Trails

Butterfly Trail  

Open Season:  Open year-round from sunrise to sunset. 

Length:  0.25 mile  

Location of trail: Near the Visitor Center. Trailhead starts by the end of the Visitor Center parking lot or by the steps north of the Visitor Center, and loops down to the observation deck adjacent to a wetland.  

Surface: A mix of milled asphalt near the parking lot and gradual wooden steps (no railing) and grass down below. Observation deck, partial ADA compliance. 

Difficulty:  Easy 

Learn about monarch butterflies and landscaping to attract these beautiful insects. This is a perfect location to view native vegetation to the Chihuahuan Desert, including cacti, wildflowers, and shrubs. The trail loops down to an observation deck where you can view the wetland below the Visitor Center. You can see dragonflies dipping into the water or small native fish darting through the spring waters. Keep an eye out for the quiet, elusive sora rail.  

Oxbow Trail 

Open Season: During fall migration starting October 15th through the end of February, this trail is closed in the mornings on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays until 1:00 p.m. Otherwise, it is open year-round from sunrise to sunset. 

Length: 2 miles 

Location of trail: Located 4 miles from the Visitor Center, southeast on the Wildlife Drive. 

Surface Grass, dirt, and sand 

Difficulty: Easy 

This trail encircles an old oxbow that was disconnected from the Pecos River. It is an excellent location to watch for waterfowl and wading birds. During fall migration, the trail runs along a wetland that is flooded, where more birds can be spotted. There are two benches available to sit and rest.  

Desert Upland Trail 

Open Season: Open year-round from sunrise to sunset. 

Length: 1 mile 

Location of trail: Located 3 miles from the Visitor Center, southwest on the Wildlife Drive.  

Surface Grass and dirt, slightly uphill 

Difficulty: Easy 

Visitors can walk through an area that hosts an assortment of native desert plant species. Shrubs and thicket areas provide excellent quail, pyrrhuloxia, and songbird viewing. 

Dragonfly Trail 

Open Season: Open year-round from sunrise to sunset.  

Length: 0.25 mile 

Location of trail: Less than one mile south of the Visitor Center on the Wildlife Drive. 

Surface Grass and dirt 

Difficulty: Easy  

Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge is famous for supporting one of the most diverse populations of dragonflies and damselflies in North America. You can enjoy dragonfly watching on this trail.  

Pajáro Bird Blind 

Open Season: Open year-round from sunrise to sunset.  

Length: 0.2 miles 

Location of trail: It is on the east side of the Wildlife Drive 

Surface: Concrete with an aluminum ramp 

Difficulty: Easy  

Bring your binoculars or camera and sit in an enclosed viewing blind and watch for different species of shorebirds and waterfowl preen or feed in the wetland.  

 

Desert Uplands Trail

Trail Length (mi)
0.32
View Trail

Dragonfly Overlook Trail

Trail Length (mi)
0.14
View Trail

Bitter Lake Bike Trail

Trail Length (mi)
2.11
View Trail

Butterfly Trail

Trail Length (mi)
0.41
View Trail

Pajaro Observation Blind Trail

Trail Length (mi)
0.13
View Trail