Modoc National Wildlife Refuge
The 7,021-acre Modoc Refuge is located along the South Fork of the Pit River in Modoc County, southeast of the town of Alturas, in extreme northeastern California. The Refuge is located on the western edge of the Great Basin, a high elevation, cold desert environment. The Refuge consists of wetland, reservoir, riparian, sagebrush-steppe, and cropland habitats. 
The Refuge is part of a larger complex of mid-elevation wetlands and lakes of northeastern California and is strategically situated to meet the needs of waterfowl and other migratory birds of the Pacific Flyway. Modoc Refuge acts as a migration and staging area for ducks, geese, and other wetland birds on the southward migration funnel into this region. After feeding and resting on the Refuge, they continue to the Central and Imperial Valleys of California and other wintering areas. This pattern is reversed in the spring. The Refuge’s wetlands and adjacent uplands are also an important nesting area for ducks, geese, greater sandhill cranes, and several other species of marsh birds. 

Recreation and Education Opportunities:

Wildlife Observation


  • Highway 395 runs along the west side of the refuge and enters into the south end of Alturas, California. From Highway 395, turn east on county road 56 (at the Modoc County Museum on the south end of Alturas), and travel east about 1 mile across the railroad tracks.
  • Turn right at the first paved road (County Road 115) and travel south 1.5 miles to the first road on the left. This is the refuge entry road, and ends after 1.5 miles, at the refuge office. It is also the beginning of the Teal Pond driving loop.

Contact Modoc National Wildlife Refuge

Steve Clay
Refuge Manager/ Project Leader
5364 County Road 115
P.O. Box 1610
Alturas, California  96101
Phone: (530) 233-3572
Fax: (530) 233-4143


Service Area

Services provided in:
  • Modoc County, California

To request additions or corrections to this entry email the Administrator