Looking for a great trail in Desert National Wildlife Range, Nevada? AllTrails has 7 great hiking trails, dogs leash trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Gearing up for a challenge? There are 4 hard trails in Desert National Wildlife Range ranging from 6.1 to 14.6 miles and from 4,904 to 9,898 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

hiking

nature trips

dogs on leash

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.

Relaxing easy trails to hike with educational historical signs along the way. Babbling brooks fed from a desert aquifer and shaded areas from the trees make this park a true desert oasis. Nice picnic area, visitor center, parking and restrooms ADA trails and family friendly.

hiking
25 days ago

Very easy but relaxing walk aside from the broken down bus from which the residents watched me walking. Great educational trail for kids

hiking
bugs
rocky
27 days ago

I must say absolutely worth the hike. A nice little gem in the middle of nowhere. Something different. Will definitely return for a backpacking weekend and stay in the cabin. Tons of flies that were very annoying and wasps covering the water. The main issue I had was the distance. This site states it is 10.2 Miles which was incorrect. Not sure where they are marking there start and end points but on my map is shows 13 miles both totals. Just an FYI for hikers.

hiking
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

18 miles of dirt road to get to trail head. Trail after cabin is very difficult to follow, I had to use app to stay on course

Was a Great place to walk around and learn some things. The visitors center is closed Mon.,Tue..

backpacking
2 months ago

Awesome hike! Spring was running, about 1 liter per minute as of 8/4/2019

hiking
2 months ago

I’ve hiked this 3 out of the last 4 or 5 summers and it never gets old. The only drawback is the road getting there but that keeps people away, which can be a good thing. The main trail up is all gravel which is well documented but it’s a very low incline and elevation isn’t an issue. It’s a real treasure in the desert.

hiking
bugs
over grown
rocky
washed out
3 months ago

great trail the spring was running well as of 07/05/2019 the water needs to be filtered if you drink it I had the water filtered and it was awesome the gravel doesn't really go away it definitely is the only reason why I didn't give it 5 stars other than that the hike is amazing a buddy and I did it in about 3.5 hrs with 30 pound packs on we stayed the night it got very cold at night so if you plan on staying bring warms clothes

hiking
4 months ago

Second time on this trail, I forgot how difficult the loose gravel is and there is a lot of it. About 4 miles of the 5 up to the cabin is gravel with the first 2 miles being the worst. Beautiful, and intense hike.

Short hikes, with some being ADA accessible. Great for spotting wildlife and plant identification. Visitor Center offers restrooms and a place to refill water.

hiking
no shade
rocky
4 months ago

wonderful with out 7 year old son. wildlife and plants and fun.

hiking
no shade
rocky
5 months ago

Great hike we did in late April. T-shirt and Shorts with sunscreen worked well, it was a sunny day with a light breeze. Getting to this trail is a huge pain if you have a sedan or non-off road type vehicle. Our friends who had a SUV had no issues, we however took it very slow in our Toyota Carrolla and almost got stuck a few times; so carpool in a vehicle with good clearance if you can. The hike is longish, 6.3 miles round trip/2000+ ft vertical, and the inclines at the beginning will test you unless you do this sort of thing all the time. Bring water. Cell phone coverage is spotty, so let somebody know if you re heading out solo, in case you get stranded (car breakdown or hurt). We saw lots of lizards, butterflies, and one snake (uploaded it to the trail pictures). Mr. Snake didn't bother us, and we didn't bother the Mr. snake. The view of the city is cool at the top, bring a pen to sign the guestbook there... between the 6 of us we didn't have a pen and didn't get to sign it. Coming down the peak is a bit of work too, as loose rocks make it easy to slide. Fun Hike. See linked recording for the track we used and pictures along the way taken.

backpacking
5 months ago

This is a great and strenuous hike. Clearly not many people do it, as the trail is harder to pick out at the top. Be sure to follow the markers. Beautiful wildlife and forest!

