Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is a biodiversity hotspot and a haven for rare plants and animals; an incredible story of survival for an ancient species of fish. Experience the last remaining oasis in the Mojave Desert, ponder the mysteries of the famous Devils Hole, stroll along beautiful boardwalks and walk in the footsteps of ancient peoples and pioneers.
The visitor center features interactive exhibits, regular viewings of the Ash Meadows movie, a bookstore, and a picnic area. With direct access to Crystal Springs Boardwalk, the visitor center is a great place to begin your adventure at Ash Meadows.
Crystal Springs boardwalk will take you to our most beautiful caribbean-blue spring pool. This spring produces 2800 gallons of water a minute, is approximately 15 feet deep and the water stays a consistent 86° (F) 30° (C). The length of the boardwalk is approximately 0.9 miles round-trip (1,430 meters) and there are benches, viewing area complete with scopes and colorful informational panels along the way. The boardwalk is wheelchair accessible but no bicycles are allowed.
Point of Rocks boardwalk winds through groves of mesquite trees where the melodic songs of birds fill the air. Sit on the benches at Kings Pool and watch pupfish frolic in the crystal blue waters. This species of fish has survived in these waters since mammoth roamed the area and this is the only place in the world they exist. There are grinding holes used by ancient peoples, a hilltop scenic area complete with viewing scopes and you may even see a bighorn sheep. This is our visitors favorite place. The length of the boardwalk is approximately 0.5 miles round trip (775 meters) and is wheelchair accessible. No bicycles allowed.
Longstreet Spring and Cabin is a short walk from the parking area, approximately 0.2 miles round-trip (320 meters). This boardwalk leads to an old stone cabin built by gunslinger, Jack Longstreet, a mysterious man of the wild west. Built into a mound above an underground spring the cabin is cooler than outside temps and was used for food storage by Longstreet.The spring pool near this cabin is sometimes called the boiling spring because fine white sand bellows up from the depths gives it a 'boiling' appearance. Wheelchair accessible but no bicycles.
Devils Hole is a fascinating place although the height of the viewing platform doesn't allow for an up-close and personal experience. It has been a part of, and managed by, Death Valley National Park since 1952 although its located within the refuge boundaries. This water filled cavern is home to the smallest and rarest pupfish in the world, the Devils Hole pupfish. The water maintains a temperature of 93° (F) all year-round. Professional scuba divers from Death Valley National Park have mapped the depth to 500 feet but the bottom has never been found. Three scuba divers broke through the fence in 1965 and two went missing. There were 44 rescue divers that spent 3 days searching for them but no trace was ever found. The most fascinating fact about Devils Hole is that within minutes of an earthquake somewhere in the world waves as high as 6 feet tall have occurred in Devils Hole.
Nearly 300 species of birds have been reported on the refuge. In addition to resident birds there are migratory species that rest at Ash Meadows before traveling on to their winter and summer homes. Professional and beginning birders flock to the refuge during the spring and fall to capture a glimpse of their favorite bird and those they hope to see.
Ash Meadows is a photographer's paradise. Check out or Photo Gallery.
Hunting is allowed on the refuge in certain areas, and all state and refuge regulations apply. All areas of the refuge are open for the public so caution and safety should be number one priority. Hunting at Ash Meadows NWR is NOT allowed for one week in December for the annual Christmas Bird Count. Call refuge for dates and details.
Click here for Hunting Information.
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