Spring Migration Weekend Getaway to Colorado's San Luis Valley

March 4-6, 2022

Sandhill Cranes at Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge

In the heart of Colorado’s San Luis Valley, lush wetlands provide important habitat for a variety of species seeking refuge in the arid landscape. Every year, 20,000 Sandhill Cranes descend on the area for a six-week stopover to rest and refuel before continuing their migration north. The Alamosa and Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Complex is a hotspot for spring crane, waterfowl, and shorebird viewing. In addition to exploring wetland and riparian areas, we’ll visit arid locations including Penitente Canyon.

Join us for a March getaway to celebrate the arrival of spring migration with an unforgettable weekend in Colorado’s scenic San Luis Valley.


Day 1 (Fri, March 4): Denver/ Monte Vista ~ Morning departure from Morrison. We’ll make several birding stops along the way to Monte Vista. Lunch in Poncha Springs. Our day ends as we watch flocks of Sandhill Cranes fly overhead en masse with the Sangre de Cristo Mountains as a scenic backdrop.

Accommodations: Hampton Inn Alamosa

Meals: Lunch

Day 2 (Sat, March 5): Alamosa and Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge Complex ~ We have the entire day to explore the NWR complex with driving tours at both refuges. 

Accommodations: Hampton Inn Alamosa

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Bald Eagle
Northern Pintail
Short-eared Owl

Day 3 (Sun, March 19): Penitente Canyon ~ A sunrise visit to Monte Vista NWR is available for any early risers. After breakfast, we’ll head to Penitente Canyon, a hidden gem located at the western edge of the San Luis Valley in the foothills of the La Garita Mountains for a bird hike. We’ll take our time driving back to Denver with birding stops en route.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch


Price: $950* per person based on two people sharing double occupancy accommodations. Surcharge for private accommodations on single occupancy basis: $185*

Price includes accommodations, full-time driver/guide (Sheridan Samano – Reefs to Rockies), transportation in a 12-passenger Ford Transit or similar van, activities, and meals as listed in the itinerary. Spotting scope available.

Group size: 6-8 participants + Sheridan Samano. 

*A 3% discount will be applied to payments by check.

All participants must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 prior to travel.

All images were taken during 2021 trips to the San Luis Valley.