Humans aren't the only ones that find the valley a heavenly sanctuary. Every year tens of thousands of migratory birds and other wildlife make their home in and around the valley, and our area's three wildlife refuge centers are a terrific spot for viewing.
Between the valley's three wildlife refuges lay more than 100,000 acres of wetlands and nutrient-rich habitat perfect for grazing, roosting, feeding and playing by native and migrating wildlife, including loons, pelicans, herons, egrets, swans, hawks, eagles, falcons, sandpipers, owls, and twice a year in fall and spring, as many as 20,000 sandhill cranes.
Our migrating sandhill crane population is so prolific, in fact, the city of Monte Vista established the annual Monte Vista Crane Festival more than two decades ago to celebrate the birds and provide educational and photography opportunities for birders and other wildlife lovers. The festival draws thousands of people to the valley each year in March. These areas are perfect for easy walks and Blanca wetlands has some great fishing under the towering Sangre de Cristo Peaks.
Visit the official U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Alamosa/Monte Vista/Baca National Wildlife Refuge Complex website. Find specific information on the San Luis Valley ecosystem, maps, wildlife, events, refuge kids, hunting, Friends of the Refuge, and history.