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“If you like birds this is the place to see.”

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.
Reviewed March 14, 2014 via mobile

A wonderful place to live the migration of our fair feather friends. The best time to see the wonders is between late Oct. and early Feb. Breath taking sunrises and sunsets await you.

Thank Zelda69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (402)
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263 - 267 of 402 reviews

Reviewed March 6, 2014

Our intent was to get off the highway and walk or bike and get some fresh air. Seeing some birds would be nice, too. The visitor center and gift shop was excellent! We were disappointed that biking was allowed on only a few roads. All the roads were dirt and gravel, so after we left we still had a gritty feel in our mouth.
Getting there from the south involved over a mile on a gravel road to access Old Rt. 1. Thank goodness there were good signs. Late February apparently is not a good time to see the birds. We saw one goose, a roadrunner, ducks, and a few doves. We missed the Friday tour by 15 minutes. That might have been interesting.
We have a Senior Pass for National Parks, so it cost us nothing.

Thank Bonnie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2014

This is quite the place to visit! The visitors centre is the best I have ever seen, bar none. Kids would really learn a lot from it. We saw lots of ducks, a ton of snow geese, and enjoyed a walk, even though we weren't there during the peak of migration.

Thank Tess379
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2014

Bosque del Apache was a little disappointing, but let me stress, I am not a "birder." Everyone I encountered in the visitor center talked excitedly about the birds. Guided tours are offered on weekends, Dec-Feb. There is no charge for the tours and seating is limited, register in advance by calling the visitor center. Our 1 1/2 hour tour with a talkative guide was focused more on habitat and maintaining the refuge and less on bird sightings. We visited on a day trip and did not experience sunrise take-off or sunset touch down. However, we did witness a large group of snow geese (our guide estimated the number at 3500) fly in and settle on the water. Our tour guide thought the geese were arriving at Bosque del Apache from a location further south.

Thank B H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2014

If you love wildlife, this is the place to visit. There is nothing more spectacular that the sunrise blastoff of Snow Geese! I guarantee that you will get more than your fill of Snow Geese and Sandhill Cranes. You can get so close to the wildlife!

2  Thank Lawrence B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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