Thursday, November 21, 2013

Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, NV

At the southeastern edge of Death Valley National Park is the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge.  Our visit to this strange oasis reminds us of our trip to Florida a couple of years ago.  Seven major warm springs adorn this alkali desert, giving us a sense of the tropical.  Are you sure we're in the Nevada desert?  The springs are around 85F to 90F (31C to 35C) and as clear as a cold, trout creek.  From the springs, the water flows into marshes and reservoirs, playing host to waterfowl and a rare, endangered pupfish found only here and nowhere else on earth!  Boardwalks have been built allowing visitors to walk around the springs and streams to help protect this sensitive landscape.

Marilyn at the Crystal Spring creek.
Crystal Spring is 15 feet deep and 87F (23C). 2300 gallons of water bubble out of this underwater fissure every minute!
Brad at Crystal Reservoir. They're VERY hard to see on such a small photo, but the black dots on the water are American Coots, and there are thousands of them!
This is King's Pond at Point of Rocks. That's me making a funny shadow across the pond.

Side note: the day after we visit the Refuge, it rains - all day! Very unusual for the desert, especially the Death Valley area which sees only about 2 inches of rainfall annually. The clerk in the office of the RV park where we stay tells us this is the first significant rain they've had here all YEAR - and it's almost the end of November! More rain and clouds are expected for the next several days. Of the four years we have been RVing, this is the wettest and cloudiest we have experienced.


  1. Love the idea of hot springs. May be taking a page from your book this winter and trying some of the places you visited in Florida. Early days for planning.

    1. Lynda, the springs in Florida aren't hot like they are out here where there's more geothermal activity. Florida's springs are about 72F. We swam in them in March and April, but wore our wet suits.