Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge

New Mexico

(505) 622-6755

Map Directions

Things To Do



Straddling the Pecos River, Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge is a wetland oasis, inhabited by a diverse abundance of wildlife species. The Refuge protects and provides a unique habitat for some of New Mexico's most rare and unusual creatures like the least shrew, Noel's amphipod, least tern, Roswell spring snail, and more than 80 species of dragonflies. Native grasslands, sand dunes, brushy bottom-lands, and re-rimmed plateaus provide a sharp contrast to the wetland habitats of the refuge. Roadrunners, scaled quail, and horned lizards are commonly seen in these drier areas.

Map of Bitter Lake NWR

Latitude, Longitude: 33.641205, -104.353294



  • Auto/Motorcycle

    The refuge offers excellent nature photography and wildlife viewing opportunities. The eight-mile wildlife drive is one of the best ways to observe wildlife. If you enjoy dragonfly watching, try taking the short Dragonfly Trail less than one mile on the wildlife drive.

  • Hiking

    Four short (less than half a miles each) and two longer (one-and-a-half to four miles) hiking trails are available adjacent to the wildlife drive or Refuge headquarters. Also the entire north tract of the refuge, including the wilderness area, is open to hiking and horseback riding.

  • Hunting

    Waterfowl, sand-hill crane, quail, dove, pheasant, and deer hunting are available at the refuge.

Park Partners



Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge is located about nine miles northeast of Roswell, New Mexico. Go north on Red Bridge Road onto Pine Lodge Road and follow directional signs to the refuge. From Roswell, take U.S. 380 (Second Street) east about three miles to a refuge sign at Red Bridge Road. Or take U.S. 285 (Main Street) north to Pine Lodge Road. From the turnoff, it is about seven miles to refuge headquarters, following directional signs.

Phone Numbers


(505) 622-6755