No entry fee
  • Check website for details
  • No walking required

Photo Tips

Most important to take a fast zoom or telephoto lens, and a wide angle lens, and a tripod or monopod.