Years of overgrazing, logging, river diversion, and invasive non-native plants had destroyed the wetlands and flood plain of the Rio Grande in central New Mexico when President Roosevelt gave the young men of the Civilian Conservation Corp the task of restoring the area. What was started in the 1930s continues today and the refuge provides a yearly winter stop over for tens of thousands of cranes, geese, and ducks.
The scenery of the refuge is spectacular but viewing the large number of birds, especially when they all lift off in early morning to feed in the grasslands and fields or land again in the evening is what draws many visitors to the refuge. The refuge has a visitor center, a driving tour with two loops, short hiking trails, and a bike trail. We missed the sandhill cranes but did see hundreds of snow geese coming in for the evening.
The visitor center is accessible. The observation decks along the driving route are accessible and the boardwalk trail is accessible. Several trails are listed as mostly accessible but we did not have time to try them.
The visitor center has a parking lot for RVs. A paved trail goes to the visitor center however the curb cuts are poorly designed so it might be easier to just go through the parking lots. The parking areas at the stops along the driving tour are large enough for RVs. Refuge 33.80523, -106.89038