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Getting to Fish Springs from any direction requires a long drive on gravel roads with no close gas stations. From the Salt Lake City area plan on about 3 hours travel time. The route with the least dirt road is on highway 174 from Delta. When in doubt call the Refuge at 435 693 3122 for road information.
You can take precautions to ensure that your trip to Fish Springs NWR will be a safe and pleasant one.
Be sure to fill up on gasoline. The nearest stations are:
Lynndyl, Delta, The Border Inn on Hwy 6, Wendover, and Stockton.
Make sure you have a good spare tire. Flat tires are common on gravel roads. Flats can sometimes be repaired at Fish Springs. Bringing an extra spare is a wise precaution.
Carry Water. If you are stranded for any reason, you will need plenty of drinking water.
Prepare for cold weather. Carry warm clothing and sleeping bags when traveling in cold weather.
Drive Carefully. Gravel roads
are very slippery and have corrugations and pot holes that can cause you to run off
the road. There are also blind corners and hills which may have turns, animals
or another automobile on the other side.
Park Safely. It may seem like you are the only one on the road but someone may still come along at any time. Common mistakes are: Blocking the roadway by stopping or even leaving unattended vehicles on the roadway. Stopping or parking on blind corners and hills.
Bring your cell phone. Depending on your carrier, cell phones work in many places in the west desert.
Remember: These are county roads and all state and county laws apply. Off road vehicles are not allowed. Failure to use good judgment could become a life or death situation. The number one cause of automobile related injury and death in the west desert is single car rollovers.
Learning Curves - A tourist had a close call after loosing control on the county road that crosses
the refuge. The automobile
skidded out of control eventually going off the road and striking a fence post. This corner has been the
site of many accidents over the years. In spite of many improvements and warning signs, excessive speed
people to loose control and leave these telltale curves on the road.
When passing an on-coming vehicle please slow down to about 30 mph. This will reduce the shower of rocks thrown onto windshields when passing. If you have a flat tire please remove the rocks you use for blocking your wheels from the road.
A note on the
Wilson hot springs
Warning ! People have had their dogs fall into the springs and die from the burns. Please keep your pets away from the springs!
Wilson hot springs is located off the refuge on property belonging to the Army. If you try to drive to the hot springs remember that the water in the road on the way to the hot springs is actually a spring. People drive around the visible standing water only to get stuck 200 to 300 feet later where rescue vehicles cannot go. The water level is several feet below the surface in this area, so there is no solid place to drive to the hot springs.
If you get stuck here you will
1. A five mile walk in the desert to refuge headquarters.
2. Laughed at.
3. Use of a pay phone to call a tow truck.
4. A bill for about 250 miles of towing service.
It is much better to get mud on your shoes and walk the 200 yards to the springs.
Local folks and refuge personnel spent 36 man hours, numerous long distance phone calls 200 miles of driving, plus many gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel to get this person out of the mud. In the process 3 additional vehicles were stuck and heavy equipment had to be brought in. Threats to an officer required involvement of Fish and Wildlife law enforcement. Army and security personnel from The Dugway Army base were also required to spend time because of this person being stuck. The individual spent one night on the refuge.
This incident reinforced to the local population and employees of Fish Springs NWR the price of someone getting stuck at the hot springs. Plan on calling a tow truck.
By the way, the only thing you will
see is a spring about 10 feet across in the middle of a stinking mud hole.
Last Updated: November 7, 2012