40th Annual Monte Vista Crane Festival, Colorado

[Date Fri, Mar 10, 2023, Mar 12, 2023]Location: Ski Hi Complex, Monte Vista, CO 2345 Sherman Avenue Monte Vista, 81144 United States.

Monte Vista, Colorado hosts the annual Sandhill Crane Festival. Great Sandhill Cranes may be seen up up and personal, and there will also be tours, talks, and films available.

2023 40th Annual Monte Vista Crane Festival, Colorado
2023 40th Annual Monte Vista Crane Festival, Colorado\

About this event Annual Monte Vista Crane Festival

Tour tickets for single participants may be bought here. You may either buy the Keynote/Talk Series Ticket, which includes access to the keynote speaker, or a separate Keynote ticket, which only grants access to the keynote speaker. Tickets for the Keynote and individual talks will also be available at the door.

Annually, almost 20,000 Sandhill Cranes make a six-week stopover in Colorado’s beautiful San Luis Valley to feed, rest, and replenish before beginning their annual spring migration to the north. The event is presented by Monte Vista, Colorado, and the Friends of the San Luis Valley Refuges.

The festival’s main attraction is the chance to see thousands of cranes at the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge up close as they perform elaborate dances for one other, take off in formation in the mornings, and return to their nighttime roosts in the evenings. The wetlands of this high-altitude desert, surrounded by snow-capped mountains at a height of 14,000 feet, attract a wide variety of waterfowl, including cranes. When these birds descend onto the nature sanctuary, photographers have a field day.

Bus tours guided by interpreters take festivalgoers out to see the cranes, while other excursions take them to nearby areas where they may see and learn about raptors. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, there will be an Arts and Crafts/Nature Fair.

For more details, please visit our website. Website of the Monte Vista Crane Festival


The reason there’s a price tag attached to these excursions is because…

Our biggest budget item for the event is going to be gas. While we are fortunate to have the backing of the local school system, we are still responsible for covering the expenses of transportation to the festival, including gas and wages for the drivers. Tours do cost money, so please be prepared to part with some cash. If you’re able to contribute money to the festival’s cause, that would be fantastic. Donations are accepted via our website.

How can I view the cranes without taking a tour?

Not at all; skipping the tour is perfectly acceptable. This weekend, the refuge’s regular gates will be open so you may drive yourself around. Visit the Crane Viewing Guide right here on the site, or pick up a hard copy at the refuge’s Kiosk at the start of the tour loop. If you want more information about the Ski Hi Complex event, stop by our information booth. Its hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, and 9 a.m. to noon Sundays. Alternately, you may visit our website, where you’ll find maps and other useful resources. mvcranefest.org

To what extent is a ticket required for my kid? Little ones under the age of five are admitted free of charge.


We do not provide waitlists at this time. If there are any cancellations, you are invited to come and wait in the “Standby” queue in the hopes of being included to the trip. Have the necessary funds on hand. Each person in line must wait their turn until service is provided.

Does the Arts and Crafts/Nature Fair charge a price to get in? The Arts and Crafts/Nature Fair does not charge admission.

Do-gus allowed?

Bus tours, speaker events, and the Arts & Crafts/Nature Fair are dog-free zones, with the exception of assistance animals.

If I have any questions, how can I get in touch with the host? please contact us at mvcranefest@gmail.com

What are some good places to eat and sleep nearby? Check out our website now! Website of the Monte Vista Crane Festival

Policy Regarding Refunds

All sales final after the day of the event.

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