Features: Birding — Views — Wildlife
This loop is the best way to experience the Wildlife Refuge. There is parking and two restrooms at the Visitor Center and educational signage along the way. There seemed to be a water spigot but it wasn't clear if the water was potable. The Visitor Center office is run by volunteers and was closed on the day (Friday) that we were there.
Beyond getting to explore the refuge, the views east toward the Sangre de Cristo mountains and west toward the foothills of the San Juans are beautiful.
Each year in the beginning of March, an estimated 30,000 Greater Sandhill Cranes migrate from Arizona, New Mexico, and areas near the Mexican border through San Luis Valley. The Monte Vista Crane Festival
takes place each year, using the Wildlife Refuge as its base.