backpacking
off trail
rocky
snow
5 months ago

Really great overnight backpacking trip with my daughter, Seneca. Stunning views, Ponderosa forrests, cool rock formations, and a challenging climb. In fact, assuming you're physically up for it the only drawback is that there are some areas on the steep climb past the cabin where the trail/cairns are hard to follow, particularly on the descent/return. But... it was great anyway. The 18 miles of gravel road are a pain and I wouldn't do it in anything less than a truck or jeep. I have a 2WD Tacoma which did fine. From the start of the hike... Most reviews point out the difficult, loose gravel for the first few miles headed toward the cabin, which is a pain especially going up. Otherwise it's a beautiful, gradual climb to the cabin, terrain changing from desert and Joshua trees to Ponderosa wilderness. We're in pretty good shape and it took a little under three hours. The cabin is a one-room, historic abode; stocked with water, food, some alcohol and basic necessities with wood stove and sleeping area. It even has bedding and a sleeping bag, though I wouldn't use it. We plan to come back with the family and stay there sometime. The trail from parking to the cabin is directly east. From the cabin the climb up the ridge goes N and is considerably steeper. After the first 100 yards the trail/cairns are hard to follow but a compass (just keep heading N/NNE) and logic (you're climbing a ridge, don't leave it) should get you on the correct path. The ridge offers amazing views on either side at different times. After about 1 1/2 miles nearing the top of the ridge (before the turn NNE to Hayford Peak), again the cairns are hard to follow, especially coming down. We started the hike around 2:20PM, made the cabin by a little after 5PM and by the time we reached the top of the ridge where you turn NNE to Hayford Peak - the route to which is perfectly visible - it was probably 6:30PM and getting dark and cold. So, instead of attempting to summit Hayford Peak that late we explored the wooded plateau we were on. To the west we found a perfect campsite just out of the wind. We built a safe little fire, pitched a tent, had dinner and went to bed. It got down in the 20's and there was snow but with the right gear we were very comfortable. The sunrise was amazing and revealed stunning views and... turns out we camped just 100 yards from a beautiful peak/summit (not sure what it's called) which has 360 views of EVERYTHING! Mt Charleston, Mt Wilson, Black Mountain, Vegas, Hayford Peak, and a lot more. Though we really wanted to summit Hayford Peak - we were less than an hour climb, though it's steep - we had to get back and decided to head back. We determined to return and summit another time. Again, the trail is hard to follow at the first part going back down the ridge but just head S/SSE, stay on the ridge and look for the cairns, you'll find it. If you're physically up for it this is a fantastic trip!

Dirt road to trail was easy and about 30 minutes from the refuge center. Started late on a Saturday and was surprised to pass only two people on the road. The trail is easily marked and it was just my son, my dog, and I the whole way. The service road park is easy, for about a mile, but that incline really works you out! You go over several other peaks before getting to Gass which is the one with the tower. it's very Serene and peaceful once you get there. great views of the city from the north.

hiking
no shade
6 months ago

Not at all what I was expecting, but still a pleasant outing on a decent trail. I was anticipating something much more rugged but it's a walk-up on a well defined trail. The trail is steep areas interspersed with easier, level grades--the steep areas are no joke! Lots of interesting fossils about 0.5 mile from the top, and the view itself is pretty grand, though it is dominated more by the urban city view than of the wilderness areas. The view is not spoiled by the weather station up top, as it is easy to move around to find your preferred vista. Really fun hike. I was nervous about the drive, having heard horror stories, but it wasn't too bad. Definitely recommend high clearance--as a person who was known to "make it happen" in a small car that had no business being in areas I'd take it, this would be really rough in a sedan. Gass Peak Road in particular has a couple bruiser areas that would not be passable, or would require some really expert maneuvering. I only have about 8 inches of clearance but that was absolutely doable.

hiking
rocky
8 months ago

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