Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

  Water that entered the groundwater system thousands of years ago bubbles to the surface in thirty seeps and springs to create a wetland of over 23,000 acres. The refuge has been protected since 1984 but it was almost destroyed in the 1960s and 70s when a portion of land was drained and mined for peat; additional land was drained for hay and alfalfa farms; and plans were drawn up for a housing development. None of these activities and plans were sustainable for long – there is just not enough water.
 The refuge has a visitor center (closed due to conronavirus), three short boardwalk trails, and five roads that are closed to traffic but open for hiking. The best times to see wildlife and unique plants are in spring and fall. Since we visited in the winter the wildlife was scarce but the refuge was still very enjoyable.
  The visitor center appears to be accessible. All of the boardwalk trails are accessible. The closed roads at Crystal Reservoir and Rodger Spring are accessible with assistance. The Devils Hole area is not accessible due to rocky ground and steep, narrow trails.
  The main roads are suitable for any vehicle but all of them are horrible washboard. The other roads get sloppy when it rains and have ruts. Parking is limited at Peterson Reservoir and DeviIs Hole. I recommend driving in one entrance and out the other to avoid having to go back over the same territory. We came in at the south entrance, saw the sights at that end of the refuge, then boondocked on BLM land outside of the refuge and saw the sites near the west entrance over the next two days.  Refuge  36.42376, -116.32818


  1. I wouldn't mind seeing this refuge. Thanks for sharing.

    1. It's a cool place - plants and animals that are not found anywhere else. Wish the roads were a little better though.