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Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Located where the Chihuahuan Desert, High Plains and Pecos River valley come together, Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge is a reknown migratory birding center inhabited by a diverse abundance of species – truly a wildlife photographer’s dream come true! Attracted to the area by its abundant water supply at least 357 species of birds have been observed on the refuge. At least 59 species of mammals, over 50 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 24 fish species have been documented on the refuge.

The refuge protects and provides habitat for some of New Mexico’s most rare and unusual creatures such as the Least Shrew, Noel’s Amphipod, Least Tern and Roswell Spring Snail. Wetlands provide habitat for thousands of migrating sandhill cranes, geese and ducks. Established in 1937 to provide wintering habitat for migratory birds, the Refuge plays a crucial role in the conservation of wetlands in the desert Southwest.

Spring and fall are the best times to view birds in large numbers, particularly at dawn and dusk. Bitter Lake NWR is also home to the annual Dragonfly Festival. You’ll see plenty of nature along the scenic drive loop or you can step out of your vehicle and check out the hiking trails, cycling path, or bird blinds.

4200 E. Pine Lodge Rd.
Roswell, NM 88201

Refuge open daily from one hour before sunrise and one hour after sunset
Visitor Center temporarily closed