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Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

1001 State Highway 1, Socorro, NM 87801
505 835 1828
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Ranked #1 of 10 attractions in Socorro
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas
Activities: Birdwatching
Owner description: Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1939 to provide "a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife"... more » Owner description: Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1939 to provide "a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife" and to develop wintering grounds for greater sandhill cranes, which were then endangered.Located on the northern edge of the Chihuahuan desert, the 57,331-acre refuge straddles the Rio Grande approximately twenty miles south of Socorro, New Mexico. The heart of the refuge is 8,000 acres of floodplain where the waters of the Rio Grande have been diverted to create extensive wetlands and agricultural lands. The rest of the refuge is made up of arid foothills and mesas, which rise to the Chupadera Mountains to the west and San Pascual Mountains to the east. Most of these arid uplands are preserved in three Wilderness Areas.Bosque del Apache means "woods of the Apache," named for the Apaches that routinely camped in the riverside forest. Today, Bosque del Apache is known as one of the most spectacular refuges in North America. Each autumn, tens of thousands of birds - including sandhill cranes, Arctic geese and ducks - make the refuge their winter home. The air is filled with honking of geese and guttural call of cranes. Flocks of snow geese abandon their feeding grounds when frightened by a stalking coyote or eagle. At dusk, flights of geese and cranes return to roost tin the marshes or on the Rio Grande. In the summer, Bosque del Apache, thought quiet, remains an oasis for diversity of wildlife, both in the riparian areas and surrounding arid uplands. « less
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150 reviews from our community

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Tucson, Arizona
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
17 attraction reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2014 NEW

I'm not a birder, but I'm always looking for a convenient and pretty place to walk or hike while I'm traveling. While the Bosque is definitely intended to meet the needs of birders, it is also a lovely spot for an easy walk or even a hike. It's located fairly close to I25 just south of Socorro, NM. The visitor... More

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Arlington, Texas
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2014

I think I could live in the gift shop! The staff is knowledgeable and gracious. The stock is incredible, and although I always spend too much money, I know a portion of the proceeds goes to a very worthy cause. I became a friend of the reserve while I was there, and I plan on attending the festival the second... More

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Busan, South Korea
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
41 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2014

I imagine thousands of people a day drive I-25 between Las Cruces and Socorro, NM, without realizing that they're passing within a mile of a green swathe of nature just north of the prickly brown Chihuahuan Desert. We originally planned to do a quick (half-hour or so) drive-through, taking pictures out the window, but it turned into a much longer... More

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Fairbanks, Alaska
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
9 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2014

This was a planned stop on a road trip from the Grand Canyon to Las Cruces, NM, and I'm so glad we did it. The gift shop is very nice, with many (some inexpensive) items and a helpful staff. We saw large numbers of ducks, some hawks, pelicans (I didn't know there are pelicans that live inland as opposed to... More

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Wilmington, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
14 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

We planned this side trip (in addition to others) on our road trip from Albuquerque to Ruidoso. Really nice visitor center with helpful employees. Maps provided allowed for a really nice car trip around the Refuge. We saw a few birds, not much more; however we went in July in the middle of the day...hoping to see more, but that's... More

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Lubbock
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
25 attraction reviews
109 helpful votes 109 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2014

Actually took a wrong turn and ended up in this area...so very glad I did. The Bosque is a beautiful oasis in the midst of desert type terrain. I can hardly wait to return. Paid my fee and drove through towards dusk. There were numerous ducks, deer and a family of javalina. I had to laugh as I saw them... More

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Fayetteville, Arkansas, United States
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
19 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2014

We drove through part of this, so I can only speak about what little we saw; unsafe road conditions made us turn back about 1/3 of the way through. What we did experience, though, was wonderful: trees and plants, birds, animals...it was a much-needed change from the miles and miles of barren (well, nearly) desert we had been driving through.... More

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San Diego, California
Top Contributor
131 reviews 131 reviews
50 attraction reviews
256 helpful votes 256 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2014

We attended the Reserve on a beautiful cool sunny day at the end of April. We left Santa Fe for a 2 hour drive to the Reserve and arrived in the morning. At the visitors center, we checked in and walked through the center enjoying the exhibits. I believe the exhibits are great for young people as there are a... More

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Santa Fe, New Mexico
Top Contributor
117 reviews 117 reviews
19 attraction reviews
170 helpful votes 170 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2014

On this 3rd or 4th visit for me, we stayed longer and did more and were oh so glad we did. The basic drive-around tour is worth the visit, even if you can't stay longer, but we can HIGHLY recommend (during the late fall to early spring season, when the cranes and geese are there in abundance) that you: 1)... More

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Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2014

Had a wonderful time at the Bosque. Seen a lot of unexpected wildlife. Was given real good trip advice from helpful staff of visitors center. Went on Birding tour van on Sunday. Me and my wife were shown lots of bird species we might have missed if we did tour on our own. Guide was very knowledgeable, friendly and willing... More

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