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Sites to Visit
Visitor Center
History of Laguna Atascosa
Things to Do
Trails & Auto Tours
Bayside Tram Tour
Kayak Tours
Ocelot Conservation Festival
Wildlife Observation
Adopt an Ocelot
Reporting An Ocelot Sighting
Contact Us
Friends of Laguna Atascosa NWR
Nature Photographers
Teacher Resources
Volunteer and Internship Opportunities


Visitor Center


Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
Open seven days a week
from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Refuge open daily, sunrise to sunset. Use self-pay station outside the Visitor Center if Visitor Center is closed.
Refuge trails are open but the Visitor Center is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Day.  It is also open on New Year's Day and all other federal holidays. 

The first Sunday of every month is FREE!
Additional Fee-Free Days for 2013 include:  
January 21, October 13-19 and November 9-11. 


Daily Entrance Permits:
General Visitors - $3.00 per vehicle
Groups (commercial or non-commercial) - $1.00 per person ($3.00 minimum).
School & Scout Groups – Free (includes all accompanying teachers, aides, and parents)

Annual & Lifetime Permits:
Annual Refuge Pass (valid at Laguna Atascosa and Santa Ana NWRs) $10
Federal Duck Stamp (valid at all NWRs) $15
Interagency Annual Pass $80
Interagency Access Pass (lifetime pass) Free
Interagency Senior Pass (lifetime pass) $10
Active Military Pass (annual, valid at all Federal Fee Areas) Free for active military and dependents

Outside of Visitor Center hours, visitors can pay (with exact change) at a self-pay station located near the entrance of the Visitor Center. Otherwise, daily and annual permits can be purchased inside. All visitor entrance fees are used for projects on the Refuge.

The Nature Store:
The Laguna Atascosa Nature Store is operated by the Friends of Laguna Atascosa NWR. You'll find the Nature Store within the Visitor Center. It is an important source of funding that helps with projects on the Refuge and has, over the years, made a real difference for wildlife.Come into the Refuge's Visitor Center and check out our great selection of field guides, gift items and other nature-related products. All of the proceeds benefit the Refuge and the important work it is doing to ensure there will always be wilderness areas to enjoy.

Volunteerism is an important part of the Laguna Atascosa NWR. Volunteers help run the Visitor Center where they provide important information to visitors; they work to maintain the grounds, repair equipment and keep facilities looking good; volunteers help with ocelot research, bird surveys and sea turtle recovery efforts; they help organize the Ocelot Conservation Festival, which helps raise awareness about the ocelot and is an important source of funding for research and conservation efforts; and they help make sure every visitor has a great experience on the Laguna Atascosa NWR.

For more information about volunteering for the Laguna Atascosa NWR, please call the Refuge at 956-748-3607 or visit for National Wildlife Refuge volunteer opportunities.

For the tram, we are especially in need of volunteers that have a CDL License with passenger endorsement.  For the kayak program, we are in need of volunteers to help guide kayak trips. 

How to Get Here: From Harlingen, go east on Highway 106 18 miles past Rio Hondo. Take a left at the T and drive 3 miles to the visitor center. From South Padre Island, take Highway 100 out of Port Isabel and exit right on Farm Road 510 at Laguna Vista. Continue 5.4 miles to the Cameron County Airport road. Take a right and continue approximately 7 miles to the visitor center. From Brownsville, go north on Paredes Line Road (1847) through Los Fresnos to Highway 106. Take a right and go approximately 10 miles to the T. Take a left and drive 3 miles to the visitor center.

If you are using a GPS - use the following coordinates as most do not recognize our mailing address:
N 26 degrees 13.747 minutes
W 97 degrees 20.831 minutes

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