Sandhill Crane Viewing at Rowe Sanctuary

Photo: Don Brockmeier

After you have reviewed the exciting experiences Rowe Sanctuary has to offer, use our on-line registration to select your activities.

Guided Crane Viewing Experience    March 1- April 7

$35 plus taxes and fees/person

Start times: (Note change in start times due to Daylight Saving Time)
5:00 a.m. & 5:00 p.m.  - March 1- March 9
6:00 a.m. & 6:00 p.m.  - March 10 - April 7

Rowe's viewing blinds are strategically placed along the Platte River to provide excellent views of the Sandhill Cranes while they are on their river roost.  Tours last approximately two hours and are led by trained guides.  Walking distances to viewing blinds range from 1/4 to 1/2 mile over relatively level terrain, with a portion of the walk occurring during very low light conditions (before sunrise and  after sunset). Viewing blinds offer shelter from wind, rain, and snow, but are not heated and will be as cold or colder than it is outside. Tripods are not allowed in blinds; flash photography also not permitted. See Rowe's Photo Policy page.

To help determine when you should visit, please review our Plan Your Trip page before making a reservation.  We do not allow children under the age of 10 in the viewing blind. If a member of your party has ambulatory issues, please indicate that in your reservation either online or by calling 308-468-5282.

Overnight Photography Experience     March 15 - April 6

$250 plus taxes and fees/blind

Start time: 4:45 pm

Rowe Sanctuary's photo blinds are placed near major Sandhill Crane roosts and can provide excellent opportunities for photography or a unique experience for any nature enthusiast. This experience is not for the faint of heart and can be quite cold, especially at night. Participants will remain in the blind from 5:00 p.m. on the day of the reservation until retrieved by a Rowe Sanctuary guide the following day after the cranes have left the river (usually after 9:00 a.m.).

Photography Experience     March 15 - April 7

$75 plus taxes and fees/person

Start time: 6:00 a.m. & 6:00 p.m. 

This tour is designed for photographers and allows the use of tripods and continuous shooting mode which are not allowed on the General Crane ToursParticipants must be able to carry their own gear over half a mile to and from the experience in the dark. Flash is not allowed

Indoor Crane Viewing Experience (evenings only)     March 1 - April 7

$20 plus taxes and fees/person

Start time: 6:00 pm

Watch Sandhill Cranes return to their river roost from the comfort of the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center.  This program begins with our “Crane Behavior Basics” class and then follows with crane viewing from the visitor center. Most appropriate for those who wish to avoid cold weather or are unable to make it to our viewing blinds. Visitor center is wheelchair accessible. This experience is NOT ideal for photography.

Family Night Indoor Crane Viewing

Price: $10/person, children 0-4 are free

Dates: March 6, 13, 20, 27 and April 3

Start time: 6:00 pm

Families can enjoy a special night of crane viewing from inside the Iain Nicolson Audubon Visitor Center on Wednesday evenings during crane season. This new and exciting program will include special kid-friendly activities for kids of all ages, such as coloring pages, interactive games, crafts, etc., to enjoy as families wait for Sandhill Cranes to begin arriving on the river. As the sun sets, families can then enjoy viewing the cranes from the comfort of the center. This experience generally lasts 2-3 hours.

Additional Crane Season Programming & Events
Looking to enhance your Sandhill Crane experience?  Check out our programs and events for lots of activities for the whole family.

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