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“Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge”

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge
Ranked #1 of 14 things to do in Socorro
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
San Diego, California
Level 6 Contributor
267 reviews
132 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 265 helpful votes
“Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge”
Reviewed March 3, 2013

There’s always something going on here. We missed the sandhill cranes, but saw a huge flock of snow geese. They looked like a giant cloud in the air, then they settled onto one of the lakes right by the road. We estimate there were about 1000 of them. What a sight! Then there are all the resident animals from Harris Hawks to large numbers of elk. They even have cougars and bears, if you’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse. There are a couple of great driving loops that are open from an hour before sunrise to an hour after sunset. You can pick up a map at the visitor center or, if you’re there before they open, as were we, pick one up at the entrance to the drive. The map is in the magazine called Habitat! One of the things that makes this place so much fun to visit is the wonderful visitor center. The people are knowledgeable and they offer one or more films. Be sure to see the one about how they manage the area to keep the habitat inviting to migrating birds. The exhibits are quite engaging. This is a gem of a Wildlife Refuge.

Visited March 2013
2 Thank Art-Roxanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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401 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Socorro, New Mexico
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“waste of time”
Reviewed March 1, 2013

we didn't see anything but geese and ducks. should have been told at the ticket booth. Waste to time and money. Only one road was open. Not a good place to go.

Visited February 2013
3 Thank carman b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
101 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Come to see the Cranes!”
Reviewed February 25, 2013

My friends and I went to the Refuge in January because we had heard so many wonderful things about that area. I am from Seattle and they are from Santa Fe. We loved seeing the hundreds of Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese along with assorted other waterfowl. If you go, please stop by the newer Visitor Center which has tons of information about the waterways. And please stay until twilight to witness a spectacular nature event: the fly-in. The birds move from their day areas and fly in to their night sleep areas, hundreds of them! We just stood out and watched them coming in, uttering their vocalizations loudly! The photos of them against the sunset are spectacular! It's a wonderful outing, plus there are restaurants in Socorro serving fabulous green-chile burgers!

Visited January 2013
1 Thank Elizabeth G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
42 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2013

Went on a photography workshop with Keith Bauer, Greg Basco and Doug Brown, It was fabulous. The sight of massed snow geese and sandihill cranes has to be seen to be believed.
I went in November when temperatures were a little nippy; actually, I lie - we went shooting in the early morning and sometimes, it was brutally cold. With adequate preparation (read; Don't leave home without footwarmers"!!!) one could focus on the stunning scenery and forget about the near-arctic conditions.

Visited November 2012
1 Thank Deji O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Peaceful Reflections”
Reviewed February 17, 2013

As newly retired and full time RVers we are working as park hosts in New Mexico. Each week we get 5 days which gives us plenty of time to explore. We heard some stories about the best cheeseburgers in a little town called San Antonio just south of Socorro. However when we left I-25 and headed into town we saw a sign indicating that the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge was just 8 miles south of town. Since it was early afternoon we decided to check it out before coming back to try one of the famous cheeseburgers.

When we arrived at the visitor center we were amazed at the size and scope of the refuge. We took the l2 mile loop and were amazed to see so many birds. There were Sand Hill Cranes, Snow Geese and many variety of ducks. The day we were there it was so quite and with no wind blowing we were just able to enjoy the peacefulness.

We would highly recommend that if you get a chance this is a place you should stop and see. Also, the Green Chile Cheeseburger at the Buckhorn in San Antonio was out of this world.

Visited February 2013
1 Thank TheBobster545
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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