Bosque Del Apache & White Sands – New Mexico

Join us this year to witness the spectacle of Bosque Del Apache and the shimmering landscapes of White Sands, New Mexico. This trip is timed to coincide with the migration of thousands of Snow Geese, Ross’s Geese, and Sandhill Cranes who spend the night along the Middle Rio Grande to protect themselves from predators. It is the best time to see the greatest number of birds at the refuge!

The Bosque Del Apache (Forest of the Apache) sits between the Chupadera and San Pascual Mountains at the northern edge of the Chihuahuan Desert. Situated along over 50,000 acres of the Rio Grande River – its wetlands provide critical habitat, protection, and food for thousands of migrating waterfowl and a bewildering variety of wildlife.

Each morning at dawn, Snow Geese take off by the thousands in search of fields to feed in for the day. Smaller groups of sandhill cranes then leave the safety of the water for the same reason – as the light changes you will be able to photograph them in various settings and lighting conditions with the instruction and knowledge of your trip leader – a prof­­essional photographer who has been exploring this region for years!

If you’ve never experienced this “blast-off” It is a phenomenon to behold – and of course photograph! In addition to photographing Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese there are many species of ducks, hawks, eagles, blackbirds, ravens, coots, and other birds along with occasional mammals, such as mule deer, coyotes, javelina and jackrabbits which are seen regularly and up-close.

We will also spend time photographing the massive Very Large Array which is a short driving distance from Bosque Del Apache and we will travel to the wild and unearthly landscape of White Sands National Park. The shimmering white sands of New Mexico fill the Tularosa Basin – creating incredible white desert landcapes against the deep blue desert sky.  Great wave-like dunes of gypsum sand have engulfed 275 square miles of desert, creating the world’s largest gypsum dunefield – beckoning the creative photographer within! The shifting sands create endless patterns and the desert light plays across the soft dunes under the rising sun of the Chihuahuan desert. ­­

Join us this winter and explore the phenomenal photography opportunities of Bosque Del Apache and White Sands National Park! Bosque Del Apache is alive with wildlife during the winter months due to the mild New Mexico temperatures. The sunrises and sunsets along both the Rio Grande River and White Sands are nothing short of spectacular while the night sky photography of New Mexico is incredible and Bosque Del Apache is one of the premier wildlife destinations on the planet!


  • Bosque Del Apache, White Sands and the Very Large Array
  • Photography thousands of Snow Geese & Sandhill Cranes
  • A birders paradise with a bewildering variety of species
  • Incredible landscape opportunities at White Sands National Park
  • Night Sky Photography at the Very Large Array
  • New Mexico’s beautiful Rio Grande Country
  • Great food including authentic New  Mexican Cuisine!
  • Small groups & 1:1 Instruction
  • The VERY best guides – we’ve been exploring New Mexico for years!

Bosque Del Apache & White Sands – New Mexico

5 Days

Trip Price: $2795 double occupancy

+$400 Single Supplement

Deposit: $1000

Fitness Level: 1 (Easy)

Meals: Most meals included (see itinerary)

Lodging: 4 nights lodging

Fly-In/Out: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Hours: Mon-Fri 8am to 4pm Mountain Time

*trip difficulty ratings


Physical Requirements
All participants must be in good physical condition.

Group Size
Limited to ten participants

We will be staying in comfortable lodges in Albuquerque & Socorro New Mexico.

Most meals are included during the trip dates.

Expect warm pleasant days and chilly mornings. There is no such thing as bad weather just poor layering and gear choices – please plan accordingly! For more info on what to bring please email or call us.

Price Includes
Most meals, ground transportation, accommodation during the trip dates, professional photography instruction, medically certified wilderness guide.

Price Does Not Include
Airfare, alcoholic beverages, accommodations before or after the trip dates, guide & staff gratuities

Travel Details
Departure city is Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Most meals included – (B,L,D) denotes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 1 (Travel Day) (D)

Arrive in Albuquerque, New Mexico this evening for a group dinner and orientation.

Days 2 (B,L,D)

We will arise early and make the drive down through the desert to the Bosque Del Apache Wildlife Refuge for sunrise. We will spend the morning photographing thousands of migratory birds including but not limited to Snow Geese, Sandhill Cranes, Pelicans, Great Blue Herons and more. After a midday break we will head back out into the refuge for late afternoon / evening light and stay until after sundown creating incredible images.

This evening we will return to our cozy lodge in Socorro, New Mexico for some authentic New Mexican cuisine and to go over the day’s adventures.

Day 3 (B,L,D)

We will head out this morning and photograph sunrise at the refuge and then pack up and head south towards the town of Alamagordo and White Sands National Monument. We will spend some time exploring the monument and then photograph the incredible magic hour phenomenon that occurs when the sun begins to sink over White Sands National Monument – absolutely breathtaking! Tonight we will retire to our cozy lodge in Alamagordo, New Mexico – catch a great dinner and then for those interested we’ll head out to photograph the night sky over the desert!

Day 4 (B,L,D)

This morning we’ll head out and catch a magical sunrise over White Sands. After breakfast we will pack up and return to Bosque Del Apache for a last evening photographing birds and other wildlife at the refuge. This evening we may head out to photograph the Very Large Array under the stars.

Day 5 (B)

We will arise early and photograph the blast-off of thousands of Snow Geese and Sandhill Cranes one last time before heading back to Albuquerque for flights home. We should arrive in Albuquerque by 10:00am and flights home can be booked anytime after 12pm.

Please note that the exact sequence of the itineraries on all photography trips will be based on weather and lighting conditions. The goal on these trips is to make sure we are at the right place at the right time for the perfect light on our subjects. Also, itineraries can change for a variety of other circumstances including floods, forest fires, national park closures, road closures and more. Due to the nature of wildlife and nature photography we do not guarantee any specific sightings or specific compositions regarding wildlife or natural phenomena. 

“This trip was really a great escape. Russ runs an excellent workshop that errs more on the side of fun, adventure and getting the shot! We had so many amazing experiences I can’t even begin to thank you enough. Utah and Zion in particular is one of the most strange and beautiful places I have ever seen. Going in the fall was excellent as the leaves begin to change down in the canyons.”

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