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Audubon Rowe Sanctuary
Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Gibbon
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Conserving habitat along the Platte River focusing on Sandhill cranes, other wildlife and their habitats. Rowe sanctuary offers hiking trails, a visitor center, and gift shop. Seasonally, we offer viewing blinds which are strategically placed along the Platte River to provide excellent views of the Sandhill Cranes while they are on their river roost. Viewings are scheduled daily from March 2016- April 10 2016, last approximately two hours, and are led by trained guides. Crane Season Hours for the Iain Nicholson Audubon Visitor Center: Daily 8:00 AM-6:00 PM
Reviewed 30 March 2018 via mobile

I love cranes. I love birds. In fact, I’m crazy for all things nature!
This is a must see experience for all ages.
The blinds at Rowe Sanctuary allow kids and my family with 7yo grandson enjoyed 2 AM blind visits and 1 PM. It’s hard to say but maybe we preferred the morning. It is cold and dark so be prepared but definitely worth every second.
Great group of volunteers.
We will return!

Thank DTen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"sandhill cranes"
in 51 reviews
"morning and evening"
in 7 reviews
"platte river"
in 36 reviews
"tens of thousands"
in 6 reviews
"bucket list"
in 9 reviews
"morning tour"
in 8 reviews
"sunrise and sunset"
in 8 reviews
"early april"
in 4 reviews
"viewing experience"
in 2 reviews
"watch the birds"
in 2 reviews
"dress warm"
in 2 reviews
"end of march"
in 3 reviews
"volunteer guides"
in 5 reviews
"an amazing experience"
in 5 reviews
"heading north"
in 3 reviews
"porta potty"
in 2 reviews
"corn fields"
in 7 reviews

27 - 31 of 142 reviews

Reviewed 27 March 2018

I didn't know much about the Sandhill Cranes to start with other than Nebraska was a great spot to view their migration. The guides went above and beyond the call of duty. I was 2 hours late for tour because I overslept and got lost. The volunteer at the front desk contacted someone who contacted someone else. Another volunteer took me in a golf cart to catch up with the tour so I didn't miss the entire event. I got to see a yellow-headed blackbird. Sandhill cranes in the fields. Cardinals, sparrows, and a plethora of red-winged blackbirds. On one road after we disembarked from the tour bus, a herd of cows came over to investigate as we opened our granola bar snacks. Evidently, when vehicles come up this service road, it's chow time. I could tell the cows were extremely disappointed with their human visitors. The Iain Nicolson Audubon Visitor's Center at Rowe Sanctuary is also impressive. According to various literature, it is the second largest straw bale constructed building in the US. (A window-like section is exposed so visitors can see the straw bale inside one of the posts.) I also took the night tour which included a talk in the visitor's center. Next, we went out in groups to a viewing blind and waited for the Sandhill Cranes to descend on the Platte River. It was a gorgeous sunset. The Platte River was awash in pinks and blues. Thousands of Sandhill Cranes. Their calls were almost deafening. Especially if you cupped your ears to magnify the sound. It was a beautiful and mesmerizing experience. I also got to see a beaver. At first, I mistook it for an otter. He (or maybe a she) kept swimming back and forth as if he, too, came to watch the spectacle of the cranes. If you are a bird or nature lover, I highly recommend visiting the Sandhill Crane festival. Book plenty in advance as spots fill up quickly. Do not drive to the sanctuary as the road is rough and dusty. The tour buses pick you up at the Convention Center at the Holiday Inn. I also recommend booking your hotel early. Four months in advance if you want to stay close to the event. A special thanks to all the volunteers who make this event possible.

Thank Cindy T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2018

We have been to Rowe for three years in a row now and plan to continue to visit. The experience of hearing and seeing the cranes is magical! I recommend planning ahead and purchasing tickets to a viewing blind. The views from the blind are outstanding. My favorite is the morning blind! We have also booked the overnight blind which requires booking in January. It is magical as well but, only for experienced campers. The volunteers that work are Rowe are wonderful people that cannot be thanked enough for what they do. They have a passion for this place and it shows in every interaction you have with them. Great work to everyone at Rowe!!!

Thank Gina D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2018

We called to try to do a crane viewing experience & purchased a Indoor Crane Viewing Experience. The person on the phone had to put us on hold three times to ask questions & then we got different date than what we wanted. We did go to Audubon Rowe Sanctuary the day before & again ran in to some communication issues on our questions. On the viewing experience they did not tell us that we could go on deck outside so did not dress appropriately for outside since this was an inside viewing experience. There was a lot of people mixed with people going to outside blinds so room was full & again no communication to know if we should be in room viewing video or not. We did like the mission & experience listening to sand hill cranes however was not impressed with communication of staff

Thank calliesk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 March 2018

I flew in from Philly to meet my Colorado friend for a mutual birding "bucket list" experience ... to witness the great migration of the sandhill cranes! Our trip centered on the wonderful Rowe Sanctuary, where we had booked both a Saturday and a Sunday sunrise crane viewing tour, as the sunset tours were filled for our dates. Each morning was a different, and equally special, sensory experience. This is, without a doubt, a spectacle that cannot be described adequately in words. One must experience it first-hand to fully appreciate its magnitude and splendor! The Rowe truly delivers the experience expertly. The facility is well-appointed, and provides a lovely setting for learning and exploration, I would imagine, ANY time of year. The staff (both full-time and seasonal volunteer guides) are a group of dedicated, knowledgeable, and welcoming individuals whose passion to share their love of the cranes and other wild inhabitants, as well as the Platte River ecosystem, adds a dynamic layer to the experience! Whether as a destination, or a road trip stop, the Rowe will not disappoint. I will definitely be making a return trip!
Some things to note ... (1) If doing the sunrise crane viewing tour, heed the sanctuary's advice, and dress for the weather. Temps were in the high 20s with wind chills in the low 20s. You will mostly be standing still. Hand warmers are a MUST! (2) Try not to get caught up in getting the best shot of the cranes. Frankly, unless you're an experienced photographer with the requisite equipment (which I am not), you won't. Mind you, there are special photography tours offered, which allow photographers the space to set up tripods. Outside of those, just allow yourself to be in the world of the cranes around you, and enjoy. Do bring binoculars, of course. (3) Stay afterward to enjoy the complimentary hot cocoa and tea, talk with the guides, and peruse the stunning artwork and photography in the gift shop.

Thank BluDog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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