The 93,000 acre Baca National Wildlife Refuge is located in the northeastern part of the San Luis Valley. The Refuge has a diverse combination of shrublands, grasslands, wet meadows, playa wetlands, and corridors. This Refuge was set aside not only as a haven for migratory birds and resident wildlife, but also for its importance in a broader conservation effort to protect the wildlife, habitat, and water of the northern San Luis Valley. The Refuge also contains the rich archeological telling of over 12,000 years of use by humans, including the extensive history of the famed Baca Grant Ranch.
Visitor Contact Station
The Baca National Wildlife Refuge provides a small but informative visitor contact station at the Refuge office. There are interactive displays, historical stories, wildlife and Refuge management information, and an amazing view of 14,000-foot peaks of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains.
Elk hunting is allowed on the Refuge. Portions of the Refuge are open to hunting in accordance with Federal, State, and local regulations; the most restrictive regulations apply on the Refuge.
For information about hunting on Baca National Wildlife Refuge, please review our Baca Refuge Hunt Brochure.
Other Facilities in the Complex
About the Complex
The San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex is made up of the Alamosa, Monte Vista, and Baca National Wildlife Refuges and is an area set aside for migratory birds and resident wildlife. These Refuges are part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, a network of lands set aside and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service specifically for wildlife. The Refuge System is a living heritage, conserving wildlife, and habitat for people today and generations to come.
The 12,026 acre Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge includes wetland areas,corridors, wet meadows, and river oxbows. The wetland and river habitats provide a wildlife oasis in this dry region. These habitats support a variety of wildlife, including songbirds, water birds, raptors, deer, beavers, coyotes, and more.
The artificially created wetlands on Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge’s 14,804 acres are intensively managed to provide habitat for a wide variety of waterfowl and other water birds. Mallards, pintails, teals, and Canada geese are common, as are American avocets, killdeers, white-faced ibises, egrets, and herons. Irrigation canals and wells provide precious water to maintain this important habitat.
The 93,000 acre Baca National Wildlife Refuge is a highly diverse combination of shrublands, grasslands, wet meadows, playa wetlands, and riparian areas. This Refuge was set aside not only as a haven for migratory birds and resident wildlife, but also as an important piece in a broader conservation effort to protect the wildlife, habitat, and water of the north and eastern portions of the San Luis Valley.
Rules and Policies
At this time, the Baca Refuge has limited public use available.
These public activities include:
A small visitor contact station is located inside the Refuge office.
The Baca Trail that connects to the neighboring Colorado College Nature Trail.
Elk hunting in designated hunt areas on the refuge. Baca Refuge Hunt Brochure
All other areas of the refuge is currently closed to public use.
The Baca NWR office is located approximately 10.5 miles east of Highway 17 on the south side of County Road T. The gate at the end of the driveway is between two large timbers, with "Luis Maria Baca Grant" in cast iron lettering above it.