Guided tram rides reach wild places

HARLINGEN — Popular tram trips at the Valley’s national wildlife refuges are revving up with the cooler weather.

At Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, the popular three-hour, guided tram tours will begin Dec. 1.

At Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge near Alamo, the trams are already on the track for a two-hour tour Thursday through Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and noon.

“Water and binos are something good to bring, also bug repellent and a camera,” said Chris Quezada, park ranger at Santa Ana NWR.

Quezada said the tram, which costs $4 for adults, $3.50 for seniors and $2 for kids from 2 to 13, offers an easy way to view wildlife on the refuge, which is right on the Rio Grande.

“On the tram, it just depends on which time of day you go,” he said. “If you get on the early tram, you’re more likely to see a bobcat, some javelinas and maybe a coyote.”

The refuge’s numerous bird species can be seen any time, he said.

The tram stops at the cemetery, on the banks of the river and at Cattail Lake.

At Laguna, the tram trips begin Dec. 1 and last for three hours.

Tram-travelers will learn about the different habitats including Tamaulipan thorn scrub, coastal prairie and coastal wetlands.

Laguna Atascosa tram

Guided three-hour trip

Friday through Sunday, 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Duration is three hours

Cost is $4 for adults (over 16), $3 for seniors (over 62) and under 16 free

Begins Dec. 1

Santa Ana tram

Guided two-hour trip

Thursday through Sunday, 9:30 a.m. and noon

Cost is $4 for adults (over 13), $3.50 for seniors (over 62) $2 from 3 to 12 years and 2 and under free

Available now