2019 Schedule

Purchase Tickets
(Only tours require tickets, for ticket help email deb.mvcranefest@gmail.com)

Click on the title of each event for more information.


Key = ( D ) Donation requested  ( F ) Fee  ( T ) Ticket required


One-day nature photography workshops offered Friday, March 8, or Saturday, March 9 (Young Photographers), or Sunday, March 10 (F,R) Read More

Friday, March 8, 2019

7-9am Crane Sunrise Tour Expert-led bus tour to Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge to learn all about Sandhill Cranes. Bring warm clothes and water.  Restrooms available at two stops. Meet at Ski Hi Complex (F,T)

10 am – 4:30 pm –  Craft/Nature Fair

  • Free admission
  • Unique arts and crafts, over 200 vendors
  • Food
  • Hawks Aloft displays live hawks, owls, and falcons
  • Local representatives from public land agencies available to talk with people about the San Luis Valley’s wildlife and recreational opportunities

SOLD OUT 10am-1pm Sangre de Cristo Heritage Area Tour  Explore the cultural heritage of the San Luis Valley with a guided tour of the Sangre De Cristo National Heritage Area.  Meet at Ski Hi Complex (F,T)

Noon-3pm Colorado Farm Brewery Tour Take a bus ride to visit a local brewery, viewing cranes in farm fields along the way. You will learn about the brewing process and get to taste the results of the San Luis Valley’s newest brewery. Bring warm clothes and water.  Meet at Ski Hi Complex (F,T)

4-6pm Crane Sunset Tour  Expert-led bus tour to Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge to learn all about Sandhill Cranes. Bring warm clothes and water.  Restrooms available at two stops. Meet at Ski Hi Complex (F,T)

7:30-9:30pm Movie =  Turtle: The Incredible Journey. (G) Documentary: A female loggerhead turtle follows the path of her ancestors on one of the most extraordinary journeys in the natural world. Vali 3 Theatre (D)

Saturday, March 9, 2019

6-10am Birder’s Breakfast Enjoy a Kiwanis Club community breakfast. Ski Hi Complex Pay Kiwanis at the event

7-9am Crane Sunrise Tour  Expert-led bus tour to Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge to learn all about Sandhill Cranes. Bring warm clothes and water.  Restrooms are available at two stops. Meet at Ski Hi Complex (F,T)

8 am – 4:30 pm –  Craft/Nature Fair

  • Free admission
  • Unique arts and crafts, over 200 vendors
  • Food
  • Hawks Aloft displays live hawks, owls, and falcons
  • Local representatives from public land agencies available to talk with people about the San Luis Valley’s wildlife and recreational opportunities

10am-Noon Hawks Aloft Valley Raptor Tour Take a bus ride, learn about and view raptors with an expert.  Meet at Ski Hi Complex (F,T)

SOLD OUT 10am-Noon Home Lake Birding Tour A guided walking bird tour around Home Lake, led by local birding expert and author, John Rawinski. Bring binoculars and be prepared for the weather.  Meet at Monte Vista Middle School (F,T)

SOLD OUT 10am-1pm Scott Miller Archaeological Site Tour   Bus tour to visit this rich archaeological site with a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service archaeologist. Be prepared for a moderate 1.5-mile walk over uneven ground.  In case of bad weather or snow on the ground, a talk with artifacts to view will be at a refuge building.   Meet at Ski Hi Complex (F,T)

11 am – 4pm Rio Grande Watershed Conservation & Education Initiative Open House Take a break between presentations at the Vali 3 Theater featuring activities for all ages at the  Beverages and snacks will be offered, along with crafts, coloring, and activities that will be fun for more than just kids. RGWCEI works closely with conservation districts to promote stewardship of natural resources for the entire San Luis Valley and values the role that agriculture plays in promoting habitat for sandhill cranes. Test your knowledge on crops, plant a seed to take home, or just visit the office to learn more about agriculture and education in the San Luis Valley! Location: Rio Grande Watershed Conservation Education’s office  125 Adams.

Noon-3pm  Colorado Farm Brewery Tour  Take a bus ride to visit a local brewery, viewing cranes in farm fields along the way. You will learn about the brewing process and get to taste the results of the San Luis Valley’s newest brewery. Bring warm clothes and water. Meet at Ski Hi Complex (F,T)

11am-12:30pm Movie: Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time  Leopold’s extraordinary career, how he shaped conservation in the twentieth century. Hosted by Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust (RiGHT) Vali 3 Theatre (D)

1-2pm Talk: Cranes, Conservation, and Celebration The life story of the Sandhill Crane, behavior, and the importance of conservation. Bruce Gill, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Retired. Vali 3 Theatre (D)

3-4pm Talk: 3D tour of San Luis Valley Geology Come learn about how the San Luis Valley formed and the next time you look upon it, you’ll know the story behind the scenery.  Andrew Valdez Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve Vali 3 Theatre (D)

4-6pm Crane Sunset Tour  Expert-led bus tour to Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge to learn all about Sandhill Cranes. Bring warm clothes and water.  Restrooms are available at two stops. Meet at Ski Hi Complex (F,T)

7-9pm Keynote Speakers: Migrating with the Sandhill Cranes Erv Nichols & Sandra Noll Vali 3 Theatre (D)

Sunday, March 10, 2019 (Daylight Savings)

8-10am Crane Sunrise Tour Expert-led bus tour to Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge to learn all about Sandhill Cranes. Bring warm clothes and water.  Restrooms are available at two stops. Meet at Ski Hi Complex (F,T)

9am – 2:00pm –  Craft/Nature Fair

  • Free admission
  • Unique arts and crafts, over 200 vendors
  • Food
  • Hawks Aloft displays live hawks, owls, and falcons
  • Local representatives from public land agencies available to talk with people about the San Luis Valley’s wildlife and recreational opportunities

10:30am-12:30pm Hawks Aloft Raptor Tour  Expert-led bus tour to view and learn about local raptors. Meet at Ski Hi Complex (F,T)

SOLD OUT 11am-1pm Home Lake Birding Tour A guided bird tour around Home Lake, led by local birding expert and author, John Rawinski. Bring binoculars, walking tour – be prepared for the weather. Meet at Monte Vista Middle School (F,T)


Event Locations

Ski Hi Complex – 2389 Sherman Ave (Craft/Nature Fair, tours, food, information)
Monte Vista Chamber – 947 1st Avenue (local information)
Monte Vista Middle School – 3720 Sherman Ave (Guided Birding Tour meetup)
Vali 3 Theatre – 139 Adams Street (talks, movies, keynote address)
Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge office and tour loop entrance – 6120 S. HWY 15 (Sandhill Crane viewing)

 Maps Here 

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(Only tours require tickets)