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Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

Certificate of Excellence
Features Animals
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Address: 1001 State Highway 1, Socorro, NM 87801
Phone Number:
+1 505-835-1828
08:00 - 16:00
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 08:00 - 16:00

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1939 to...

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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 396 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 316
  • 58
    Very good
  • 13
  • 2
  • 3
Beautiful spot, lots of ducks.

This refuge is quite large. It has 2 six mile loops for animal and bird observation that are designed for driving. There are also numerous short hikes and observation areas. We... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Avon, Connecticut
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396 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 392: English reviews
Avon, Connecticut
Level Contributor
27 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This refuge is quite large. It has 2 six mile loops for animal and bird observation that are designed for driving. There are also numerous short hikes and observation areas. We saw a great quality of ducks in the northern loop. This is kind of a birders paradise. Unfortunately I was tired from hiking so I didn't go on the... More 

Thank plivsey2017
Level Contributor
201 reviews
79 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 March 2017 via mobile

This is a birders paradise, haven or heaven! Plan to take your time and enjoy the wildlife, birds, deer, javelina, turtle, skunk, road runners. We love NWR areas. Use caution for snakes and mountain lions we did not see. There are clean pit toilet stops along the way which is very nice. The visitor center has a beautiful cactus garden... More 

Thank Mary P
Blue Springs, Missouri
Level Contributor
37 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2017 via mobile

Lovely nature area not too far off the highway. Lots of birds. Other than deer (and birds) we did not see any animals. The visitor center has some good interactive displays, a theater, and offers the junior ranger program for kids. The cactus garden has many different species and a handy reference guide. A wide variety of gifts and crafts... More 

Thank GypsySouls5
Albuquerque, New Mexico
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 10 March 2017

Love bird watching and peaceful animals walk around. Sunset by the water is so beautiful. fun with family.

Thank sfccdast
Level Contributor
40 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2017

Had we come at the peak season, I'm sure that we would have rated it higher. The sandhill cranes had departed, as had many of the ducks and geese. We did experience, up close, one sizeable flock of snow geese, some Canada geese, turkeys and deer. We saw prints of many mammals, but not the actual critters. Even though we... More 

Thank raytrav
Level Contributor
68 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2017

Hubby and I visited on a warm, sunny Saturday and really, really enjoyed our day. Stop in the visitor center first for a map and tips on where wildlife has been seen. Then take the driving tours. There is a north loop which to me had more waterfowl and the south loop which is more fields and grasses to hopefully... More 

Thank mosaiclover
Bozeman, Montana
Level Contributor
66 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2017

As "sno-mads" and birders traveling through New Mexico, our first stop was Bosque. Of course, it was the middle of winter, and we didn't expect to see hummers or the usual passerines, but we did have plenty of sandhill cranes and tons of waterfowl: there was even an errant long-tailed duck that someone pointed out. The visitor center is very... More 

Thank durrae j
Post Falls, Idaho
Level Contributor
638 reviews
186 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 224 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2017

Sand Oil cranes, sneaky coyotes, and hundreds and hundreds of snow geese taking to their wings or resting as they get ready to migrate back north for the summer. the viewing driving tour is a very good experience, and the trails offered for hikes very nice. it was a great way to spend some time in nature.

Thank wdlander
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
110 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2017

Stunning vistas and a serene setting hard to put into words Bosque Del Apache must be expeienced to be understood

Thank zandrew26
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level Contributor
95 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2017

From November thru February when the cranes and snow geese are overwintering, this is a fabulous and popular place to visit. There is a lot to see all day, but many people arrive before dawn and position themselves next to the roosting flocks. Standing right there when 20,000 geese take off just before dawn is nothing less than exhilarating. The... More 

Thank JoDoShep

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