Pathfinder National Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

Pathfinder National Wildlife Refuge


(970) 723-8202

Map Directions

Things To Do



Pathfinder National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1928 by Executive Order 4860 which reserved public lands on Pathfinder Reservoir as a refuge and breeding ground for native birds. The Refuge overlays portions of the Bureau of Reclamations Pathfinder Reservoir. The Refuge consists of four small units totaling 16,807-acres. They are Sweetwater Arm, Goose Bay, DeWeese Creek, and Sage Creek. The Refuge is an important waterfowl unit in the western edge of the Central Flyway. Upland portions of the Refuge provide habitat for pronghorn, mule deer, rabbits, and sage grouse. It is an isolated area, located 50-miles from Casper and 20-miles from Alcova. Visitors can enjoy fishing, hunting, interpretation, photography, and wildlife observation. A Refuge overlook and interpretive site were recently developed in cooperation with Wyoming Audubon. The Refuge has been adopted by Wyoming Audubon, and they have made a commitment to assist the Refuge with management activities. You are invited to take the self-guided 6-mile wildlife auto tour route and learn about the refuge, its wildlife, and wildlife habitat. After taking the tour, you may want to visit the Brocker overlook and interpretive display and then walk on the interpretive nature trail near headquarters.

Map of Pathfinder NWR

Latitude, Longitude: 42.485137, -106.980057



  • Fishing

    Public fishing is permitted on the Illinois River except in those areas posted as "CLOSED". Fishing is challenging because of dense willow growth along the river banks. These willows are essential to the fish, keeping water temperatures low. Expect to catch mostly brown trout with an occasional rainbow or brook trout. IMPORTANT: The refuge is closed to fishing from June 1 through July 31 each year to minimize disturbance to nesting waterfowl.

  • Hunting

    Portions of the refuge are open to public hunting of some game species during appropriate State seasons. Consult the refuge manager for more information concerning seasons and regulations.


Arapaho Refuge is open to day use only. Fires are not allowed on refuge lands. Designated refuge roads are open to the public for wildlife viewing and hunting access. These roads are closed during the winter months due to cold temperatures and drifting snow.



To reach the Sweetwater Arm of Pathfinder NWR, travel southwest from Alcova, Wyoming, 20 miles along state Highway 220.

Phone Numbers


(970) 723-8202