Rocky Mountains

Sandhill Crane Trail

A Land of Natural Spectacles

The northern San Luis Valley is a land of natural spectacles. Some are aerial, like the talon-locking tumble of a pair of Golden Eagles in midair courtship, or the high-flying spirals of a flock of Black Swifts above a canyon cascade at dusk. Some are auditory: the gurgling trumpet of thousands of Sandhill Cranes wheeling in spring flocks over the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge, or the air-gulping, head-tossing display of an American Bittern suspended in golden reeds at sunset. And some are famously sublime, like the luminous landscape of the Great Sand Dunes, so bright and unexpected that from a distance it doesn’t look real. You’ll find plenty to marvel at if you travel this trail at any time of year.