After entering the park, you can take the roads to where you want to go within the park boundaries. I prefer to take the Tour Loop: a one way dirt road that circles the park. If you are lucky and received inside info from the visitor center, you can get out and wander at the best places to view the local birds and critters. A park map is also handy to allow you to see the various trails you might like to explore.
I strongly recommend you get out and wander the boardwalk; a flat bridge of sorts that crosses the lagoon and has benches for sitting and contemplating your navel, or the avian life around you. There are various viewing decks scattered around the loop, and they correlate on the map and the log in the visitor center with various wildlife sightings.
During the off-season (which is spring and summer) you have to stop at the visitor center before entering the park itself. Don't worry, it's not a chore by any means; I enjoy looking at the exhibits, talking with the volunteers and staff and checking out the photos in the gift shop. You can also read the log book filled out by visitors to the park that details critter sightings - This info can help plan which stops to make while in the park. Talking with the staff also allows you to get info on road and trail conditions, and which locations are best for viewing the wildlife of the day. You can often be only one of a couple of people in the park ... or even be alone.
There are various displays and viewing posts right outside the visitor center which are easy to access (and free if going no further) for those who are disabled and wish to leave the car but not wander the park proper. One of my favorite things here? The hummingbird feeders - those little guys are fast and cute :)
During peak season (fall and winter) you can choose to bypass the visitor center and go straight to the Tour Loop entrance - but you can miss valuable info if you choose this option. That being said, during Festival of the Cranes, getting directly into the line of cars entering the loop drive may be your only hope of even getting IN the park!
Cost is about 3$ a car during the summer. So load up and head on out!
This local bar at the Bosque del Apache turn off serves delicious green chile cheeseburgers! A local dive that is worth a stop. Southern New Mexico is the only place in the world that grows this special type of green chile...YUM!
Nothing but the basics on this menu...a very small dive, but often frequented by the Socorro locals. After you enjoy the wildlife at the Bosque, stop in for a burger and beer!
Favorite Dish: Green Chile Cheeseburger!!!
I live in a drier part of the state .... and with all this water I found the mosquitoes horrific! They ate me alive! Maybe I'm spoiled b/c of having been on their 'do not eat' list for so many decades of smoking ... but now that I'm not smoking, I am their version of filet mignon.
That being said, we do have west nile virus out here so those mozzie bites are not exactly innocent bothers. If you didn't bring your own repellent, you can pick up stuff at the visitor center for a reasonable price.
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