It distributes in western and central U.S. and Canada. Winters from northern Peru to Uruguay and Land of Fire; rarely in northern Mexico, migrating through the west country in the coast and inland.
Phalaropus tricolor is a migratory species. In Mexico is rare to uncommon. It has been estimated that the range of occurrence of this species is approximately 3,800,000 km2, global population is estimated around 1,500,000 individuals.