Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge


(956) 784-7500

Map Directions

Things To Do


In its final run, the Rio Grande river twists, turns and loops, stretching to reach the Gulf of Mexico. Here, along the Mexican border, visitors can explore one of the most unique and biologically diverse natural areas in North America.

Deep South Texas supports an incredible variety of plants and animals, including the elusive ocelot, striking Mexican bluewing butterflies and colorful green jays. Although 95% of the vegetation has been cleared in the lower four counties, efforts are underway to restore wildlands and create corridors for wildlife to travel. Like bridges spanning islands, isolated pieces of habitat are linked providing areas for wildlife to live and travel to new territories.

The staff of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge and its many volunteers are working hard to ensure the Rio Grande and its surrounding habitat will continue its wild and winding ways for generations to come!

Map of Lower Rio Grande Valley NWR

Latitude, Longitude: 26.092555, -98.186874



  • Boating

    The Friends of the Wildlife Corridor offer seasonal canoe tours on the Rio Grande just below Falcon Dam near Roma, Texas.

    The half-day tours start at Chapeño and takes out at Saliñeno. This is often a great opportunity to see some rare birds, including Audubon's oriole, brown jays, red-billed pigeons and many more South Texas specialties.

    Though this trip is geared for the beginner to moderate paddler, it can be very physical and participants should expect to help carry equipment. Wear comfortable shoes you don't mind getting wet and bring insect repellent and sunscreen.

    These trips depart from the Roma Bluffs World Birding Center in Roma, Texas.

  • Bird Watching

    The region has had over 520 documented species of birds. Possible sights include neotropical migratory birds, shorebirds, raptors and water fowl.

  • Fishing

    Fishing is allowed on Boca Chica Beach.

  • Hunting

    The Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge (LRGV) conducts seasonal firearm, shotgun/muzzleloader and archery hunts for white-tailed deer, dove, nilgai and feral hog. Youth-only hunts are also scheduled.

    The Refuge has approximately 12,500 acres open for big game hunting ($50 permit fee) and 3,500 acres open to dove hunting ($30 permit fee).

    To participate, hunters must be selected by drawing and have a permit issued by LRGV. They must also have a valid hunting license, proof of hunter's education certification, and a picture identification on them while in the field.

    Permit applications, regulations and maps are available during the month of August at the Santa Ana NWR visitor center prior to the hunt season.

  • Wildlife Watching

    Nearly 40,500 acres of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge are open for wildlife-dependent recreation. In addition to La Sal del Rey and Boca Chica Beach, the following tracts are open for wildlife watching, nature photography, education and interpretation.

    Things to Remember: These tracts are remote and unstaffed. There are no public facilities. Be sure to bring water, insect repellent and sun protection. Familiarize yourself with the tract before you go out and always carry a map. For your own safety, stay on the trails and roads. Vehicles are not allowed off the roads. Do not block gates and please park in designated parking lots only.



To get to the Refuge Headquarters, take Expressway 83 to Alamo. Turn south onto FM 907 for 7.5 miles. At Highway 281 (Old Military Highway) turn east and continue for about one quarter of a mile. The Santa Ana NWR Refuge is on the south side of the highway.

Phone Numbers


(956) 784-7500