We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge

Certificate of Excellence
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: Alamosa, CO
Website
Description:

Wilderness complex that provides a habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds,...

Wilderness complex that provides a habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds, songbirds and raptors.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 61 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 39
    Excellent
  • 18
    Very good
  • 4
    Average
  • 0
    Poor
  • 0
    Terrible
Nature experience

Depending on time of the year many migratory birds fly through the valley visiting the wetlands.On County Road 15 approximately at 8 E. you will find the Wildlife... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 2 weeks ago
Jill T
,
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Add Photo Write a Review

61 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
Showing 61: English reviews
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level Contributor
65 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Depending on time of the year many migratory birds fly through the valley visiting the wetlands.On County Road 15 approximately at 8 E. you will find the Wildlife Deptmartment.Wildlife officials have a vast knowledge of the Reserve and can direct you to proper viewing sites.There is an auto tour and various stops along 15 designed to enjoy.Please check in at... More 

Helpful?
Thank Jill T
Bernalillo, New Mexico
Level Contributor
22 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We often see the cranes from our backyard on the Rio Grande in Bernalillo, NM, or at the Bosque del Apache Reserve in NM. We stopped at this refuge on the way to Alamosa, but there are no cranes in the summer...just a few song birds. This is a wonderful opportunity to view thousands of cranes, but be sure to... More 

Helpful?
Thank Bosque-Bill
LI NY
Level Contributor
208 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2016

Water all around ,auto tour... Not very big. seen a bunch of ducks & birds..Very close to the town Alamosa....

Helpful?
Thank vicsdahlias
La Junta, CO
Level Contributor
171 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2016

I found the three nice pull-offs in Monte Vista NWR and there were a few birds there, May 21 is not the best time to visit. But I went in the wrong place for Alamosa NWR and didn't find the visitor's center. Do your research in advance, don't be a dummy like me. The river walk gets great reviews.

Helpful?
Thank Red23Hair34
Longwood
Level Contributor
23 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2016

We took our nature hike late in the afternoon so probably didn't see as many animals. We enjoyed our hike along the Rio Grande and did see a variety of birds using the river. We took the auto tour and saw a porcupine. We were the only people in the park and enjoyed the solitude.

Helpful?
Thank Julie B B
Glenwood Springs, CO
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2016

Sandhill Cranes (called Waterbirds by my Navajo husband) visit the San Luis Valley twice a year in their migrations. The view centers give spectacular photo opportunities. Off season herds of Elk can be seen wintering on the dryer parts of the refuges. Many other species of wildlife bring surprises all the time.

Helpful?
Thank 746robinr
Conifer, Colorado
Level Contributor
45 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2016

A must see when the cranes are migrating! Mist fog, early morning sun make for a great backdrop for the cranes! But the Great Horned Owls were awesome! Focus along county road 8!

Helpful?
Thank Steve A
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2016

The Cranes have been passing through Monte Vista for hundreds of years. 20,000 cranes and more pass through yearly. Usually feed through the day in flocks over 1,000. Close to the road, so you can easily get some wonderful photos. Many other interesting places to explore. Friendly people. Lots of history. Sand dunes. Hot springs. Climbing canyon walls. Etc, etc.,... More 

Helpful?
Thank Jay S
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level Contributor
37 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2016 via mobile

Come stay for a couple of days! Get up early to see the sunrise so you can see them coming in for breakfast. 7am - 10am is the best time of the day for photographing them because the sun lightens under their wings. Move around drive around there is beauty everywhere. If you do not like crowds avoid the weekend... More 

Helpful?
Thank Rita S
Longmont Co
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2016

The annual crane festival was held in Monte Vista last weekend. If you have never seen the Greater Sand Hill cranes, this is definitely the time and place! The festival is organized by volunteers under the auspices of the two National Wildlife Refuges. Buses are provided (donations accepted), with the NWR refuge director actually giving the commentary! Even though the... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Gordon H

Travelers who viewed Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge also viewed

 

Been to Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?