Description - Ash Meadows NWR is approximately 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas in southern Nye County. The refuge provides habitat for at least 26 plants and animals found nowhere else in the world. Four endemic fishes are currently listed as endangered. This concentration of indigenous life distinguishes Ash Meadows as having a greater concentration of endemic species than any other local area in the United States, and the second greatest in all of North America.
Ash Meadows provides a valuable and unprecedented example of desert oases that are now extremely uncommon in the southwest United States. The refuge is a major discharge point for a vast underground water system stretching more than 100 miles to the northeast. Water-bearing strata come to the surface in more than 30 seeps and springs, providing a rich, complex variety of habitats. North and west are the remnants of Carson Slough, which was drained and mined for its peat in the 1960s. Sand dunes appear in the western and southern parts of the refuge. Numerous stream channels and wetlands are scattered throughout the refuge. Virtually all of the water at Ash Meadows is "fossil" water, believed to have entered the ground water system thousands of years ago.
- The Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge supplies various recreational opportunities for visitors to the area, these include:
Vehicle Travel: Vehicle travel is permitted only on designated roads. Off-road driving is prohibited. The entire refuge, including roads is closed to all terrain vehicles. Vehicle parking is restricted to existing parking areas and road shoulders. Theses measures project fragile habitats and plants. During wet fall and plants. During wet fall and winter months, secondary roads may be impassable. Call ahead for current conditions.
Hunting: Sport hunting with shotguns only is permitted on the entire refuge except Crystal Reservoir and vicinity of Refuge Headquarters. Hunting of ducks, geese's, coot, moorhens, snipe, dove and quail is allowed in accordance with State and Federal regulations. Jackrabbits and cottontail rabbits may only be hunted during quail hunting season. All other wildlife, including coyotes and ravens are protected.
Swimming: Swimming is allowed only in Crystal Reservoir. Swimming is not allowed in the springs because it disturbs endangered fish habitat and food (algae).
Boating: Boats without motors ( except electric motors ) are allowed only on Crystal and Peterson Reservoirs. Jet Skis are not permitted.
Camping: No camping or overnight parking is permitted.
Picnicking: Picnic facilities are available at Refuge Headquarters. Visitors can enjoy casual "blanket and basket" picnicking throughout the refuge. Open fires are not permitted.
Horseback Riding: Horseback riding is allowed on designated areas of the refuge. Inquire at the Refuge Headquarters.
Pets: Retrievers and upland game bird dogs may be used on the refuge during hunting season. Pets must be leashed at all other times.
Recreation - Facilities in this USDI Fish and Wildlife National Refuge includes; wildlife viewing, bird watching, nature study, viewing historical sites, scenic viewing, camping, picnicking, walking, hunting, boating and geology.
Climate - Seasonal temperatures vary greatly with the region, from hot summers to cold winters. Summer temperatures can reach 90 degrees during the day, with winter daytime temperatures only about 40 degrees.
From Las Vegas take U.S. Highway 95 north.