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Auto Tour

Easy
 3.0 (2)

A multi-use loop on a dirt road with informational signs and opportunities to spot local and migrating wildlife.


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Map Key

2.6

Miles

4.1

KM

Point to Point

7,660' 2,335 m

High

7,638' 2,328 m

Low

10' 3 m

Up

24' 7 m

Down

0%

Avg Grade (0°)

1%

Max Grade (0°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Birding · Views · Wildlife

Family Friendly A wide, flat, easily-accessible road with informational signs that teach about the local wildlife.

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Zander Göpfert

Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 2 votes

#24626

Overall
  3.0 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#2,118

in Colorado

#24,626

Overall
2 Views Last Month
89 Since Mar 6, 2017
Easy

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Photos

The southern reaches of the Sangre de Cristos from the Auto Route.
Mar 7, 2017 near Monte V…, CO
Looking west from the northern boundary of the refuge toward the foothills of the San Juan Mountains.
Mar 7, 2017 near Monte V…, CO

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Check-Ins

Feb 27, 2020
Joseph Chacon
Auto Route, no walking required 2.6mi