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“Beautiful countryside”

Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge
Florida, New York
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Beautiful countryside”
Reviewed 24 January 2014

We went in winter, past the migration season, so we didn't see lots of birds, but the views and land nearby are lovely. Would definitely return in November if schedules allow (every Sunday in Nov the LVNWR has a migration event)

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank J B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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37 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Sandhill Cranes”
Reviewed 17 December 2013

Our Grand Daughter asked us about the Sandhill Crane migration so we decided to take her to the refuge to see them first hand. We went on Saturday and from the roads that were open we did not see much of anything, however we went again Sunday and the park had gates to off limit roads open and we got to drive deep into the park and saw 13 Sandhill cranes at 6 different lakes and we saw about 56 species of birds and waterfowl. It turned out to be a perfect day to visit the refuge center also because they had crafts for the kids and educational program for adults. If you want to go; stay at the Super 8 in town and come on a Sunday in November to get the VIP treatment.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank dunegoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Las Vegas, New Mexico, United States
Level 6 Contributor
162 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Tries hard and benefits from the flyways”
Reviewed 13 December 2013

While there is not much in the way of improvements here, this refuge is outstanding for being a spot where you can see an extraordinary range of bird species in just a short visit. Since Las Vegas is on a principal north-south flyway, this refuge just outside of town is a great place to go birding. There is a very good visitor center with knowledgeable staff and hands-on activities for the younger set. It's wide-open country, with a few timber viewing platforms at turn-outs on the road. Twice a year you can drive into the back country along the service roads and see ponds with birds you can't view from the usual spots. No picnic or camping facilities, and the fishing lake has dried up (though recent rains may have started to restore it).

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank Randy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lyme, New Hampshire
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“When There's Water, There Are Birds”
Reviewed 31 October 2013

It had rained recently so all the ponds had water in them. Thus we were treated to about 30 sandhill cranes busy feeding, plus plenty of hawks and other birds. We appreciated the free telescopes at the overlook, making it easier to spot the cranes. Visitor center was closed but we took the short Gallinas Nature Trail where we saw a cool ringneck snake (harmless) as well as a large (also harmless) gopher snake. Trail starts on flat prairie with some old ruins from the 1920s, then descends into a small canyon with some permanent seeps that attract wildlife. No crowds at all in spite of this being a Sunday. Great for a few hours respite from the world of humans.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank The_Park_Explorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Fe
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 185 helpful votes
“Stark Beauty”
Reviewed 9 October 2013

This wildlife refuge is for bird watchers and not for those who prefer to get out an mosey around. Most of the bird watching is done from your car or from one of the overlooks. The NWR surrounds MacAllister Lake which is actually owned by the State of New Mexico and it has been opened in the past to camping and fishing (it is not as of this writing and hasn't been for at least two years). People still occasionally disperse camp near the entrance to the lake but I do not know if this is legal or not.

Here is an insider's tip. The first overlook after the NWR HQ features a telescope (free) that people normally use to watch birds. However, this telescope can be used to watch the moonrise or other celestial events. I even hooked my camera up to it one evening to take pictures of the nighttime sky. Very cool. Sometimes they lock the gate on the short road to the overlook at night but it is often open. In any event this is a great place to get away from the city and enjoy the night skies without an extended drive.

If you want to take the scenic drive you need a permit from the ranger station. Sadly, this route is not open for hiking, car only. Back when the lake actually had water in it I would sometimes come out and hike around the lake and listen to the birds cry to each other. Not any more.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank NorthernNMCritic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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