The Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge is near the small town of San Antonio, NM, 9 mi. south of Socorro, and less than an hour and a half from Albuquerque. Sandhill cranes, snow geese and many other migrating birds make the Bosque their winter home in the Land of Enchantment, with incomparable sunsets, delicate multicolored mountains, intense blue skies and special light. Bosque del Apache translates as "Woods of the Apache." Native Americans often camped at this river-side forest, and the area was occupied by Pueblo peoples for centuries before the Spanish explorers established the Camino Real (the Royal Road from Mexico City to Santa Fe). The Refuge is 57,331 acres located along the Rio Grande at the northern edge of the Chihuahuan Desert. The heart of the Refuge is about 12,900 acres of moist bottomlands. The rest of Bosque del Apache NWR is made up of arid foothills and mesas, which rise to the Chupadera Mountains on the west and the San Pascual Mountains on the east. Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Refuge is an important wintering home for sandhill cranes, and will host as many as 14,000 during the winter months, along with upwards of 30,000 snow geese. Seeing the sunset "Fly In" and the dawn "Fly Out" is an experience you will never forget! The sound of wings and geese talking is a fantastic, primordial experience, guaranteed to "wow" you out of your worries and lift your soul to join them.