March 10-12, 2023

Join us for the migration experience of a lifetime. The 40th Festival will be March 10-12, 2023

Sandhill Cranes and other migratory birds follow a long route during their seasonal migrations. Along the way, there are many places where you can stop and view these beautiful creatures. So what makes the Monte Vista Crane Festival Unique? We believe it is a combination of unmatched scenery, exceptional wildlife viewing, and the friendly, welcoming communities of the San Luis Valley.

At the Monte Vista Crane Festival you can enjoy thousands of Sandhill 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. A visit to the Monte Vista Crane Festival is an opportunity to see an amazing natural spectacle as well as experience a unique rural community.

2023 Festival Information

Tours, talks and special event information for our 40th Anniversary Festival can be found on our Eventbrite page. Please click below to browse all the events.

Tickets are on sale now!

Festival Schedule

FREE Movie

Wings Over Water @ Vali 3

We are very excited to announce that Wings Over Water is coming to the Vali 3 theater for our 40th Anniversary of the Monte Vista Crane Festival. Wings Over Water tells the story of the epic journeys of three amazing bird families – the Sandhill Crane, the Yellow Warbler and the Mallard Duck – with extraordinary footage of their fascinating behaviors. This exclusive engagement is FREE for all and sponsored by Ducks Unlimited. Showtimes are Friday 3/10 @ 7pm, Saturday 3/11 @ noon, and Sunday 3/12 @ 5pm. Don’t miss it!


In Light of Nature Photography Workshops

Award-winning nature photographer Ed MacKerrow will be offering three, one-day workshops each day of the festival. These workshops are limited to 10 participants per day, and are likely to sell out quickly. If you are interested in reserving a space, click below to learn more and register at the In Light of Nature website.


Crane & Festival Updates

Hawks Aloft Returns

After a forced hiatus from recent crane festivals due to COVID restrictions, we are very pleased to announce that Hawks Aloft will once again be bringing their Avian Ambassadors to this year's Crane, Craft and Nature Fair.
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A Pod of Cranes

Two new podcasts feature all the details about the 40th Anniversary of the Monte Vista Crane Festival and the premiere of the new short documentary "Where the Cranes Meet the Mountains."
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A Sneak Peek: 2023 speakers

March in the San Luis Valley brings frequent snowfall, strong winds, and the annual return of the area’s oldest visitors—Sandhill Cranes. Although cranes have been migrating through the Valley’s wetlands for centuries, this year marks the 40th anniversary of the event dedicated to showcasing the majesty of the cranes and their habitat: The Monte Vista Crane Festival.
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Experience the Monte Vista Crane Festival Your Way...

Photo by Dave C Jones

Plan Your Visit

From festival maps to all the details on where to stay and eat while you're in town, we have you covered!

Photo by Ed MacKerrow

Learn More About Cranes in the SLV

We have the answers to all (or most) of your crane questions! Or at least we try. Find all your crane information here. 

Become a Sponsor

Are you a local business interested in supporting the Monte Vista Crane Festival? Learn more about the different types of sponsorship opportunities available.

Thank you to our sponsors!

Refuge and Festival Locations

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