Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
Pacific Southwest Region
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Welcome To Ash Meadows NWR

Desert Wildflowers at Ash Meadows NWR

USFWS Photo

Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, established June 18, 1984, is located approximately 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas in the Amargosa Valley of southern Nye County, Nevada. To date, over 22,000 acres of spring-fed wetlands and alkaline desert uplands are managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The refuge provides habitat for at least 24 plants and animals found nowhere else in the world. Four fish and one plant are currently listed as endangered.

This concentration of indigenous life distinguishes Ash Meadows NWR as having a greater concentration of endemic life than any other local area in the United States and the second greatest in all of North America. Ash Meadows provides a valuable and unprecedented example of desert oases that are now extremely uncommon in the southwestern United States.

Stop by the refuge office to view the interpretive kiosk, obtain brochures, and walk the Crystal Springs Interpretive Boardwalk Trail. Additional information may be obtained at the Refuge Office, which is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (due to limited staff, the office may occasionally be unstaffed during these hours). Opportunities for observing the endangered Ash Meadows pupfish exist at all springs, but are best at Point of Rocks.

Numerous recreational opportunities are available at Ash Meadows. Wildlife observation, picnicking, and hunting are all popular activities enjoyed by refuge visitors. Please contact the Refuge Manager for additional information regarding these activities. Birdwatching is also a popular activity, with a bird list available at the headquarters or online. An active volunteer program provides additional opportunities to enjoy the refuge and students may be able to earn college credits through an internship at the refuge.

The refuge is still in its developmental infancy. While many visitor facilities are being planned, relatively few presently exist. Be sure to bring plenty of water, sun screen, and hats during the hot summer months. Use extreme caution driving on and around the refuge during wet weather. Secondary roads quickly become flooded and impassable during/after rains.

Environmental Assessment

FOR FAIRBANKS SPRING AND SODA SPRING RESTORATION (1.06MB PDF)
PUBLIC NOTICE (PDF)

Education Internships Available

Death Valley Natural History Association (external link)

Last updated: February 18, 2010