The Agassiz Wilderness lies within the 61,500-acre Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge. The Agassiz Wilderness is an important breeding and resting area for migratory birds with habitat management focusing on waterfowl, marsh, and grassland bird species. The Wilderness area contains wetland habitat and lies in the aspen parkland transitional zone between the coniferous forests to the north and east and the prairie pothole region and tallgrass prairie to the west and south. This rich diversity of habitats supports 300 bird species, 50 mammals, 12 amphibians, and 9 reptiles. Bird watching in spring is spectacular when ducks are in full breeding plumage, bald eagles are on their nests, and secretive marsh birds are singing from thick marsh vegetation. Year round wildlife lovers can hope to catch a glimpse of gray wolves, moose, black bear, or bobcat. Hunters arrive in November to pursue white-tailed deer and grouse. Temperatures range from 59oF to 81oF in July and -4oF to 16oF in January. "Flat" best describes Agassiz, where the terrain elevation rarely varies more than a foot per mile. The Wilderness sinks as low as 1,140 feet above sea level, then "soars" to 1,149 feet. Black spruce and tamarack tower over the soft, spongy forest floor where clusters of pitcher plants and lady slippers bloom. There are two natural boggy bodies of water-- Kuriko and Whiskey Lakes. The only authorized public access to the Agassiz Wilderness is during the deer and grouse hunting seasons. There is no camping allowed anywhere in the Agassiz Wilderness. If you want to pitch a tent, head for one of the two primitive state-managed campgrounds adjacent to the Agassiz NWR.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Agassiz Wilderness.
Agassiz Natioanl Wildlife Refuge is located in northwest Minnesota in Marshall County. The Refuge Headquarters is located 11 miles east of Holt, MN on Marshall County Road 7(22996 290th St. NE, Middle River, MN 56737). Hotel accomodations can be found in Thief River Falls, MN, 23 miles southwest of the Refuge or Grygla, MN, 18 miles east of the Refuge.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
(No official title, designates Fish and Wildlife Service wildernesses) - Public law 94-557 (10/19/1976) To designate certain lands as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System and to provide designation for certain lands as Wilderness Study Areas
Call before planning a visit,218-449-4115.
Access to the Agassiz Wilderness Area is limited to deer and grouse hunting only. Office Hours are 7:30a to 4:00p. Day Use Only. No fires. The Refuge is closed to public use from 7:00pm until 5:30am.
Deer and grouse hunting.
Climate and Special Equipment Needs
Recommended gear for hunters: waterboots (knee high or hip), insect repellant or net, compass and GPS.
Safety and Current Conditions
Please be aware that Agassiz's Wilderness Area presents challenging access conditions in a remote, roadless portion of the Refuge.
Want to Volunteer for Wilderness?
Citizens who volunteer their time to steward our wilderness areas are an essential part of wilderness management. Contact the following groups to inquire about volunteer opportunities.