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  • Writer's pictureRachel Pintarelli

Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge: Unexpected Views!

When we decided on our latest Saturday adventure, we kept it somewhat close to our home in North Las Vegas, Nevada since it was already late in the day. So, we hopped in the Jeep and traveled approximately 1.5 hours north to the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge.

After a challenging 45 minutes of driving in circles looking for the entrance road down to the upper lake region of the refuge (thanks road construction!), we finally made our way down to what can be described as a beautiful oasis in the midst of southern Nevada's vast desert landscape.

A little background on The Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge. It covers an impressive 5,380 acres, providing beautiful water views thanks to the Crystal and Ash Springs. But those springs aren't just for viewing pleasure, they along with the land surrounding them offer offers wetland and riparian habitats for thousands of migratory birds, numerous birds of prey, deer, reptiles, small mammals, and rare fish.

In our short time there, we drove along the dirt road that borders the upper lake where you can find primitive camping sites that are on a first come, first serve basis (and we noted they were all full). After we scoped out the camping sites (which had beautiful views but are close to the highway noise, so a little FYI for ya), we parked and prepared to take a short walk along one of the trails. I would like to mention at this point I popped in to use the facilities and they were SPOTLESS. And from what we saw of the common areas, the maintenance of the refuge is top notch with minimal litter, clean picnic tables and benches, etc.

Lou and I made our way along a trail that crossed the wetland area and low and behold, eye-spied a PELICAN. Yes! A pelican! Not something we expected to find in the midst of a desert landscape, but a true testament to the beauty of this refuge for migratory birds looking for a rest stop along the way.

We walked just over a mile soaking in some beautiful sights and listening to the water crash against the rocks. Fellow nature lovers were out and about but clearly, this location is still a well kept secret (and hopefully stays that way), as it was not over populated and well maintained.

Lou and I had some friendly competition and had a "picture-off" with a cactus that was begging to be photographed. Turns out my husband is a helluva a photographer and I never knew!

Check out the video and photo montage to see his artsy photographer skills, along with some other surprises that we spotted in the Pahranagat, Nevada area.

Until next time, adventure on!

Rachel & Lou

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