Contact
 
 
County
Bailey
Region
Panhandle Plains
Nearby
Parks
Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge
null
Established in 1935, the 7,089 acre Muleshoe refuge is the oldest NWR in Texas. The refuge is located on the Central Flyway on the high plains of the West Texas Panhandle. It was established as a wintering area for migratory waterfowl and sandhill cranes. Habitat consists of short grass rangeland with scattered mesquite trees, and three sink type lakes that depend entirely on runoff water, and are thus periodically dry. When the lakes are full, 600 surface acres of water are available for wildlife, and sandhill cranes and other waterfowl appear in abundant numbers. The refuge has a grazing and fire demonstration area that is used to highlight beneficial range management practices. Activities include stargazing, hiking, birding, camping and picnicking. Swimming, hunting, fishing and boating are prohibited. The Muleshoe, Texas office also manages the Grulla NWR located near Arch, New Mexico. From Muleshoe, Texas, go south on SH 214 for approximately 20 miles. Turn left onto the caliche entrance road, and proceed 2.5 miles to the refuge parking lot. From Morton, travel 18 miles north on SH 214 to the refuge. 
 
Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge Amenities & Activities Overview:
Visitors must register at the refuge office and obtain information regarding the refuge. A small visitor’s area offers a display of mounted birds and mammals common to the area. A picnic area, camping area, and a 1 mile nature trail are located near the refuge headquarters. Fired are permitted at designated sites. A 0.25 mile nature trail is located 6 miles northeast of the headquarters at Paul’s Lake. Traveling the refuge roads is permitted during daylight hours. Hunting, fishing, boating and swimming are prohibited.
 
Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge Wildlife:
Prairie dogs may be seen from the observation turnout located along the tour road near the headquarters. They are abundant in the draws northeast of the refuge headquarters. Other wildlife includes prairie rattlesnakes, coyote, bobcat, badger, skunk, porcupine, cottontail and jackrabbits.
 
Birding the Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge:
The wintering cranes are the refuge's largest attraction. Cranes arrive around the end of September or the beginning of October, and stay 6 months. During these months, the refuge hosts one of the largest concentrations of Sandhill Cranes in the U.S. The cranes roost on the refuge lakes at night, and feed on the agricultural lands during the day. Waterfowl begins arriving during August, and reach peak numbers by the end of December. Spring and fall migrations offer the greatest number of bird species, and include songbirds, shorebirds and herons. Common ducks include Pintail, Blue and Green-winged Teal, American Wigeon, Ruddy Duck, Canvasback, Redhead, Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Duck, and Bufflehead. The Northern Shoveler is usually sighted from late March to June. Watch for birds in the woods adjacent to the campgrounds. For migration studies, the refuge bands dove during the summer, and bands ducks during late winter and early spring.  Muleshoe NWR Bird Checklist
 
Birding - Texas Panhandle Plains Birding Trail:
Muleshoe Loop:  Enochs, Muleshoe
Texas Birds Checklist
Bird Checklist for High Plains & Rolling Plains of Texas    
 
Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge Directions:
From Muleshoe, go south on SH 214 for approximately 20 miles. Turn left onto the caliche entrance road, and proceed 2.5 miles to the refuge parking lot.
 
From Morton,travel north on SH 214 for approximately 18 miles. The refuge is located approximately 30 miles east of the refuge on SH 54 and 37.