More waterfowl visit the Great Valley than any other region along the Pacific Flyway. The Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, managed by the California Department of Fish and Game, is one of the best places to observe waterfowl and one of the state’s oldest refuges. Established in the 1930s to provide habitat for migrating and seasonal waterfowl, Gray Lodge is 9100 acres and is one of the largest and most diverse refuges in the valley. It is also one of the most important stops for waterfowl along the Pacific Flyway, which has lost as much as 96 percent of its wetlands to development. Gray Lodge supports more than 300 species of wildlife, including more than 1 million ducks and 100,000 geese during the winter migration. Viewing the huge flocks of geese that rise to the sky every evening from Gray Lodge’s wetlands is worth the short drive north from Sacramento. There are two trails for visitors to enjoy the wetlands and wildlife. They are short and easy, so plan on doing both during your visit.
© Steven L. Evans/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.