Wildlife Viewing Areas
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Cienega Canyon
Nestled amid mixed conifers and ponderosa pines, this riparian area provides an excellent outdoor setting for the physically challenged, as well as for other visitors. A stream passes through woods and meadow, while the forested slopes of Sandia Peak’s eastern face rise on three sides.
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Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge
Description: This important refuge is home to 320 species of birds and a great diversity of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Chihuahuan Desert uplands, marshes, small lakes, constructed waterways, and agricultural land are bordered by ancient cottonwoods, most often in bosques, or riverside woods. At the southern end of this refuge, the Chupadera Mountains rise to the west, while San Pascual Mountain and the Sierra Oscuras can be seen to the east.

Wildlife to Watch: Possibility of seeing a few of the rare and federally listed endangered whooping crane. A few of these stately birds typically arrive with sandhill cranes in late November, and stay through January. Early December through January is peak time for viewing most other wildlife here. Sunrise and sunset are the best time to view wintering cranes and geese. Excellent viewing for up to 17,000 greater and lesser sandhill cranes, and as many as 40,000 snow geese, including Ross’, in late fall through early winter. Occasional sightings of tundra swans.

Excellent viewing of Gambel’s quail, pyrrhuloxia, and white-crowned sparrow from the indoor viewing area of the visitor center. Good viewing of Canada geese and a variety of ducks October through April. Mule deer, coyote, raptors, and wild turkey may be seen year-round; songbirds, shore, and wading birds are present spring and summer.

Special Tips: The Festival of the Cranes, a four-day annual event held the third weekend of November, provides once-a-year guided tours of areas not usually open to the public. Call for details.

Other Activities: Observation platforms and hiking trails on site. A private campground is located on the refuge’s northern boundary.

Ownership: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 
Size: N/A 
Closest Town: Socorro

RestroomsHikingFeeDrinking Water

Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing:

Snow Geese - photo by USFWS
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Driving Directions:
From Socorro, take Interstate 25 south to exit 139 (San Antonio). Drive 8 miles south on New Mexico Highway 1 from village of San Antonio. Approaching refuge from the south, take freeway exit 124 (San Marcial) and go 9 miles north on NM 1 to entrance.

For more information call (505) 835-1828.

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Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge : Wildlife Viewing Area