Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge

Wildlife Viewing & Birding in Bonners Ferry
Activities
Nordic Skiing & Snowshoeing icon.Wildlife Viewing & Birding icon.
Region

Located beside the Selkirk Mountains of northern Idaho, this 2,774-acre refuge provides diverse habitats for a large variety of wildlife including elk, bears, otters and migratory waterfowl such as swans, mallards and teal. Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge is located in Idaho’s panhandle five miles west of Bonners Ferry and approximately 20 miles south of the Canadian border.

In the winter, when snow closes the road into the refuge, the scenic 4.5-mile route is open for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Resources
U.S. Fish and Game Wildlife Service

Things To Know

  • The primary entrance to the refuge is accessed via Hwy 95 in Bonners Ferry. From Hwy 95, head west on Riverside Rd. for about 6 miles, following the dike along the Kootenai River. After crossing over Deep Creek, you will see a welcome sign as you enter the Refuge property. You may continue on to headquarters by following Riverside Rd. another 2 miles, turn slightly right onto Westside Rd. and headquarters is 1/4 mile on the right.
  • The refuge offers all of the Big Six wildlife-dependent public uses which include hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, environmental education, and interpretation.
  • 220 species of birds can be seen on the refuge, with waterfowl migration in the spring and fall peaking at 40,000 birds. The Idaho Birding Trail has mapped out the best viewing locations here.
  • The refuge has a 4.5 mile auto tour route and four hiking trails (be sure to check out Myrtle Falls Trail). No fees are charged to the public.
  • Friends of the Kootenai Wildlife Refuge hosts tours and special events throughout the year. See what's coming up here.
Location