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Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

Features Animals
Open Now: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Open today: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
America the Beautiful - National Parks & Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass
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America the Beautiful - National Parks & Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass
From $80.00*
Why Book on TripAdvisor?
  • Tour highlights & full itinerary
  • Easy online booking
  • Lowest price guaranteed
More Information
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Certificate of Excellence
Traveler Overview
  • Excellent68%
  • Very good25%
  • Average5%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“bald eagles”(34 reviews)
“bird watching”(21 reviews)
“high tide”(20 reviews)
Located on the Nisqually River Delta in Southern Puget Sound, this refuge consists of three thousand acres of salt and freshwater marshes, grasslands and mixed forest habitats that provide a resting and nesting area for a wide variety of migratory...more
Open Now
Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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100 Brown Farm Rd NE, Olympia, WA 98516-2302
+1 360-753-9467
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Reviews (553)
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All reviews bald eagles bird watching high tide bring binoculars visitor's center puget sound parks pass tidal flats boardwalk trail spring and fall beautiful nature long boardwalk natural state duck beautiful walk salt water mt rainier
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1 - 10 of 550 reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago

Very enchanting and peaceful. The long walk along the wood decking is amazing! I loved seeing the wildlife.

Date of experience: May 2018
Thank Dreamer00974568191
Reviewed 1 week ago

Safe place to work. Great photo opportunities. Knowledgeable staff and volunteers. Not a place for joggers, Great place for bird watching. Great place for families of all ages.

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank Bevierae
Reviewed 1 week ago

This refuge has lots of birds. The walking paths are clean and nice boardwalks and clean restrooms. We saw lots of Wood Ducks, Mallards, Songs birds, Sea Gulls, Pelicans, Several Great Blue Herons, Bald Eagles & Turkey Vultures, etc. Nice viewing areas. Would visit this...More

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank luv2travelkelly
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

This is a truly beautiful experience to walk out over the incoming or outgoing tide. You feel so embedded with the tidal experience by being able to walk out on a completely elevated walkway, very even, no elevation walk over the tide flats of the...More

Date of experience: January 2019
Thank theofog
Reviewed December 11, 2018

Do you like to hike? Do you like variety? Do you like walks that are flat? If so, this place, which many of us, myself included until recently, passed by and thought of going there "some day." Now, after decades, I have. This is a...More

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank bwanderer1
Reviewed December 11, 2018 via mobile

This is a great spot to get out into nature at anytime during the year. Popular place for birders. We have come across a tree trunk full of baby raccoons. Fabulous place to walk. Well groomed paths & I feel safe. There is a day...More

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank Carolyn G
Reviewed December 9, 2018

This is a great place to take a long walk. Easy to get to from I-5. Easy to park. Dress for the weather and in layers as you will be walking in shade and sun depending on the length of walk you take. What wildlife...More

Date of experience: June 2018
Thank white4217
Reviewed December 3, 2018 via mobile

We stopped here after some sporting events in Tacoma. I never knew the nice visitor center and long boardwalk out into the Nisqually flats existed! I was looking to get out and stretch our legs. The visitor center had a room full of paintings by...More

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank sarabeara
Reviewed December 1, 2018 via mobile

I have been here several times before, in multiple seasons. Fall is an awesome time. Lots of people take photos for graduation/maternity shots. I have seen bald eagles here a couple of times, last time there were two who were really close!

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank jennettea1andonly
Reviewed November 22, 2018

The Refuge is easy to reach, just a bit off I-5, north of Olympia. It is on the flyway between Canada and points south, and always has great birds and waterfowl to view. Their website is a bit clumsy, but if you want to know...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank David P
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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
September 2, 2018|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from Bill C | Reviewed this property |
To my knowledge, the trails are open every day, the visitor's center does not have to be open for you to walk the trails. I do know the visitor's center is only open from Wed thru Sunday
September 2, 2018|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from Kausar786 | Reviewed this property |
You can meat in the reserve ground about .5 mile or less walking on the trail close to the historical barn. However you may not light up the grill. I am not certain but you may ask at the reserve office. There are about 4... More
Randy B
March 19, 2018|
Response from MariaT3 | Reviewed this property |
Daily fee is $3.00 per four adults. An Interagency Annual Pass (old Golden Eagle), Senior Pass (old Golden Age), or Access Passport, Federal Duck Stamp, or an Annual Refuge Pass will admit the pass holder and 3 additional... More
Travel Forum Posts
Simone C
South Australia, Australia
Trail walks/hikes around Dupont, Tacoma etc. to do solo? (3 Replies)
I'll be staying around DuPont for a short time and am looking to do some trail walking/hiking in the surrounding area on one of the days. I was thinking of visiting Point Defiance Park as it is not too far. Just wondering about safety. From what I can gather I'm sure i'd be fine but I keep coming across posts that state that Tacoma has a high crime rate? Would these park trails be okay for a solo female? Here at home I wouldn't hesitate at all to go walking/hiking on trails by myself, the...More
May 20, 2017|
Response fromglaciermeadows|
Your chances of a bear encounter are about as good as running into a Koala one the trail. Even in our National Parks your chances are slim. Since I spent so little time in Tacoma I will let others comment. You should be just fine in Port Defiance and also at Nisqually. To bad you are not visiting any of our National Parks.