About the Refuge

Longstreet Spring

Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge was named after the galleries of ash trees described in expedition notes from 1893.  This desert oasis, a very rare and unique ecosystem, is recovering and playing an important role in global conservation efforts.  The refuge strives to promote conservation management and awareness through environmental education, outreach programs, voluntarism and visitor services programs.  We promote the 'no trace left behind' philosophy and ask our visitors to leave nothing behind and take only memories.

In 1952.........

The actions of a few dedicated conservationists, inspired President Truman to protect the Devils Hole pupfish and declaring Devils Hole as part of Death Valley National Park.  This important historical event led the way to Ash Meadows becoming a refuge in 1984.  The refuge was established, and is managed today, to protect threatened or endangered plants and animals; and their habitats.  Although Devils Hole is within refuge boundaries it remains under the management of the National Park Service. 


Site of International Importance!

The 24,000 acres of spring-fed wetlands and alkaline desert uplands is so unique that it is recognized as an wetland of international importance.  Participants from various countries attended a convention in Ramsar, Iran in 1971, where they worked to provide a framework allowing countries to sign a treaty agreeing to voluntary international cooperation for wetland conservation.  These wetland sites around the world are known as Ramsar sites and Ash Meadows was one of the first Ramsar sites in the United States.  The efforts of the Ramsar Convention continue today and if you want to learn more about Ramsar sites click here.



Top reasons to visit Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge!

1.  Its the largest remaining oasis in the Mojave Desert.

2.  Nearly 30 species of plants and animals that don't exist anyplace else on earth (referred to as endemic species).

3.  Ash Meadows has the highest concentration of endemic species in the United States.  

4.  See relict species of desert fish that have existed here since mammoths drank from these very springs. 

5.  Have you ever heard of fossil water?  The water here is known as fossil water because it comes from melted ice from the last ice age.     

6.  This is a photographer's paradise where ice blue spring pools are a stark contrast against the harsh desert landscape.  

7.  Ash Meadows is recognized internationally as an important wetland. 

8.  The mysterious Devils Hole over 500 feet deep and the bottom has never been found.

9.  Each of the three boardwalks offer something unique to see and all are wheelchair accessible.  There are picnic areas and benches too.

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