Nevada December 30, 2016
The One Enchanting Place In Nevada That Must Go On Your Bucket List Immediately
Nevada is often pictured as one big dry, hot desert by people unfamiliar with the state. This wildlife refuge turns that stereotype on its head. Who would think that a lovely lake and marsh set by a mountainous backdrop would be only an hour-and-a-half away from Las Vegas?
The Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge covers 5,380 acres. The refuge is a wetland habitat, of which there are very few in the southern part of the state.
The habit focuses specifically on providing refuge for several species of birds, particularly waterfowl.
You can easily see thousands of ducks, geese and other waterfowl on a visit during the spring and fall when migratory patterns bring them to Pahranagat.
Another bird species that makes use of Pahranagat is the Bald eagle.
Young Bald eagles like this handsome fellow can be spotted at the refuge.
Adult Bald eagles are not an unusual site and you can see these symbols of our national pride hunting for fish in the Upper Lake area.
Other endangered and threatened species that find a home in the refuge are the Desert tortoise, Southwestern willow flycatcher and Peregrine falcon.
There are several lush meadows in the habitat fueled by the water table in the area.
You can walk through deep green fields of goosefoot and dodder in marshes near the lakes.
Other green fields are full of yurba mansa (a white flowering plant), milkweed and willow trees.
The riparian habitats that can be found in Pahranagat are actually quite rare and endangered in the U.S. southwest, which makes the work of the wildlife service in preserving this oasis vitally important.
Pahranagat has many cottonwood and willow trees along the bodies of water in the habitat.
These riparian habitats are important for the migratory birds that make heavy use of them for nesting. Birdwatchers and general nature lovers will delight in the variety of birds that can be spotted in the habitat.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service notes that at least 264 different species of birds have been identified at the refuge.
That's over half of all birds identified in the entire state - if you visit, make sure you bring your binoculars and a camera!
Nature lovers can enjoy all that Pahranagat has to offer with hiking trails that cross through every type of habitat in the refuge.
There are few places you can visit where you can spend a day hiking and walk through desert, marsh, meadow, lake, and stream environments. Camping is also an option at the Upper Lake area with primitive facilities. Horseback riding is also popular, and boating is an option at the Upper Lake but with small, non-motorized boats only.
If you’re traveling from Las Vegas, take the I-15 north and take exit 64 to the US-93/Great Basin Highway. Take the US-93 for approximately 64 miles until you reach the refuge. If you’re coming from the Great Basin area, take US-50 west and then the US-93 south through towns such as Pioche and Alamo. The refuge is located a few miles south of Alamo.
Would you love to visit this enchanting spot in Nevada? Share in the comments!