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Visiting Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge

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Hey there, fellow explorers! About a month ago we had a chance to visit Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge while on a college visit in Roswell for our son. This little hideaway in southeastern New Mexico is right outside of Roswell, NM and provided us a needed break from nonstop alien attractions. Don’t get me wrong, the alien theme at Roswell is pretty cool and worth a visit on it’s own but nothing beats the outdoors for us.

Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge Entrance Sign Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge

As soon as we arrived, the whole gang was immediately wowed by the refuge’s natural beauty. And let me tell you, Drax’s tail was wagging so hard, I thought it might fly off! We headed out to explore the vast wetlands, and boy, were we in for a treat. Being from Kansas sometimes I forgot how much I love wetlands so I felt right at home here. The wetlands had so many different types of birds and wildlife.

For the Birders out there

If there was anything I would have changed about our trip I would have taken a bird identification guide. We saw so many different kinds of birds and I am still trying to learn the birds of New Mexico. Luckily we did remember our binoculars and were able to spend quite some time just birdwatching. We have a laminated folding guide for local birds but when I replace it I think the one below is what I am getting (let us know if you have a better recommendation).

Birds of New Mexico Field Guide 2023 Edition Make bird watching in New Mexico even more enjoyable! With Stan Tekiela’s famous field guide, bird identification is simple and informative. There’s no need to look through dozens of photos of birds that don’t live in your area. This book features 143 species of New Mexico birds, organized by color for ease of use. Do you see a yellow bird and don’t know what it is? Go to the yellow section to find out. Fact-filled information, a compare feature, range maps, and detailed photographs help to ensure that you positively identify the birds that you see.

We have been getting into birdwatching more and more and this is one of the best places in the state to see migrating birds. I’m thinking about getting a good camera and giving in to my urge to take up birdwatching more seriously. If I do this will be one of the places on my must-revisit list. Stay tuned for future updates on this.

Lots of hiking trails

There was a lot to do there but of course we gravitated to the hiking trails. There are five trails and all of them are short and easy as far as trails go. Since it was mid-day on a Thursday we pretty much had the place to ourselves and it was so peaceful. We ended up taking the Oxbow Trail because it’s the longest and we had plenty of time. The trail goes through some beautiful wetlands and along the Pecos River. We took a few pictures (see below) but as always our focus was on being present and enjoying the time together.

Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge

I’m always amazed by the diversity in New Mexico. You can be in the desert one moment, climbing a mountain in another, and then hiking along a river in a beautiful wetland all in the same day. We love traveling to new places and living in New Mexico we get to do that without going far from home. We had no idea what we were going to find when we drove out to Bitter Lake but I’m very happy that we decided to check it out.

A few more pictures to share

I hope you enjoy the pictures we took and hopefully we will make it back during bird migration for even more pictures.

Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Looking for more New Mexico travel destinations?

New Mexico is an amazing state with one of the most diverse landscapes in the world. Our history, culture, and food is unique and must be experienced to truly understand. While we are working on documenting our travels across this great state we want to the following travel guide for anyone who wants to learn even more.

New Mexico: Outdoor Adventures, Road Trips, Local Culture (Travel Guide) From hiking sandstone canyons to chowing down on southwestern cuisine, fall under the spell of the Land of Enchantment with Moon New Mexico

In Conclusion

Our trip to Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge was a great way to spend a day outside. It is a very short drive from Roswell which makes it a perfect side-trip or location for a quick picnick or hike. If you are in the area we all recommend checking it out. If you do please tag us in the pictures, we would love to see them.

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By Summer and Bill

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Summer and Bill are the dynamic duo behind, a blog dedicated to inspiring others to explore the great outdoors. With a combined lifetime of experience traveling and adventuring across America, they have a wealth of knowledge to share. From hiking to camping, kayaking to travel, Summer and Bill are passionate about helping others discover the beauty of the natural world.

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