20,000 Sandhill Cranes migrate through the San Luis Valley each spring heading north, and each fall heading south. Do try to see them some day – they are magnificent!
A few tips for your visit. The Spring Crane Viewing pamphlet has essential information and a map of viewing areas. Here is an annotated version of the map, with red arrows showing some key viewing areas:
And here is the same area on a Google maps areal photo, showing the crop circles where the birds feed:
And if you happen to be staying in Crestone, here is the route to the Monte Vista Wildlife Refuge, but don’t miss the crane art on the main street of Monte Vista:
The best time to visit is early morning and evening, as the sun is rising and setting.
Cranes of the World, a wonderful presentation by Sandra Knoll
Monte Vista Crane Festival, held every March
See the live webcam of the cranes migrating through Nebraska; especially beautiful at dawn and dusk, and at night too!