Where & When

The Rockefeller Refuge is probably home to the most abundant alligator populations along the Creole Nature Trail. Most information we've learned about the American Alligator comes from years of research performed at this refuge. Gator sightings are certainly not exclusive to Rockefeller Refuge though! You may also see them sunning along the Pintail Wildlife Drive at the Cameron-Prairie Wildlife Refuge, the Wetland Walkway at the Sabine Wildlife Refuge, or even in the roadside canals.


Gators are cold blooded, meaning they control their body temperature trough external processes such as sunning. In general, alligators are more active when the temperature is between 82º to 92º F (28° to 33° C). They stop feeding when the temperature drops below approximately 70° F (21° C) and they become dormant below 55° F (13° C). During this time, they can be found in burrows (or "dens") that they construct adjacent to an alligator hole or open water, but they occasionally emerge to bask in the sun during spells of warm weather.

Optimal Conditions:

  • Not too windy.
  • March to October (not exclusive).
  • Between 75º to 85º.

For your own safety:

  • Do not feed, tease, prod or otherwise provoke an alligator.
  • Keep your distance.
  • Treat them with respect.
  • Keep your pet on a leash.

• Click here to see the Creole Nature Trail map.


Breeding occurs during the spring months and nesting occurs during July and August. It is never a good idea to approach gators, especially during these times.

Maps & Apps

To help plan your trip and make the most of your visit, download the free Creole Nature Trail…