Sandhill Crane Migration Tour

Private Tours!
Private Tours!
Save To Wish List

Adding item to wishlist requires an account

Colorado Rocky Mountain Photography Tours

Related Tours

3+ Days
Availability : March
$499/day + lodging
Incl. up to 4 persons.

Photography Tours & Sightseeing Tours

Are you a wildlife enthusiast or photographer looking for your next adventure? Look no further than the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge, a must-visit destination for its annual visit of Greater Sandhill Cranes. Over the course of several weeks, flocks of up to 20,000 cranes will make their way to this beautiful wetland nestled between two mountain ranges in the San Luis Valley.

Alamosa Sandhill Crane migration photo workshop
Cranes flying through the sunset haze near the Great Sand Dunes National Park of Colorado.

Starting in late February, these magnificent birds will arrive at the refuge after migrating over 1,000 miles from their wintering grounds at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. The migration continues until late March or early April when they finally reach their summer nests at Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Idaho. This is the perfect opportunity to witness this natural wonder against a stunning backdrop of snow-capped mountain peaks.

As we explore the refuge, you may witness the courtship dance of the Greater Sandhill Cranes. These birds use this time to find their mate, and you’ll be able to capture stunning photos of them leaping, bowing, wing-raising, and lowering, all while making a unique croaking sound. Their four-foot frame and six-foot wingspan are truly a sight to behold and make for incredible photographs.

But the Greater Sandhill Cranes aren’t the only attraction at the refuge. Keep your eyes peeled for the lesser Sandhill Cranes and a variety of ducks and waterfowl that fill the ponds and wetlands in the area. And if you’re lucky, you may even spot the incredibly rare Whopping Crane during its migration.

So pack your camera gear and get ready for an unforgettable wildlife photography experience at the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge.

Monte Vista Sand Hill Cranes - photo workshop
Sandhill Cranes silhouetted against the snowcapped peaks.

Surrounding Locations

Want to add some variety to your trip? We can easily incorporate some additional destinations in the area if you wish. The Great Sand Dunes, with their impressive sand dunes towering over 700 feet tall, offer a unique and captivating landscape for photography. The Zepata Falls, located just a short drive from the dunes, provide a stunning waterfall backdrop surrounded by granite walls. For those interested in capturing the beauty of waterfalls, the North Clear Creek Falls are a must-visit destination. With a drop of over 100 feet, these falls create a mesmerizing scene that is sure to leave any photographer in awe.

Private Tours

At Big Sun Photography, we offer an exclusive private tour experience for individuals or small private groups of up to four people. Our fully customized tours are tailored to your specific physical needs and interests, and we provide flexible start and stop times, so you can visit each destination at the best possible times. Our clients receive professional photography training during their tour to improve their skills and help in capturing stunning images from their journey.

Tour Accommodations

We will be staying in the nearby towns of Alamosa or Monte Vista.  You specify the level of accommodations you wish to have and we will make all the arrangements for your party.  Pricing will vary dependent on the level of accommodations and its proximity to the park.

Camera Equipment Rental:

Note that you will need a minimum of 300 mm lens to capture these birds properly (will require heavy cropping); however, we recommend 600+ mm lens.  It is recommended that you bring as much lens focal length as you can.  If you wish to rent equipment for this tour we recommend using

3 travellers are considering this tour right now!

Proceed Booking