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Southwestern New Mexico Sights

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

  • 1001 NM 1 Map It
  • San Antonio
  • Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge
  • Fodor's Choice

Fodor's Review

Hundreds of different types of birds, including snow geese, cranes, falcons, and eagles, can be spotted from viewing platforms and directly through your car window at the popular Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Besides serving as a rest stop for migrating birds, the Bosque del Apache also shelters mule deer, turkeys, quail, and other wildlife. Photo opportunities abound on the 15-mi auto loop tour; you can also hike through arid shrub land or bike through the refuge or take a van tour. October and November are the months the cottonwoods show their colors. In winter months, the refuge echoes with the haunting cries of whooping cranes flocking for the evening. Snow geese are so thick on lakes at times that shores are white with feathers washed ashore. Whether you're a bird-watcher or not, it is well worth bringing binoculars or a spotting scope to get some idea of how many varieties of birds land here (nearly 400 species have been spotted since 1940). The Festival of the Cranes ( in mid-November draws thousands of people.

Sight Information


1001 NM 1, off I–25 San Marcial Exit 124 for northbound traffic and Exit 139 for southbound traffic, San Antonio, New Mexico, 87801, United States

Map It



Sight Details:

  • $3 per vehicle
  • Refuge daily dawn–dusk; visitor center weekdays 7:30–4, weekends 8–4:30; tour road open Apr.–Sept.


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