Snow geese take flight at sunrise in Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

© Carl Johnson/Design Pics/Getty Images

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

Top choice in New Mexico

Renowned among wildlife photographers the world over, these fields and marshes, 18 miles south of Socorro, are the wintering ground for over 100,000 migratory birds including snow geese, sandhill cranes and bald eagles. The season lasts from late October to March, peaking in December and January. From the visitor center, two 6-mile driving loops circle through the refuge, passing hiking trails and viewing platforms. Bring binoculars (or a telescopic lens), or rent them at the gift shop ($5).

This is a pleasant place to explore by bicycle.

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