hiking

nature trips

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.

off road driving
14 days ago

Give yourself ample time. Easy off-roading trail but lots of things to stop and see.

Not for the faint of heart, but f you're up to the challenge, you won't regret it.

backpacking
1 month ago

June 9, 2017 - I just got back from spending two days at the cabin. The trail to the cabin is amazing although quite rugged with loose gravel from 1" to 5" almost the whole way. Wear good hiking boots to protect your feet and ankles. The change in scenery from the desert floor to the cabin at 8000 feet is amazing. You start out in wide open desert littered with Joshua trees and end up in a forest with towering Ponderosa pines. There was a steady flow of water from the water pipe in front of the cabin. The cabin was in good shape and had lots of extra supplies, but it could use a fly swatter and some fly paper. The log books (journals) were filled so if you want to leave a message for future hikers bring another journal. It was 92 degrees at the trail head and 85 at the cabin, and 50 degrees in the morning.

I've hiked it about six times now, in every type of weather you could see up there (the last one needed snowshoes) and I've only not stayed in the cabin once. The trail is rough at first, but if you're an experienced hiker you can probably complete it in around 3 hours. This time of year you must bring a LOT of water. Overall it is a really great hike to do for a day, or a good practice hike for people wanting to get into overnight backpacking.

backpacking
1 month ago

Beware: The hike in will whip your butt. A steady incline of 2,000 feet for the entire hike up. My girlfriend and I started late afternoon and arrived right at dark, about 4 hours later. A lot of the initial couple of miles went from a mix of pea gravel to Rubik's cube sized washes. Bring a gallon of water AT LEAST. The spring was running today, but be prepared in case it dries out. Also, make sure you consume a lot of calories before the hike and bring calorie-dense trail snacks. It can be a very taxing hike if you're backpacking, especially when you're hiking in 95 degrees. Once you arrive, it makes it all so worthwhile. I loved it. Will definitely return.

Additional note: you'll drive about 18-19 miles on a dirt road so you'll definitely want some decent clearance on your vehicle, driving in.

backpacking
1 month ago

One of my favorite backpacking trails right outside of Vegas. The dirt road getting to the trailhead is very rocky. I drove the 16 miles in an Altima which was probably not the best decision and I will not do that again. Besides the road leading up to the trail, the trail is amazing. The incline stays constant traveling to the cabin (give yourself 3-4 hours to complete), but the hike back to the parking lot is a piece of cake. Did this hike late May and there was still water in the spring. Have fun!

backpacking
1 month ago

off road driving
2 months ago

Awesome trail nice easy ride, and great views

backpacking
2 months ago

I was looking for a walking trail nearby that I could enjoy with my dog. We went on the birdsong trail and had a blast. Plenty of pet stations available and lots of places to stop for a rest if needed. Trails are well maintained

off road driving
2 months ago

Great campground near. Super easy quick hike. Some concrete water basins and what looks like a livestock fence along the way.

Great hike. Definitely camping it next time

backpacking
2 months ago

walking
3 months ago

I bring my kids here all the time. we love it because it's easy enough for toddlers to explore.

So fun

nature trips
4 months ago

This was an amazing nature walk with the pups! What a hidden gem! Hiked around the trail, pups played in the stream and learned some interesting facts about Nevada. This was incredibly beautiful and very peaceful. You can hear the wind in the trees and the gently babbling creek. So beautiful and right in our own backyard!

hiking
4 months ago

off road driving
4 months ago

It was a fun day drive. Took about 4 hours to complete. Went during March in the dry season. Pretty rocky, which made for a bumpy ride. Had no problems in my 4Runner, didn't need 4WD once. Could see the need in rainy/snowy conditions. Made a day trip from it while staying in Vegas.