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Nevada > Nevada National Wildlife Refuges and Preservess > Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
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Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
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General Information

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.

Attractions - 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.

Location - From Las Vegas take U.S. Highway 95 north.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Diane Talbot (Pahrump, NV)
Number of People Encountered: 50+ ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: We held Cub Scout Day Camp at Ash Meadows on May 10, 2003. We were allowed to use a private area with a home on it as our base area where we did archery and BB gun practice and cooked ableskivers and broke viking helmet pinatas. At Point of Rocks we had an adventure hike where Calle taught the boys to make animal tracks, they threw tomahawks (a small version of Viking axes), planted trees, refuge people were available to teach about endangered species, planting trees native to the area. Boy scouts taught the Cubs camping skills. At Crystal reservoir we were able to take the boys canoeing with the help of the older boy scouts. We had 60 boys attend and about 40 adult volunteers. The refuge maintenance engineer provided us with radios to keep in touch with each other and the law enforcement agent from Death Valley helped us with security. It was the best day camp we ever had and the diversity of things we had to see and do and the help from the refuge people was stupendous. They deserve a lot of praise for their help that day.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Biology
ICON Viewing Wildlife

More Information

Contact Information:
Ash Meadows NWR, P.O. Box 115 , Amargosa Valley, NV, 89020, Phone: 702-372-5435
, ken_voget@fws.gov

Additional Information:
Las Vegas Region - Located in southern Nevada, the Las Vegas Region offers more than just gambling. Visitors to the area can experience the natural beauty and wildlife of areas such as Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Valley of Fire State Park and the Spring Mountain Ranch State Park to name but a few.
Nevada National Wildlife Refuges and Preserves - National Wildlife Refuges and Preserves are scattered throughout Nevada and includes such reserves as the 1.5 million acre Desert National Wildlife Range which is the largest refuge in the 48 contiguous states.
South-Central Nevada - Often called the "Pioneer Territory", the area contains natural wonders from the Death Valley National Park to the Toiyabe and Monitor mountain ranges. The land is also dotted with the ruins of old mining towns.

Ash Meadows NWR - Official agency website


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