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Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

Address: 1001 State Highway 1, Socorro, NM 87801
Phone Number: 505 835 1828
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95%
Ranked #1 of 10 things to do in Socorro
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Nature & wildlife areas, Nature & Parks
Activities: Birdwatching
Owner description: Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1939 to provide "a refuge and...
More attraction details
Attraction details
Type: Nature & wildlife areas, Nature & Parks
Activities: Birdwatching
Hours:
Sun - Sat 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
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.
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215 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Stratford, Connecticut
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2015 NEW

Visited for a photographic workshop (4 days). While there weren't the thousands of birds that arrive at this location in the fall, there were more than enough for us to get some great photos! Would have been good if the restrooms were open earlier/later some days (they did stay open for us some of the time), but a minor inconvenience... More 

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Johnson City, Tennessee
Top Contributor
173 reviews 173 reviews
72 attraction reviews
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2015 NEW

We love this refuge, even today when the Sandhills and snow geese were no where to be seen, lots of other fowl though. Looks like tamerisk is becoming a real problem but there was evident recent clearing.

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Las Cruces, New Mexico
Top Contributor
131 reviews 131 reviews
12 attraction reviews
122 helpful votes 122 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015 via mobile

Although our early spring visit was too late to observe many of the migrating birds, my wife and I enjoyed our visit to this refuge. The visitor's center had a number of creative educational exhibits including a sand tray with animal and bird track stamps to help the average person learn more about reading these signs. Kim Royle, manager of... More 

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Denver, Colorado
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2015

I went during the crane festival. I intend to return often. Watching thousands of snow geese and hundreds of Sandhills cranes in Bosque Del Apache was a thrill. It is very cold in the early morning but sweater weather in the afternoon. (November). I typically spent most of the day in the refuge. Other visitors were friendly and helpful and... More 

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Santa Fe, New Mexico
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2015

My visit fulfilled all expectations. SO many Sandhill Cranes, Canadian Geese, ducks, raptors -- and all so close up. This is clearly one of the most interesting and best migratory bird refuges in the country. The visitor center is really helpful too. And has some great things for sale. Also saw an amazing turkey roosting in a tree late in... More 

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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2015

Visited on the morning of Saturday 1/10/15. Left Albuquerque @ 430am, arrived 5:45 and waited for sunrise. Temp-25 degrees, no wind, gorgeous day. Quite a few others already there for the morning launch. Still enough room for us. Restrooms available @ launch sites. $3/car fee. Just as the sun broke over the mountains, the birds took off as advertised. It... More 

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Lakewood, Colorado
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2015

Great place to view wildlife, especially birds. Staff at the visitor center are very nice and helpful. Bring a camera and binoculars.

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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2015

We caught this on a beautiful weekend. It had dried from the earlier snow and precipitation in the week. We had expected huge flocks of waterbirds, but instead they were making themselves scarce while the raptors took the day. We saw several Bald Eagles, one dining on a snow goose, and we think we saw an American Eagle as well,... More 

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T
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
15 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2015

The number of close up bird sightings was extraordinary. Bald eagles, golden eagles, great horned owls, red tailed hawks, snow geese sandpiper cranes etc. You must experience when the geese and cranes takeoff in the morning from their water locations. The web site shows this but to be there and experience a near simultaneous take off of thousands of birds... More 

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Santa Fe, New Mexico
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
20 attraction reviews
155 helpful votes 155 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2015

The Bosque del Apache is a treasure. Every New Mexican should come here. The surroundings are beautiful. There is a great Visitors Center where you can talk to the rangers and also watch birds feeding through a great window. There is a loop tour of the Bosque that you can do in your car. There are some places you should... More 

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