Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge

· Sandhill Crane

Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge

Ninety-five percent of the Rocky Mountain population of the Sandhill Crane migrate through the San Luis Valley each spring and fall, and a large percentage of those birds spend much of their time in and around the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge. This is the attraction that has brought people to Monte Vista for the annual crane festival in March for more than 25 years. Crane sightings are virtually guaranteed in spring and fall. In addition, the wildlife auto tour loop on the refuge takes you past numerous fields, ponds, and cattail marshes where you might see birds ranging from Buffleheads to bitterns and wildlife from elk to badger to muskrat. Northern Harriers cruise low over the wetlands almost year-round. A visit to this refuge is likely to be a highlight of any wildlife-watching excursion to the San Luis Valley.

County: Rio Grande

Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Marsh, Wet Meadow

Directions: Take CO 15 south from Monte Vista to the refuge auto tour route on the east (signed). Also drive CR 8S along the refuge's southern border, CR 3E on the east, and other county roads in the area.

Delorme: 90 A2
Roads of Colorado: 134 B4-C4

Dates of Access: Open all year
Hours: Any
Ownership: US Fish and Wildlife Service
Admission: Free

Restrictions: Please obey all rules and regulations.

Parking: Unpaved parking areas
Lodging: Hotels in Monte Vista or Alamosa

Handicapped: No
Handicapped Access: Good opportunities for viewing from car.

Latitude: 37.485892
Longitude: -106.1489462

» Visit the website for Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge


Drinking FountainYes
Gravel TrailsYes
Paved TrailsNo
Visitor CenterNo
Gift ShopNo

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