Plan Your Trip

Tips to help you maximize your visit.

Click here to see the exciting crane watching experiences that Rowe Sanctuary has to offer.

Use our on-line registration to select your activities. Reservations open Jan. 2, 2020 at 9am central time.

Book online now!

Air Travel to Kearney, NE: The Kearney Regional Airport offers daily flights to and from Denver and Chicago. The airport is only 16 miles from Rowe Sanctuary.

Where do I stay? - Rowe Sanctuary is approximately 20 miles east of Kearney via Interstate 80. Kearney has a good selection of hotels/motels to choose from:

Best Western Plus
Holiday Inn
Microtel Inn & Suites

The Kearney Visitors Bureau has additional listings for lodging and restaurants.

Kearney can be a very busy community during March, so reserve your lodging as soon as possible. Grand Island, Hastings, and Minden (Burchell's White Hill Farmhouse Inn) are nearby cities to also check out.

When do I want to be there? - Depending on what you are hoping to see will determine when the best time is to visit. The largest concentration of Sandhill Cranes occurs within the last two weeks of March and the first week of April; not surprisingly, this is also when the largest number of crane watchers are in the area. Early March brings more of a mix of waterfowl and cranes on the river, along with Bald Eagles that tend to follow the waterfowl migration. Early April is often overlooked, but this time period can often provide some of the best viewing as the birds are fat and happy, and it's often apparent in their behavior. Early to mid April is also the best time to try and catch a glimpse of Whooping Cranes as they migrate through the state, and this is also the peak time for prairie chicken/grouse activity on their booming grounds (leks). Feel free to contact us with any questions, especially when it comes to the timing of your trip.

What do I bring? - The most important thing is to make sure that you have enough warm clothing. March can bring temperatures from the teens to the 70s, so pack clothing that can be layered and removed when temperatures rise. (We also encourage dark colored outer wear for the tours.) And don't forget cameras, binocualrs, tripods, and other photography aids. For more on what to bring, see our General Crane Tours page.

What else can I see while I'm there? - In terms of wildlife viewing, witnessing the displays of prairie grouse (Greater Prairie-Chickens and Sharp-tailed Grouse) is the next most sought after experience during late March and April. Calamus Outfitters north of Burwell and Prairie Chicken Dance Tours near McCook provide memorable viewing opportunities. Kearney area attractions include Cabela's and The Archway. On March 18 and 19 the Archway is presenting “Crane Days” which includes crane viewing, crane experts, art, and a trip through the Archway. March 18th registration - March 19th registration.

Photographer? - Want to learn to take better photos? Check out these photo classes that happen at Rowe Sanctuary and the Archway. Pre-registration is required. This photography workshop will help you create beautiful images of your crane viewing adventure to enjoy and share for years to come.  

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