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  • Refuge water manager, Brian Greeves in a refuge cornfield / USFWS

    400 Years Later, Crops Come Full Circle

    By 2016, the use of all genetically modified crops (GMO’s) will be banned from national wildlife refuges. Our refuge has already done this!

  • Sunset on the water with cranes / Ryan Hagerty ©

    Thriving on the Refuge

    From a low of 17 individual cranes on the refuge in 1940, the wintering population of sandhills is up to 17,000.

    Rocky Mountain Sandhill Crane

  • Yucca view

    Wilderness Areas

    Bosque del Apache Refuge includes three designated wilderness areas: Chupadera Peak, Indian Wells & Little San Pasqual Wilderness Area.

    Designated by Congress

  • Coyote pup / Greg-Wright ©

    Get a Closer Look!

    Get up close and personal with some of the refuge's wild residents and the habitat they depend upon.

    Multimedia Gallery

  • American black bear / USFWS

    Fun Fact

    The color of black bears varies with most eastern bears' fur dark black but in the west they might be brown, cinnamon, or blond.

North Tour Loop Temporary Closures

North Tour Loop Hours Adjusted

Temporarily closed sign

The North Tour Loop will only be open from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM on Tuesdays and Wednesdays through October 8th. This closure is necessary for public safety while management actions are carried out during the morning and evening hours. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and encourage you to drive the South Tour Loop and walk out onto the Boardwalk, explore the Canyon and Chupadera National Recreation Trails, visit the Point of Lands Overlook, and relax in the Desert Arboretum and plaza with picnic pavilion while the North Loop is closed. For the specific dates affected by the temporary closure, see the alert page link below.

Temporary Closures on North Tour Loop

Expanded Wildlife Viewing Opportunity!

Come See The Birds!

One sandhill crane in flight

Mark your calendars for three special weekends this winter. The Intermittent Tour Road will be open to the public from noon Friday until noon Monday on the following weekends: Nov. 28 - Dec. 01, 2014; Dec. 26 - Dec. 29, 2014; and Jan. 16 - Jan. 19, 2015.

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS  

Follow NWRS Online


Enjoy Our Seasonal Activities

  • Canyon Hikes to Begin!

    Javelina family

    Join us Saturday mornings throughout September and October for a free, two mile, round-trip canyon hike on Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Beginning at 8:15 am, you will explore a desert canyon and watch for wildlife on this refuge guided tour. For details, see the linked poster. Reservations are suggested and can be made by calling (575) 835-1828 and Zero to reach an operator.

    Saturday Morning Canyon Hike Poster
  • 2014 Festival of the Cranes

    2014 Festival of the Cranes design November 18, 2014

    Make plans to attend the 27th Annual Festival of the Cranes, November 18-23, 2014 at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. A variety of workshops, guided tours, guest speakers, wildlife handlers, exhibitors, and activities for the entire family will be offered each day of the Festival. This year's events' schedule can be viewed in the link below. Registration begins September 2 and 3. Don't miss out on this unique festival celebration! For more information, view Friends of the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge website in the link below.

    Annual Crane Festival, November 18-23, 2014
  • Genetically Modified Crops

     Refuge water manager in corn field with a bowl of corn kernels / USFWS

    Or GMO's for short . . . Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge abandoned the use of GMO’s years ago and has remained committed to using only non-GMO varieties. Refuge water manager, Brian Greeves partnered with Native Seeds, a Tuscon Arizona based non-profit organization, to test seven varieties of heirloom corn seeds and learned that many varieties of heirloom seeds grew in the southwest, are naturally hardier, drought tolerant, and because of a tighter husk are naturally more resistant to damage from pests. Bosque del Apache annually grows 300 acres of corn for sandhill cranes. In doing this, the refuge maximizes the benefit of this small parcel of land in an altered and changing modern landscape. If the heirloom corn proves to be nutritionally sufficient and the cranes will forage on it, the refuge hopes to produce all 300 acres of corn with heirloom seeds.

    Read the Full History Here
Page Photo Credits — Cranes in flight over vibrant sky, Refuge water manager, Brian Greeves in a refuge corn field / USFWS, Sunset on the water with cranes / Ryan Hagerty ©, Refuge canyon view / USFWS, Coyote pup / Greg-Wright ©, American black bear / USFWS, Javelina family / refuge remote camera, USFWS, Close-up of crane's face, All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted.
Last Updated: Sep 06, 2014
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