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Sand Hill Cranes

In the fall and spring sand hill cranes migrate through the San Luis Valley. Monte Vista is a great... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
epopovitz
,
Denver, Colorado
via mobile
So Glad It's There

Seeing migrating birds is so hit and miss. Particularly during their 'off' season. Well, this was a... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
MikeB1952
,
Colorado Springs, Colorado
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All reviews sandhill cranes crane festival the san luis valley auto tour canada geese short loop love nature bird watching sangre de cristo mountains peaceful place high desert bring binoculars bird life new mexico visitor center migration ducks
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Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

In the fall and spring sand hill cranes migrate through the San Luis Valley. Monte Vista is a great place to see them.

Thank epopovitz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Seeing migrating birds is so hit and miss. Particularly during their 'off' season. Well, this was a pleasant surprise. On the way from New Mexico to Del Norte, we took a detour past the Monte Vista National Wildlife Preserve. The road took us on the south side of the Preserve. The drive wandered among a number of small farms. We were surprised at the amount of farming in the area. We stopped at an overlook. Looking toward a marshy area there were lots of Canadian Geese and Sandhill Cranes. Yea! It seemed that there were both the large and lesser Sandhill Cranes. Occasionally some of the Cranes would flap their wings and do a bit of a dance. Was really cool. We spent all the time we could watching the cranes until the wind and cold pushed us back into the car.

We went a bit further to the Visitor Center. Closed. Don't know when it's open, but not on this Sunday afternoon. The parking lot at the Center leads to a tour through the Refuge. They indicated that a pump had failed and the marsh wasn't flooded. We really didn't see anything along the tour route. Rats.

We were so glad we got to see the cranes at the pull off. Keep looking you might see more.

Thank MikeB1952
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2018

bad road getting to here. the loop road wasn't to bad. we did see an owl. nothing else exciting. wouldn't waste your time

1  Thank jefffE1270YG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2018

This is a convenient stop from the highway. Although we visited in the off migration season, we appreciated the natural beauty and solitude the refuge provide.

Thank FrankColorado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 September 2018

Dateline, 09/17/2018 - Based on the recommendations of MVNWR-related sites, I drove down there in the afternoon, looking for Sandhill cranes. One thing not mentioned, and forgotten by me, is that it's been a very dry year. Most of the ponds/lakes were mudflats at best. It may be why that for several hours, I had the refuge to myself.

The one visible to public viewing was filled with ducks. Not what I was there for, but certainly enjoyable to observe.

However, diligence and perseverance can be their own rewards. Eventually, some cranes made themselves visible. And of course, "biggern' you know what," as I was pulling out for the evening, a lovely couple of cranes crossed my path on the roadway, and landed maybe 150 feet from where I was.

A cautionary note - Bring DEET or the mosquito repellant of your choice. About an hour before sunset, they arrived in full force (loud enough that my ears felt like they were buzzing). Only bitten once, maybe twice, before I packed all my photo gear into my truck and left.

Note - all pets must be leashed.

Note - One viewing area did have a wheelchair ramp and viewing platform.

Note - Length of stay depends on the amount of interest. Accessible 24/7, so think of full moons or new moons to view the Milky Way. Almost zero light pollution.

Thank Junctionshamus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 September 2018

We got lucky on our drive, great views of the mountains,bring binoculars . Prong horned sheep and lots of birds. The views ande incredible. Look for cranes.

2  Thank JoelH618
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2018

We enjoyed the 2 mile drive through the refuge. Lots of places to pull over to checkout the wildlife. We went in the morning and the scenery was so beautiful!

1  Thank Clay S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2018

Has a short, but nice auto tour & a nature walk that's 4 miles out & back. Very relaxing. Saw a couple birds to add to our list since we are from California.
The person in the visitor center was really nice & helpful.

1  Thank mundaySacramento
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2018

This is a good spot to stop for any kind of waterfowl interests. There's an office, rest rooms and lots of info included. The nicest surprise is that there is a driving tour, giving an easy, care-free drive through the grounds. Take as much or as little time as you like. Photographers will enjoy it.

1  Thank MisterTravels21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2018 via mobile

Teaming with life. The birds have really taken to this place. One way drive of about 2.5 miles. A few turn outs to stop and be quiet and enjoy.

2  Thank ki0ki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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