Wildlife Watching and Nature Trails

Hike on Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge / USFWS

Wildlife watching and nature trails are open to the public free of charge.

This is where you can enjoy wildlife-related activities, including wildlife watching, hiking, and photography.

Mesa View Trail
Located adjacent to the refuge’s visitor center, the Mesa View Trail is a 3.8 mile journey that climbs the mesa west of the visitor center and skirts the mesa’s edge before dropping back down into the valley. This trail provides some wonderful views of the Ladrone and surrounding mountains, as well as a wide diversity of awe inspiring landforms. This moderate to strenuous hike is great for viewing lizards in the spring, summer and fall and sparrows in the winter.

Nature Loop
Located just south of the refuge’s visitor center, the Nature Loop is a 1.1 mile loop that takes you through an arroyo and back up onto higher ground. This moderate hike has several resting spots that are good for taking in the views. Look for coyote, rabbit and deer tracks, and lizards.

Ladrones Vista Trail
This 1.9-mile trail connects with the Mesa View and Nature Loop Trails. Explore this rock lined path through arroyos and up the side of the mesa. Along the way you will marvel at the beauty of Sevilleta, the Ladrones and middle Rio Grande Valley. While exploring this moderate-to strenuous trail keep your eyes peeled for birds, lizards and insects on this diverse trail.

Wildflower Loop
Located just east of the refuge’s visitor center, the Wildflower Loop is a paved ¼ mile loop that provides great views of the Rio Grande Valley, surrounding mountains and stunning flowers (in season). 

Please view and print the refuge's current Trails Guide and Map. 

Wetland Units
Hiking is allowed from sunrise to sunset in Units A & B along the roads and levees only!  

Enjoy a short drive southeast of the Visitor Center to explore the wetland units. Waterfowl abound in winter, songbirds in spring through fall, and year-round watch for deer and elk. Most wildlife viewing will occur from your vehicle, but there are also limited hiking opportunities. 

San Lorenzo Canyon 
A scenic area of sheltered caves, sandstone cliffs, arches and hoodoos, San Lorenzo Canyon is rich in history and natural beauty. The geological formations make it an excellent spot for hiking and photography. The Canyon is jointly managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Land Management as a primitive recreation area. There are no restrooms or drinking water. All trash must be packed out!

For more information, visit the website on San Lorenzo Canyon.

View a Fact Sheet with directions to San Lorenzo Canyon.