Facility Activities

While most visitors are drawn to Bosque del Apache to observe wildlife being wildlife, a number of other activities may be of interest. From picnicking and fishing to hiking and photography, everyone can experience Bosque del Apache a little differently.

Open every day from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset (year-round), the Auto Tour Loop is approximately 12 miles long, bisected by a two-way road. Please observe one-way directional signs.

Drive carefully on gravel roads and stay on designated roads and turnouts....

The Low Flow Conveyance Channel East Service Road offers almost eleven miles of gravel roadway with little to no motor vehicle traffic and provides a relaxing bicycle ride with the opportunity to catch a glimpse of some of the more secretive wildlife that call the refuge home. Bicyclists should...

Located at the northern edge of the Chihuahuan Desert in the Central Flyway, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge is home and rest stop for a large variety of wildlife species. From mammals and birds to reptiles and insects, wildlife observation can be an engaging way to explore this place...

From October 1 through March 31:

Pets must be inside the vehicle at all times while on the Auto Tour Route.

Pets are not allowed on any trails adjoining the Auto Tour Route (this includes: Marsh Overlook Trail, Boardwalk Trail/Sparrow Loop, John P. Taylor, Jr....

Refuge fishing waters include a shallow 30-acre wetland spanned by a universally accessible boardwalk, the Elmendorf Canal (Interior Drain), Riverside Canal and the east side of the Low Flow Conveyance Channel. Fishing and frogging season is April 1-September 30. Available species include...

From quiet marshes to sweeping vistas, the twelve nature trails of Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge offer a variety of sights, sounds, and wildlife. The trails vary in accessibility and difficulty, but all provide opportunities to experience nature in solitude or with family and...

Along the banks of the Rio Grande lies Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, a rest stop, home and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. Since 1939, hunters and wildlife enthusiasts from around the world have been drawn to this oasis in the Chihuahuan Desert that...

Painting and sketching in nature is possible at nearly all sites open to the public. Sometimes, sites host public displays of artworks created on the refuge.
Whether you wield a smartphone or a zoom lens, you’ll find photo-worthy subjects at national wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries. Wildlife photography is a priority public use on national wildlife refuges, so you’ll find wildlife drives and blinds and overlooks to help you get the images you’re after.
A few sites allow picnicking at designated areas.
Rangers lead wildlife walks, tours and educational programs at many sites. Events may focus on wildflowers or birds or on seasonal spectacles, such as elk bugling or sea turtle nesting. Some programs may be limited in size or require advance registration. See individual websites for details.
Many multi-purpose trails are open to runners and joggers as well as walkers and, in some cases, bicyclists. Some sites host annual fun runs. Check individual refuge websites for details.

While there is always something interesting to see, you will find the greatest numbers of birds at the refuge from early November to late January. In the spring and fall, migratory bird species are moving through the refuge, resulting in high numbers of species.

Winter...