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Merced National Wildlife Refuge

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Address: 7376 S. Wolfsen Road, On State Hwy 59, then 8 miles west on Sandy Mush Road, Merced, CA 93635
Phone Number: 209/826-3508
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Worth the detour

A fantastic surprise if you enjoy seeing some more of CA off the beaten path - although not peak season and many of the ponds were dry, the flowers were abundant and fragrant... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed April 14, 2015
Aussie33283
,
Winters, California
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37 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Winters, California
Level Contributor
92 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2015

A fantastic surprise if you enjoy seeing some more of CA off the beaten path - although not peak season and many of the ponds were dry, the flowers were abundant and fragrant driving around the one-way loop. Lots of different shore birds, tricolored blackbirds, some raptors, and heaps of ground squirrels darting around. Definitely making the return trip in... More 

Helpful?
Thank Aussie33283
Framlingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
161 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2015 via mobile

Went here in August, so it was hot and dry but even then the birding was good. The time if year probably also explains why we saw no-one else at all. I'd wondered how the driving route could really get you close to the birds, but it has been well thought out. Picked up some good birds like White Pelican,... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank StandonZanzibar
Level Contributor
25 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2015 via mobile

There is a five mile one way loop that goes through the area. We only saw 1 other vehicle the whole way and saw all kinds of birds. I believe it was the sand hill cranes (100's) jumping and hooting with their strange call, many geese and sand pipers and other shore birds. What a nice break from the highway... More 

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2 Thank Candace C
Alameda, California
Level Contributor
33 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2015

This place is absolutely lovely. This visit we saw great horned owls, sand hill cranes, ibis, many kinds of geese, ring-necked pheasants, jack rabbits, and an abundance of hawks. I hear there are bald eagles around, but we didn't see any of those.

Helpful?
4 Thank Jill T
San Clemente, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2015

Not much to do in Merced on a Sunday so we drove out to the Refuge. What a wonderful place - if you like birds and quiet moments.

Helpful?
2 Thank EBEetal
Level Contributor
151 reviews
71 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2014 via mobile

We drove the loop and saw thousands upon thousands of beautiful birds of all different types. The seemingly endless snow geese were incredible. We spotted many sandhill cranes, egrets, herons, ducks of all kinds, and many, many raptors. I highly recommend visiting this beautiful place.

Helpful?
3 Thank Izzy3000
June Lake, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2014

A great place to enjoy a piece of California's Central Valley among a variety of Ducks and other fowl who have been provided this lovely refuge surrounded by farmland. Highly recommended, stop by, watch some birds, and visit with the staff.

Helpful?
2 Thank Dan R
Fresno, California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2014

We wanted to get out of the city and find a little nature, but we only had a few hours. The entrance was well-marked and there is a nice area to park, use the bathroom and look at the map. A nice slow driving loop put a lot of birds in view. We got out on some walking trails and... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank guyashby
Merced, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2014

It's worth the eight mile drive outside of town, to witness nature in all her beauty Around November and again in February I take the trip. Hopefully to witness snow geese flying in . One time the ground looked as if snowed. They were nesting on every square inch of water. The photographers were out recording every movement. You could... More 

Helpful?
3 Thank 5snoooryn
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

Intense drought throughout region, so not much water and very little wildlife. This place is usually full of waterfowl in winter, which is the best time to visit.

Helpful?
3 Thank gruesome17

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