Visitor Center Hours

Monday - Saturday 8 am - 4:30 pm

Visit Us

National wildlife refuges offer us all a chance to unplug from the stresses of daily life and reconnect with our natural surroundings. 

Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge is unique because four different kinds of habitat converge here on the refuge, including the Colorado Shrub Steppe, Great Plains Short Grass Prairie, the Chihuahua Desert and the Pinion Juniper Woodland. The Rio Grande also flows through the center of the refuge creating an oasis around the river that plays a vital role within these mixed ecosystems. Because the environments are so diverse, they attract and support a diversity of native species, including more than 89 species of mammals, 266 species of birds, 58 reptiles species and 15 species of amphibians and a documented 1,200 species of plants.  

Driving Directions

Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center and Headquarters is located 50 miles south of Albuquerque, New Mexico and is about 0.25 miles west of Interstate 25 at exit 169. The coordinates are 34.351501, -106.882401.  

Fees

There is no charge to visit.

Restrooms

Restroom facilities are available at the Visitor Center during open hours.

Points of Interest

Let our staff and volunteers at the visitor center help you plan your visit! This is a great starting point for visitors to become more familiar with the refuge and the wildlife that live here. Visitors can watch a 6-minute refuge orientation video, see live native fish of the Rio Grande on display, browse nature and wildlife exhibits, and obtain maps and brochures. While there, visit Amigos de la Sevilleta nature store for field guides, t-shirts, and other educational items.  

Exhibits in the visitor center feature the cultural history, biological diversity, geology, and latest news on scientific studies and findings at the refuge. 

What to Do

If you have 15-minutes: 

  • Explore the visitor center and hike our Wildflower Loop Trail. 

If you have one hour:

  • Explore our visitor center and hike our Nature Loop Trail. 

If you have half a day or more:

  • Explore our visitor center and journey to San Lorenzo Canyon or Wetland Units. 

Know Before You Go

Come prepared for unpredictable weather with hat, sunglasses, water, and layers of clothing. Summer temperatures can soar to 100 degrees and then cool down considerably at night; you can expect early afternoon monsoon rains from early July into September. Winter temperatures can often drop below freezing at night and skies are frequently clear. You can expect an occasional skiff of snow. 

Visitor Tips

  • Binoculars are available for check out in the visitor center.  

  • Observe from the sidelines. Leave “abandoned” young animals alone. A parent is probably close by waiting for you to leave.  

  • Walk quietly in designated areas, being aware of sights and sounds. Often you will hear more than you see.  

  • Look for animal signs. Tracks, scat, and feathers left behind often tell interesting stories.  

  • Teach children quiet observation. Other wildlife watchers will appreciate your consideration, and your children will be more likely to observe wildlife.  

  • Keep your distance from any wildlife.  

  • Watch where animals are most likely to show up - drinking sites, trail intersections, perches, ledges and overlooks to open areas.  

  • Bring the right tools. To get close-up views, use binoculars, spotting scope or camera zoom lens.  

  • Use field guides and checklists to identify animal species and to learn where you are most likely to see them.  

  • Watch at dawn and dusk when most wildlife species are active enough to view.  

  • Do not feed animals. Let them eat their natural foods. Your handouts could hurt their digestive systems, make them dependent on future handouts - or even kill them.  

  • Be patient. Don’t expect to see everything right away.  

  • Give nests plenty of space. You could frighten the parents away and leave eggs or young animals exposed to predators. 

 

Activities

The Refuge offers many opportunities to enhance your experience! Get outside and explore!  

Trails

Mesa View Trail 

Open Season: Year-round 

Length: 3.8 miles 

Location of trail: Next to the visitor center 

Surface: Natural 

Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous 

This journey climbs the mesa west of the visitor center and along 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 hike is great for viewing lizards in the spring, summer and fall and sparrows in the winter. 

Nature Loop 

Open Season: Year-round 

Length: 1.1 miles 

Location of trail: South of the visitor center 

Surface: Natural 

Difficulty: Moderate 

This loop trail takes you through an arroyo and back up onto higher ground. There are several resting spots that are good for taking in the views. Look for lizards and coyote, rabbit and deer tracks. 

Ladrones Vista Trail 

Open Season: Year-round 

Length: 1.9 miles 

Location of trail: Connects with the Mesa View and Nature Loop 

Surface: Natural, rock-lined path 

Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous 

Explore this trail 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. Keep your eyes peeled for birds, lizards and insects.  

Wildflower Loop 

Open Season: Year-round 

Length: 0.25 miles 

Location of trail: East of the visitor center 

Surface: Paved 

Difficulty: Easy 

This paved trail provides great views of the Rio Grande Valley, surrounding mountains and stunning flowers (in season). 

Wetland Units 

Open Season: Year-round   

Location of trail: Southeast of the visitor center 

Surface: Paved 

Enjoy a short drive to explore the wetland units. You will see waterfowl in the winter, songbirds in the spring through the fall and deer and elk year-round. Most wildlife viewing will occur from your vehicle, but there are also limited hiking opportunities. Hiking is allowed from sunrise to sunset in Units A and B along roads and levees only. 

San Lorenzo Canyon 

Open Season: Year-round 

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!

Rules and Policies

Please keep the following rules in mind as you enjoy Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge. 

  • For public safety and habitat protection, honor all refuge "Area Closed " boundary signs.  

  • Please stay on designated trails and obey posted signs. The refuge trails are open sunrise to sunset.  

  • Only drive on designated roads. No off-road driving. 

  • Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge hours are Monday through Friday. Our Visitor Center and front gate hours are 8:00 am - 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. You can park at the entry gate and walk in to enjoy the trails when the Visitor Center and gate are not open.  

  • Pets must be on a leash or under control. 

  • Visitors are prohibited from being under the influence of intoxicating beverages or controlled substances. 

  • Pits or permanent blinds are prohibited. 

  • Use caution when walking on roads. Yield to approaching vehicles. 

  • Observe wildlife from a safe distance. Young animals should be left alone. 

  • Help protect resources. All plants, wildlife, and cultural features on the refuge are protected and it is illegal to remove them. 

  • Fishing is prohibited on Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge. 

  • We do not allow canoeing, boating, floating, swimming or wading in the Rio Grande within the refuge.  

  • Hunting in designated areas only. 

  • Persons possessing, transporting, or carrying firearms on National Wildlife Refuges must comply with all provisions of state and local law. Persons may only use (discharge) firearms in accordance with refuge regulations while hunting in designated hunt areas. 

  • We do not allow the public to operate unmanned aerial systems (drones) on the refuge.  

  • Open fires prohibited except for at San Lorenzo Canyon, please see New Mexico Fire Information for restrictions.  

  • San Lorenzo Canyon is jointly managed by Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Follow BLM rules and regulations for camping on public lands

Locations

Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge
40 Refuge Road San Acacia, NM 87831
Driving Directions

Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center and Headquarters is located 50 miles south of Albuquerque, New Mexico and is about 0.25 miles west of Interstate 25 at exit 169. The coordinates are 34.351501, -106.882401.  

Hours
Visitor Center
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday
8 am - 4:30 pm
Refuge and Trails
Year-round, Daily
Sunrise - Sunset (You are allowed to park at the entry gate and walk in to enjoy the trails when the visitor center and gate are not open.)