Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Sierra Club outings and in-person events have been cancelled through February 28th, 2021. While we’re all disappointed, we understand that everyone’s health and safety are most important. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get out and go for a hike! Our do-it-yourself outings are designed with you in mind and offer a range of difficulties and outdoor experiences. We hope you’ll climb the mountains and receive their good tidings during this challenging time.
Remember to check the location for warnings and closures before you go.
Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge
With the Thanksgiving holiday coming up you may be looking for something to do that is low risk and simultaneously feeds your soul. How about getting outside and enjoying nature? Our do-it-yourself outings are designed with you in mind and offer a range of difficulties and outdoor experiences. To help you achieve that goal here’s our next Outing of the Week.
Difficulty: Easy to Strenuous (refer to scanned map)
Hiking time: 30 minutes to 5 hours, depending upon the trail
Cost: $5 amenity fee per vehicle at bosque entrance self-serve station
Dogs: Allowed on leash and only in certain areas (refer to scanned brochure)
Map: Bosque Del Apache (scanned brochure) | Fish & Wildlife Service
Check the gas gage, prepare a picnic lunch, grab your binoculars and toss in an extra mask for this wildlife spectacle. This outing gives you the opportunity to hike or just be. If you’d like to add a bike ride to the adventure menu, load up the Schwinn and your brain bucket too.
Every year tens of thousands of sandhill cranes, ducks and geese migrate from western Canada to the waterways just southeast of Socorro to spend the winter. At around sunrise, they lift off by the thousands to go feed in the surrounding area. Then, around sunset they all return to the Wildlife Refuge with a cacophony of sounds. So, no matter if you’re a morning person or an afternoon person, you can witness this amazing air ballet that’s been occurring for centuries. And trust me here…you don’t have to be a “bird person” to gain a sense of awe and wonder when you witness this event.
The Hike & Bike: See the pdf file that provides information on 11 different hiking trails that range in distance from .5 miles to over 9.5 miles, some of which are Handi-accessible. There are also over 10 miles of biking trails. A mountain bike, gravel bike or recreation bike with fatter tires should suffice on the bike trails. About 30-45 minutes before sunrise or 30-45 minutes before sunset, find a spot to view the water. A good indicator of where you might view the birds is to look for people with cameras poised and ready.
Pro Tip: Safety is #1. To avoid having to stop along the route ensure you have plenty of gas, hand sanitizer, food and water before you leave home. The fewer people you interact with, the safer you will be. Toss in some camp chairs a hearty picnic meal and some beverages to make this a memorable family day-trip. In keeping with the Thanksgiving holiday, or any day, don’t forget to take a moment to give thanks for this wonderful place, here in the Land of Enchantment.
To Get There: Take I-25 South (From ABQ)/I-25 North from Las Cruces to Exit 139 (San Antonio). Travel east 1/4 mile on NM-380 to the flashing light. Take a right onto NM-1 and drive south for 8 miles to the visitors center with good signage to show you the way. The Bosque is located just across the road from the visitors center. Although the visitors center may be closed, there’s an excellent picnic area and desert arboretum adjacent to it and they are both worth the stop. There are also porta-potties situated near the visitors center.
Stay healthy and have a Happy Thanksgiving!