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Auto Tour

Easy

Trail

2.6 mile 4.1 kilometer point to point
Easy

Elevation

Ascent: 10' 3 m
Descent: -24' -7 m
High: 7,660' 2,335 m
Low: 7,638' 2,328 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 0% (0°)
Max Grade: 1% (0°)

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Unknown
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Trail shared by Zander Göpfert

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

Zander Göpfert

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.

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We need help with the following missing trail information:

ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna

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Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 1 vote

#25776

Overall
  3.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#2,215

in Colorado

#25,776

Overall
4 Views Last Month
75 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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