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What Makes the Monte Vista Crane Festival Unique? You can enjoy thousands of cranes, ducks, and geese flying against a backdrop of mountain scenery. Raptors will adorn the power poles and owls will be sitting with their young. And all events are free (donation requested to cover set-up/travel expenses)  except the photography workshop (Fee to cover set-up expenses, profits donated).

NEW   Photography Contest January 12 – February 15:  What do you love most about nature in the San Luis Valley? People’s choice award to be made during the festival. Learn more.

2017 Festival Details: All tours except the Friday Sunrise tour are full.  The photography workshops are full, there is a link to a wait list on the registration page.

Sorry, we don’t do a wait list. You are welcome to come and stand in the “Standby” line and if there are cancelations, you might be loaded.  The line is formed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Click on the 2017 Festival menu tab to view the Schedule, Tour Registration, Photography Workshop Registration, Keynote Speaker, and Speakers and Movie Information and Bios.

For more information, call the Monte Vista Chamber of Commerce at 719-852-2731. For media requests, contact mvcfpub@gmail.com.

1. Keynote speaker Radeaux, Pueblo artist and Colorado I & II Illustrator will share his unique art and illustrations.

Register here

2. Take a sunrise or sunset tour of the Monte Vista Refuge to see the cranes, go on a tour the Great Sand Dunes National Park, take a guided tour to Penitente Canyon. (see times and location on Schedule).


Photo Courtesy of Ed MacKerrow

3. Take a one day photography workshop with professional photographer Ed MacKerrow. (Fee to cover costs, profits donated to festival. Registration)

4. Attend a presentation about local wildlife: Elk on the refuge, Cinammon Teal, or Breeding Birds in Colorado (Free, seats available on first-come, first-served basis. (see times and location on Schedule).

5. Friday night movie, Hoot, (see times and location on Schedule).

Festival planning is a collaborative effort between The Friends of the San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuges (Friends), The Monte Vista Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Monte Vista and is operated as a non-profit under the Friends’ 501(c)(3) non-profit status. A visit to the Monte Vista Crane Festival is an opportunity to see an amazing natural spectacle as well as experience a unique local community.

For more information about the festival contact the Monte Vista Chamber of Commerce or call 719-852-2731

For more information about the cranes contact the San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex Office: 719-589-4021