Fall colors in the desert / Jenny and Oliver Davis ©

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge located 
The refuge is situated just east of Interstate 25 midway between Albuquerque and Las Cruces, New Mexico. Socorro is the nearest city. Get detailed directions to plan your visit (including a lat/long) and see the map here.

When was it established?  

How big is it
57,331 acres.

Why was it established
To provide habitat and protection for migratory birds and endangered species and provide the public with a high quality wildlife and educational experience.

When is the refuge open
The auto tour loop and nature trails are open every day of the year from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset. To plan your visit, get more information on hours of operation and entrance fees. Be sure to check the Refuge Rules & Regulations for more information. 

Are guided tours available?
From December through February, guided tours are usually offered.  Please check the Guided Tours Website for more details or contact the refuge.

Are snacks and soft drinks available on the refuge?
Light snacks may be available in the Nature Store. You may wish to bring your own light lunch. A water bottle refill station is available inside the visitor center, when the visitor center is open. You also have the option to purchase carry-out lunch from San Antonio's store or one of the restaurants. You are welcome to use the picnic area in the Pavilion in the visitor center complex.

Can I camp on the refuge?
The refuge is not open to camping.

When is the best time to visit the refuge?
Visit our Seasons of Wildlife page for information on the refuge’s wildlife arranged by season.

Can I ride my bicycle on the refuge?
Bicycling routes vary by season and have designated trails and roads. Learn more about bicycling opportunities.

Are dogs allowed on the refuge?
To ensure that you and your pet enjoy a safe visit, follow all pet regulations while inside the refuge. The refuge is truly a wild place.  Wildlife may be drawn to pets and their owners and pets who wander away might not be found. To protect your pet and wildlife, please follow these strictly enforced regulations.

Can I bring and release wildlife on the refuge?
Releasing any animal (wildlife or unwanted pets) on the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge is illegal and subject to a fine. 

Can I feed the animals?
The digestive systems of wild animals are adapted to food found in nature and human food could cause them to become ill. When fed, wildlife might also become bold and aggressive. Never approach a wild animal no matter how “friendly” it appears. Note, it is illegal to feed wildlife on the refuge and subject to a fine.