Every year in November, thousands of sandhill cranes migrate from Canada and the northern United States to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Our visit to New Mexico coincided perfectly with that migration. It was an excellent low-energy trip, allowing Anna to see lots of wildlife without walking and worsening her symptoms. We spent portions of three days at the refuge.
Before the trip we purchased a better zoom camera. The long telephoto lens made it much easier to photograph birds without spooking them. Copious wildlife activity meant we got plenty of practice with the new camera’s controls and features.
Bosque del Apache is situated next to the Rio Grande, along the migration path of many bird species. With many natural sources of food, water, and protected habitat disappearing over time, Bosque del Apache plays a key role in the success and survival of the birds that pass through each year. Refuge staff carefully manage water flows and crop fields to provide the right food at the right time for each species when it arrives.
This short video conveys the sheer quantity of birds that visit Bosque del Apache. It was so cool to watch:
Death Valley is home to incredibly varied and beautiful landscapes. In our last post we wrote about its most famous viewpoints and easily accessible spots. In this post, we share day hikes, some of which are in less-visited areas of the park.
Natural Bridge Canyon is a short hike featuring a large natural bridge. It’s an easy way to experience one of Death Valley’s many canyons, which provide endless nooks and crannies to explore.
Ubehebe Crater is a volcanic spectacle half a mile wide and 700 feet deep. You can walk the rim of the crater, then follow the trail over to Little Hebe.
Mosaic Canyon provides a winding tour of unusual geology. The entire trail is 4 miles, but you don’t have to hike the whole thing to enjoy plenty of beautiful rock.
When you think of Death Valley National Park, you are probably envisioning Badwater Basin. It’s extremely dry and one of the hottest places in the world.
So that’s why we decided to visit in January! We experienced highs in the 70s, well below the 110+ degree heat you can expect in the summer months. The record temperature in Death Valley is a blistering 134 degrees!
We attended an excellent ranger talk at Badwater. Check out this program or any ranger talk at your next national park. They are consistently fun, informative, and great for all ages.
There is so much more to the park than Badwater though.