Encompassing six major mountain ranges and seven distinct life zones, Desert NWR showcases the abundance and variety of nature that can be found in Southern Nevada, all just a short drive from Las Vegas. Created in 1936 to provide habitat and protection for desert bighorn sheep, Desert NWR is the largest wildlife refuge outside of Alaska. At 1.6 million acres (643,000 hectares), the refuge can cover Rhode Island twice - and still have enough room left over for a quarter of a million football fields. Teeming with diversity over a vast landscape, Desert NWR boasts over 500 plant species as it transitions from the Mojave to the Great Basin Desert. While Desert NWR has been home to people for thousands of years, from Nuwuvi (Southern Paiute) to ranch homesteaders, the refuge still remains largely unchanged by human hands. Over 1.3 million acres (536,000 hectares) of the refuge is proposed wilderness, and has been managed as de facto wilderness since 1974. See collared lizards sunning on rocks, hunt for tracks of elusive mountain lions, or grab your binoculars for a better look at our 320 bird species. A unique and solitary experience awaits you at Desert NWR.

Beautiful! Make sure you leave to make the hike about 5am, and on a weekday to avoid hikers at the cabin if you want to sleep in the cabin. Water is fresh from the spring, carve your name in the cabin if you so desire. The cabin is stocked for others to enjoy, but only use what you need and leave what you like for the next upcoming traveler. Motto ' Pass it forward'. Cougar sightings, so please be careful. Have a weapon and best to be with a group. Enjoy!!

1 month ago

Hiked it at the end of september. Cabin was well stocked with necessities. Spring was trickling with water which we filtered and used for cooking. Plenty of places to pitch tents or hang hammocks around the cabin. Beautiful ponderosa pines everywhere around the cabin area. A great hike that starts in the desert and ends in a pine forest. No fires allowed when we went but there is a wood burning stove in the cabin. At least half of the hike is in a wash so the climb is a bit strenuous especially if you are carrying a lot of weight. I would not rely on the water in summer months although it was flowing at about .5L/min while we were there.

5 months ago

Great hike and escape from the bustling life of Las Vegas.

8 months ago

Wonderful. Pack light, unless you will stay for a few days. You will not reach the cabin until 4-5 hours of hiking. Worth it though! Fresh water from the mountain trickles down through a pipe made just for all.

1 year ago

Difficult hike for beginners, especially when carrying too much gear.. Camped near cabin which seemed like we would never reach.. Overall, great experiance but it'll probably be a long time before I do that again..

Only 30 miles outside Vegas, only water around for miles. Water brings many animals to this location.

Longer than most maps project. Our GPS logged 7.1mi each way from trailhead to cabin. Water was running and cabin was in good shape.

The trail is moderate due to the course gravel and rocks that line most of this trail. We spent the night near the cabin and spring.

2 years ago

The starting point on the map is in a wrong place...
The rough road finish on the top of the wash, just when start the canyon.
A wonderful trail beginning in a desertic canyon, then slowly, the forest appear, more and more thick, till the cabin.
Nice place for backpacking with just the sky, the forest and the mountains around...

No water at all all along the trail except some rescue reserves hidden in some trees and some drops after rain on the cabin fountain. Also, no found water by following the black hose on the left side of the canyon till the ridge...

A beautiful trail to do with a lot of water in hot period !

2 years ago

Done this twice. Difficult but worth the energy! Not recommended for the out of shape. There are some steep, shale covered areas that are probe to getting you sliding if you're not careful!

3 years ago

I did this with my brother and dog on 2 May 2013. The weather was perfect and the hike was gorgeous. It stayed about 65 on the way up and dropped to 28 at night. When we woke up everything was frozen. The stove in the cabin kept everything warm with just a couple twigs. I would not recommended you take a dog without boots. My dog is an experienced hiker and climber, but his feet were raw at the top. He never complained the entire way up, but by the next morning he couldn't walk. We carried him the five miles back down the mountain to the truck.

The drive in is a little rough as well. I have a truck and was still limited to about 10-15 mph, so plan about two hours once you get on Alamo road.

on Gass Peak Road

4 years ago

Great view of the city. Steep rocky trail but worth the trek. Recommend taking the Desert National Wildlife Range Road and signing in at the ranger station before taking the right onto Mormon Wells Road.

4 years ago

Drove all the way out to Corn Creek, and was very disappointed. I felt like I was at a small version of the Wetlands Park, with very few birds. The sign said that it was under construction to bring it back to its "natural"state; however, the pond was concrete, there were irrigation tubing throughout, like they are putting in a drip system with "planted" plants. Not very "natural" to me. I thought about driving to other sites in the area, hoping to see one of the old homesteads, but the sign for Alamo Road, said the road was closed, so...we went home.

This is a great trail for backpacking. I always make sure to start early in the summer; by the time you get half way up the trail, your're pretty much out of the heat. There's a cabin at the top with some provisions for stranded and snowed in hikers, and I usually bring some form of canned food to leave in the cabin. I still bring a ground cloth or a tent because the cabin actually gives me the heebie jeebies. Plenty of room for multiple camp sites, though I haven't seen too many people up there.

Only problem is the terrain. The trail follows a dried river bed up, and there are enough big rocks about to twist an ankle if you're not careful. It's not terrible, mind you. The first time I took the trail was with my scout troop as a kid. I'm just bringing it up so you know to wear the right shoes.

My 4 yr old grandaughter and I had a nice time enjoying this little oasis in the middle of the desert. The trail is easy to find, the narrow creek made for some great adventures for my little hiking buddy. My only complaint is that the ponds would be more interesting if they were not so overgrown with reeds.

A great little nature walk, perfect for the kids.
They are doing a lot of work out there right now restoring the area and improving the pond and waterways that are fed by the creek so that the fish, frogs, crayfish and endangered fish have a nice, manageable place to thrive.

There's an old blacksmith shop, outbuildings and a specially build container that currently houses the endangered Pahrump Poolfish for preservation while they restore the pond.

Check it out now, it'll be fun, but make sure to come back when the restoration is finished because it'll be very beautiful!
Make sure that you sign in here when ever you do any activities in the DNWR, this helps keep it funded!

on Mormon Well

6 years ago

Was hard for me to believe the Mormons were the ones that settled in Vegas!!
Too hot to hike in the desert in the summer.