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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, Outdoors
Activities: Birdwatching
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Attraction details
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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167 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Top Contributor
107 reviews 107 reviews
57 attraction reviews
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2014 NEW

Saw more birds here than most anyplace in the world! It started with the thousands of snow geese and then over the top excitement watching the sand cranes descend as the sun was setting. There were THOUSANDS of those also! The sound of their calling was amazing but almost creepy, so alien. What a joy to hear and experience that.... More

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Santa Fe, New Mexico
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2014 NEW

This was our first visit to the Bosque, even though we have lived in Santa Fe for a dozen years. The refuge is beautiful. Highly recommend driving the north and south loops, stopping at the various viewing decks and for sure don't miss the sunset and sunrise.

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Elephant Butte, New Mexico
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
8 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2014 NEW

The visitors center is very informative. There are numerous tours, audio, self guided etc. Lots of viewing areas and hiking trails. The foliage in the fall with the migrating birds is totally breathtaking and a fantastic photo op for amateur as well as professional photographers. The sound of a bazillion birds all making their bird sounds is something you cannot... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2014 via mobile

We were lucky enough to be here in early November, which is prime time for the sandhill cranes. There were thousands of birds of many varieties including the cranes, snow geese, Canada geese, Mallard ducks, wood ducks, and coots.

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
Spruce Pine, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2014

FANTASTIC! Not to be missed! BIRDS, BIRDS, BIRDS. We say a red tail hawk catch and eat a mouse in a tree. Right next to our car. Mule deer, bobcat, racoon, birds.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Madison, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
7 attraction reviews
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2014

Winter is really a spectacular time to visit. the sandhill cranes and snow geese congregate here and form honking, trumpeting, loud, and wonderful flocks. It really is a sight and sound you must experience. Lots of other types of birds, but these are the huge flocks. Most people tell you to be there in the morning to see the "fly... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2014

The Bosque can't be beat for birding or wildlife watching. We wiill go every year from now on--or at least as long as the birds keep coming.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Top Contributor
164 reviews 164 reviews
55 attraction reviews
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2014

Ok, when I stopped here, I didn't have any restless kids in my backseat, but I think little kids could have a good time here. If you are traveling on I-25, exit at the small town of San Antonio, NM. Just a little ways into town, you will see the sign for the Highway 1 junction and a brown sign... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
17 attraction reviews
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2014 via mobile

We visited in late October and saw a variety of birds with very few people. We were lucky enough to see many sand hill cranes, ducks, geese, mule deer and smaller birds. It was chilly in the mornings so we were happy that we dressed in layers. We walked a few of the trails and enjoyed the watch platforms. We... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Sierra Vista, AZ
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
22 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2014

This is the big one in New Mexico, located just off I-25 south of Socorro. It has a full-service visitor center with exhibits for kids, a gift shop, and refuge staff. Get your permits or pay entrance fees, then go for a scenic drive especially for bird watching in the wetland areas. There are a number of places to stop... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2

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