North Platte National Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

North Platte National Wildlife Refuge


(308) 635-7851

Map Directions

Things To Do


North Platte National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is located eight miles northeast of Scottsbluff in the Nebraska Panhandle. Superimposed over Bureau of Reclamation irrigation projects, the four refuge units consist of: Winters Creek, Lake Alice, portions of Lake Minatare, and Stateline Island (located south of Henry, Nebraska). The North Platte NWR was established by Executive Order under President Wilson on August 21, 1916, as "a preserve and breeding ground for native birds." Many wildlife species use the Refuge. During the spring and fall, a wide variety of shorebirds and passerines visit the Refuge as a stop during migration. In the summer months, breeding ducks and geese populate the lakes. Red-tailed hawks and northern harriers search the meadows for prey. You can also find white-tailed deer, mule deer, and a variety of resident birds including pheasants and grouse. As many as 20 bald eagles and more than 200,000 waterfowl may concentrate on the Refuge during fall migration. Well over 200 bird species have been observed on the Refuge since 1975. Lake Alice has one of the oldest and most successful bald eagle nests in Nebraska.

This refuge is part of a complex with Crescent Lake Refuge as well.

Map of North Platte NWR

Latitude, Longitude: 41.949150, -103.538933



  • Boating

    Boats are allowed only on Winters Creek Lake and Lake Minatare (water areas of this unit are managed by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission). Internal combustion motors are prohibited on Winters Creek Lake.

  • Fishing

    Fishing is allowed on all Refuge units with appropriate State of Nebraska permits and stamps. While fishing is allowed on Lake Alice, this lake is not managed as a fishery.

  • Hiking

    All units are open for wildlife observation, hiking, and photography. Motorized vehicles are allowed on established trails only. The best opportunities for photography are generally provided by using your vehicle as a blind.

  • Hunting

    Lake Alice is open to archery deer hunting and youth-only hunting for squirrel, rabbit, pheasant, coyote and most fur bearers. The unit is closed October 15 through January 14 to provide undisturbed habitat during peak waterfowl and eagle use periods.



Lake Minatare and Winters Creek: From US Highway 26, travel north on Sugar Factory Road approximately 5 miles to Lake Minatare Road. Turn east and travel approximately 6 miles to Stonegate Road. Turn north on Stonegate, The entrance to Lake Minatare is approximately 2 miles; the Winters Creek entrance is just beyond on the opposite side of the road. Lake Alice: From US Highway 26, travel north on Sugar Factory Road to County Road C (approximately 7 miles). Turn east on County Road C approximately 2 miles to the Lake Alice entrance. Stateline Island: From U.S. Highway 26 at Henry, Nebraska, travel south on Holloway Road approximately 1 mile to the entrance and parking area.

Phone Numbers


(308) 635-7851