Scenic Auto Loop:
Highway 281 and County Road 22C are the main access roads for the Refuge, which form an eight-mile horseshoe loop through the heart of the Refuge. Driving the loop road allows visitors to enjoy scenic views and excellent wildlife viewing opportunities in a diversity of habitats, including ponds, lakes, marshes, grasslands, cottonwood stands and brush thickets. The loop road is accessible year-round, although occasionally some parts of County Road 22C become difficult to drive after heavy rain, requiring the use of four-wheel-drive vehicles. Informational leaflets, including a map of the Refuge and the bird species list, are always available outside the main gate to the office building. If you visit during office hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.to 4:30 p.m.) you can stop in the building for additional information. There is no fee.
As you drive the loop, take a moment to enjoy the view of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the west, and be sure to stop at the Fred Quintana Overlook at Crane Lake, one of the best areas from which to view wildlife.
Click here for information about the fall flight wildlife drive!