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Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

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Address: 1001 State Highway 1, Socorro, NM 87801
Phone Number: 505 835 1828
Website
Today
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Activities: Birdwatching
Description: Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1939 to...
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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Revisited many times

I am a photographer and, ifyou pay attention to wind directions and specific locations to take advantage of directions of take off and landings of the Snow Geese and Sandhill... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed May 15, 2015
UncleStevie
,
Wyoming
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227 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Wyoming
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
6 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2015

I am a photographer and, ifyou pay attention to wind directions and specific locations to take advantage of directions of take off and landings of the Snow Geese and Sandhill cranes, it is outstanding.

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Seal Beach, California
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
10 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2015

Very nice place in the middle of the desert. No wonder birds like it. We cruised around the refuge looking for photo ops. Got a few shots of some birds, but most were too far away to really be effective. But the refuge itself is very serene and beautiful. A nice break from traveling along the interstate.

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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Top Contributor
107 reviews 107 reviews
52 attraction reviews
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2015

Basically, it seems this refuge was created because many many years ago, people came in and upset the natural wetlands. Upon realizing that the waterfowl habitat was disrupted, they tried to re-create wetlands, just like when the river was wild. By moving water from the river into and out of the fields, on a seasonal basis, migrating birds are attracted... More 

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Cudahy WI
Top Contributor
237 reviews 237 reviews
36 attraction reviews
96 helpful votes 96 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2015

This is one of the nicest National Wildlife Refuges we have visited. The Visitors' Center is exceptional with great interpretive displays. There's a 12 mile auto route for viewing the critters at your convenience. As is typical of Federal projects it's mostly handicap accessible. What you see here will depend on the season. We visited at a time of year... More 

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Santa Fe, New Mexico
Top Contributor
266 reviews 266 reviews
67 attraction reviews
213 helpful votes 213 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2015

We came to visit in April and what we saw was lots of ducks, a cormorant and turtles. The refuge has a really well conceived visitors center. When we were there, we saw photos of the contest winners of the Bosque Photo Contest and they are just extraordinary. The exhibits of the animals in the refuge are many and varied... More 

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Columbus, Ohio
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2015

We only had a couple hours as we were traveling through. We didn't have much hiking time, so drove around the Refuge. It was still enough time to see a variety of wildlife!

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Cruso, North Carolina, United States
Top Contributor
150 reviews 150 reviews
67 attraction reviews
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2015

We missed most of the action as we visited in early March. Most of the birds and all of the cranes were gone. For us the drive was a bit boring as all we saw were ducks and geese that we can see in our back yard. But the museum was interesting and informative so worth the stop.

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Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
7 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2015

Drive on in. Saw javelinas, eagles, pintails, Sandhills cranes. Visitor center is beautiful. Rangers are very helpful. Stop at Ladd Gordon Wildlife refuge and Seviletta Wetlands also off I-25 north of Bosque. Make a day of it. You wouldn't want to miss any of these special spots. And drop a donation in the box. Wetlands are essential for the health... More 

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Boulder, Colorado
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
20 attraction reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2015

If you are a amateur to pro photographer or a bird watcher, this is the place for you. Just about 19 miles south of Socorro you get to see the birds during the winter season. The best time to catch them is before sunrise or around sunset. There are few known locations where they are during these two period. The... More 

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Mountainair, New Mexico
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
9 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2015

World-famous for its sandhill crane viewing in late fall, early winter, the visitor center is also worth seeing. The interpretive displays encourage hands-on participation, while teaching us about the Rio Grande wetlands habitat. And then the drives are never disappointing. We've seen javalinas on both of our visits, which seems a special treat.

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