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Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

Address: 1001 State Highway 1, Socorro, NM 87801
Phone Number: 505 835 1828
Website
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95%
Ranked #1 of 10 Attractions 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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203 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
13 attraction reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2015 NEW

There's a very nice interpretive center with a great window view of a feeding area, good store, and very nice people staffing it. You can do tours, or pretty much be left to yourself to look over the ponds and birds. Can't beat it for Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese, but there are plenty of other birds to see. You... More 

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New Mexico
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
13 attraction reviews
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2015 NEW

We should have spent more time ... and we'll go back to explore Bosque del Apache again. We thought we could arrive an hour or so before sunset and experience the reserve. That was enough time to get a map at the Visitors Center (where they are very nice, well informed and helpful) and find our spot, but not enough... More 

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Minneapolis
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2015 NEW

Great place if you love nature and birds. Wonderful winter migration of birds. Great driving tour and friendly helpful staff.

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Santa Fe
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
23 attraction reviews
137 helpful votes 137 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2015 NEW

Nice visitor center with helpful staff. The 12 tour (you can go around more than once) gets you to many ponds and scenic areas where the birds hang out. Go to Bosque Del Apache,' Friends of' before you head out for latest information.

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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2015 NEW

Less than 90 minutes from Albuquerque, the Bosque del Apache offers an amazing opportunity to see thousands of migratory bird -- cranes, geese, ducks, bald eagles, and song birds (to name but a few). Lots of other wildlife to see as well - deer, coyotes, javelinas, etc. The best time to visit (IMO) is Nov 15 - Feb 15. The... More 

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Jemez Pueblo NM
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
13 attraction reviews
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2015

We visited in January to see the cranes and geese fly in and out. This is an absolutely fantastic place and I'd recommend it to anyone. We arrived about 3 PM and went straight to the visitor center to get some information. The staff were very friendly and informative, telling us where various kinds of wildlife had been seen that... More 

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brick nj
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2015

Visiting the reserve in early November 2014 we were too soon for the 1000s of sandhill cranes, we only got to see 100s at sunrise. The racket these birds made and then the sudden takeoff were something you'll only see at a place like this. Completing the auto tour we saw two mule deer and a wild pig all out... More 

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New Mexico
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
3 attraction reviews
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2015

Even though I live nearby, it is always fun to go to the refuge. The birds are so interesting to watch, and the scenery is excellent. They have some hiking trails that go up into the desert that are also worthwhile, especially the Canyon trail. Visitor center has some wonderful native flower displays in the late spring. I always recommend... More 

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Prescott, Arizona
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
13 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2015

The actual site is amazing even in the snow. To see the geese and Cranes leave at once was breathtaking.The only disappointment was the visitor center, actually the workers not the center itself. It was a snowy day and the two people sitting at the counter were far more interested in each other. No greetings or asking if I needed... More 

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MD
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2015

My husband and I have wanted to see sandhill cranes for years. We have driven through Nebraska in early March the past several years and missed the start of their spring migration. When we found out that they winter in Bosque del Apache, we made a point of going there in January on our trip from MD to Park City... More 

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