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Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

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1001 State Highway 1, San Antonio, NM 87801
+1 505-835-1828
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Review Highlights
the Bosque in April

It’s pretty quiet here in April compared to the winter months. The snow geese and cranes are gone... read more

Reviewed April 4, 2018
Cynthia H
,
Salt Lake City, Utah
via mobile
Nice place to stop along the way - historical and GREAT visitors center

Clean and well maintained facility with natural beauty. Nice to see water, green grass & trees... read more

Reviewed April 3, 2018
Masch40
,
Alamogordo, New Mexico
Read all 451 reviews
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Overview
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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.
  • Excellent81%
  • Very good14%
  • Average3%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“sandhill cranes” (137 reviews)
“visitor center” (52 reviews)
Open Now
Hours
Hours Today: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
LOCATION
1001 State Highway 1, San Antonio, NM 87801
CONTACT
Website
+1 505-835-1828
Write a ReviewReviews (451)
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All reviews
"sandhill cranes"
in 137 reviews
"visitor center"
in 52 reviews
"red tailed hawks"
in 5 reviews
"bring binoculars"
in 8 reviews
"water birds"
in 6 reviews
"tens of thousands"
in 9 reviews
"mule deer"
in 14 reviews
"bird watchers"
in 5 reviews
"early spring"
in 9 reviews
"canada geese"
in 9 reviews
"quail"
in 9 reviews
"auto tour"
in 11 reviews
"golden eagle"
in 5 reviews
"dawn and dusk"
in 7 reviews
"the loop"
in 12 reviews
"beautiful drive"
in 5 reviews
"national wildlife refuge"
in 5 reviews
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1 - 10 of 444 reviews

Reviewed April 4, 2018 via mobile

It’s pretty quiet here in April compared to the winter months. The snow geese and cranes are gone but there are white faced ibis and waterfowl migrating through. It’s a peaceful place and worth the visit

Thank Cynthia H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2018

Clean and well maintained facility with natural beauty. Nice to see water, green grass & trees after harsh desert terrain from the East & South. The visitors center was informative and the gift shop was very nice. Enjoyed the audio tour around the refuge and...More

Thank Masch40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2018

The fame of the Bosque del Apache NWR is well deserved. This large and very well run National Wildlife Refuge draws visitors and birders from all over the nation, and the world. The refuge features an excellent visitors' center with helpful and informative volunteers and...More

Thank EasternWillotts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 15, 2018

Interesting area, but right now there are only ducks. It is still nice to drive around the loops. The refuge is well maintained, but in some areas the weeds have grown to hide the views.

Thank Starviagera
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2018 via mobile

Though we came in the dead of winter, we were impressed with the refuge and how it was being maintained for the wildlife. Saw many types of waterfowl, unfortunately, we were too late in the season to view the sandhill cranes. In addition to the...More

Thank Joyce H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2018

Just spent a week in New Mexico and the day I spent here was far and away the best. I visited at the worst part of the day in the off season and there were still tons of birds. So many different birds I don't...More

Thank eedoonan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2018 via mobile

This is our third time here & we’ve never been disappointed. 3 year ago we stopped, the cranes & snow geese had already migrated, but still worth the trip. This time, it was incredible!! What an experience, so worth it. We saw 1,000’s of cranes,...More

Thank Bill Lori B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2018 via mobile

The cranes are plentiful this year and very active. The snow geese crossed us up. Some have started to leave early due to warm weather. Go north to bernardo refuge for daytime viewing. When the geese flew out en mass they did so before sunrise...More

Thank azgoblue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2018 via mobile

This is about my sixth time visiting. It’s always amazing and different each time. Thousands of Snow Geese and Sandhill Cranes this time of year. Very helpful visitor center with Ranger, nice gift shop. There is an entrance fee, but not if you have a...More

1  Thank PasssionateTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2018 via mobile

This is our second trip to the Bosque and what a treat it was. We arose early, headed to the North Loop and weren't disappointed. What was so special about this special preserve is how helpful the Rangers were who answered the phone and provided...More

Thank Chuck533
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
jorebecca
March 26, 2018|
AnswerShow all 8 answers
Response from Diane H | Reviewed this property |
Check in with visitor center. We went in November for the annual crane festival (book online) and took a couple of great guided tours with informative guides. The before-dawn commentary and fly out was excellent but very... More
1
Vote
Thomas F
December 13, 2017|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from GusMom99 | Reviewed this property |
The largest numbers of birds will fly in from a half hour before sunset to a half hour after. Unlike the flyouts, especially for the Snow Geese, the birds don't come in in huge numbers all at once. Take time to enjoy the... More
0
Votes
KatrinaPa
October 8, 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Melissa E | Reviewed this property |
Yes! Bosque del Apache is beautiful in the fall! Make sure you stop at the visitor's center. There might be a few Sandhills cranes there by then, too.
1
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