Laguna Atascosa NWR Area

About the Area

Established in 1946, the 97,007-acre refuge has more documented species of birds than any other National Wildlife Refuge in the United States. The refuge is open for wildlife watching, education and interpretation, hunting, fishing and nature photography and is about one hour’s drive east of Harlingen. Visitors can take advantage of foot trails, and auto, tram and kayaking tours.

Photography Assets

Best for...

  • Bayside Drive is good for wading birds and shorebirds all year long.

  • The Visitor Center area and Kiskadee Trail are places to look for brushland birds anytime.

  • Drive to Osprey Overlook in winter to see an amazing variety of waterfowl.

  • In spring, neotropical migrants can be found in the trees along Lakeside Drive and around the Visitor Center.

  • During wet periods, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Groove-billed Anis, and Least Grebes may be seen along the resacas and small ponds in summer.

  • Aplomado Falcons are seen throughout the year in coastal prairies. Check at the Visitor Center for current best locations.

Access Information, Amenities and Accessibility

Please expand this section by clicking the arrow to the right.

ADDRESS: 22688 Buena Vista Blvd, Los Fresnos, TX
Google Maps Directions Link

HOURS: Subject to change without notice

  • Sundays - Open dawn to dusk

  • Mondays - Open dawn to dusk

  • Tuesdays - Open dawn to dusk

  • Wednesdays - Open dawn to dusk

  • Thursdays - Open dawn to dusk

  • Fridays - Open dawn to dusk

  • Saturdays - Open dawn to dusk

ADMISSION FEES (Subject to change without notice): None

PHONE: (956)


AMENITIES: The Visitor Center, paved parking lot and restrooms are at the entrance to the refuge (call for seasonal hours).



  • Brackish Tidal Flat

  • Deciduous Shrubland

  • Floodplain Deciduous Shrubland

  • Freshwater Marsh

  • Grassland

  • Loma

  • Mixed Forest

  • Open Water: Fresh

  • Open Water: Gulf

  • Riparian Deciduous Forest

  • Saline Aquatic Submerged

  • Salty Marsh

  • Texas Saline Coastal Prairie

  • Woody Marsh

eBird Hotspot Statistics

Laguna Atascosa NWR Region Link

Last Updated 4/14/21