Gray Lodge Wildlife Area
Gray Lodge's diversity and location along the Pacific Flyway make it a haven for wildlife. Surrounded by miles of rich agricultural lands, the approximately 9,100-acre area is managed for the wildlife that call Gray Lodge home for all or part of the year. Reflective ponds, grassy fields and wooded riparian areas provide food, water and shelter for more than 300 species of resident and migrant birds and mammals. People of all ages enjoy visiting Gray Lodge!
Wildlife viewing is available year round. Visitors can also enjoy educational programs, informative exhibits, a self-guided nature trail, and seasonal guided tours. From November through February, Gray Lodge is a popular migration stop along the Pacific Flyway for thousands of birds. Discover a variety of ducks, snow geese, blue-winged teals, black-crowned night herons, an other waterfowl, and use the high-powered telescopes on the observation deck to get up-close views—just follow the paved path from Lot 14. Stay until dusk to experience the magnificent "fly-off" when thousands of them fill the sky.
Get more information with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Wildlife Viewing Guide.
A CDFW Lands Pass must be in possession by each visitor who is 16 years of age or older, however, visitors who are in possession of a valid California hunting or fishing license in their name are exempt from this requirement. Lands passes may be purchased on-line, by phone at (800) 565-1458, or in-person at locations wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold.
You’ll find two easy, flat trails at the Gray Lodge—the first is the main 1.8-mile unpaved trail, the second is a wheelchair accessible paved trail that you can add to the main trail to slightly extend your trek. This is a great spot for those with kids, those looking for an easy stroll, and those looking for an amazing bird watching location during the winter months, with peak birding November through January (so bring your binoculars!). You can enjoy two observation blinds along the main trail, where you can get a front-row view of the wildlife from viewing windows. Mosquitos are abundant, so make sure to bring bug spray, especially if you visit around dusk.
Trail Difficulty: Easy
Trail Length & Type: 1.8 mile loop
Best Used: Accessible year-round, with best bird viewing Nov.-Jan.
Dogs: Allowed on leash.
Trail Map: CA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife Trail Map
Other Important Info: Lands Pass required (complete online or pay in cash on-site)
Fishing is a highlight in the spring and summer. Visitors can enjoy many fishing opportunities at Gray Lodge with its ponds and miles of canals supporting bass, sunfish, perch, catfish and carp. All fishing is from the shore in accordance with general fish regulations. The area is open to fishing seven days a week. From two weeks before waterfowl season to one week after, fishing is restricted to the Avis Access only.