Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge is located about 10 miles northeast of Roswell, in Chaves County, New Mexico. From Roswell, take US 380 (Second Street) east about three miles to a refuge sign at Red Bridge Road. Or, take US 285 (Main Street) north to Pine Lodge Road. From the turnoff, it is eight miles to refuge head-quarters. Please follow refuge directional signs.
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Located where the Chihuahuan Desert meets the southern plains, Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge provides habitat for some of the rarest creatures in New Mexico. Established in 1937 to provide habitat for thousands of migrating sandhill cranes and waterfowl, the Refuge is popular for its diverse flora and fauna.
Straddling the Pecos River, the Refuge consists of an assortment of water habitats surrounded by a harsh, dry environment. The waters support unique wildlife, such as the Pecos pupfish, Roswell spring snail, green throat darter, and Noel’s amphipod, along the more than 80 species of dragonflies.
Native grasslands, sand dunes, brushy bottomlands, and red-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.