Rules & Regulations

birding pahranagat valley

  • Vehicles

    • Only street legal vehicles are permitted – no ATVs, UTVs, or dirt bikes. Please protect wildlife habitat - stay on designated public access roads and park only in designated areas.
    • High-clearance vehicles are needed for travel on Alamo Road. Four-wheel drive is recommended. Make sure your vehicle is ready for the trip - check your tires, fuel, fluids, and battery. The most common problem people experience in the backcountry is a flat tire – a spare, and the means to change it, are a must!

  • Biking

    Bikes are restricted to open roadways and designated bike-friendly trails. Please see trail map for bike-friendly paths.

    • Horseback riding

      Horseback riding is not allowed anywhere on the refuge. Horseback riding is permitted at Desert National Wildlife Refuge, located roughly an hour and a half from Pahranagat.

      • Pets

        • Pets are welcome, but must be leashed at all times. 
        • All pet waste must be packed out. Pet waste bags are provided at the campgrounds and the visitor center.
        • The lakes and marshes are home to rare and endangered species. Pets may not swim or wade in the water.
        • There is no animal dumping permitted on the refuge. If you have a cat, goldfish, or any other pet you can no longer take care of, please find a new home for it away from the refuge. Domesticated animals are often ill-adapted to survive on their own, can carry diseases fatal to their wild relatives, and may eat the native species that live here.  

      • Camping

        • Fifteen primitive campsites are available along the Upper Pahranagat Lake. The sites are available throughout the year on a first-come, first-serve basis. We do not normally take reservations, but we may reserve a site for a youth group doing a service project for us as part of their stay. If you'd like to schedule a service project, contact the visitor services specialist at 775-725-3417 ext. 101
        • Camping is only permitted at designated campsites. Backcountry camping is not permitted
        • There is no water provided at the campgrounds - please bring all the water you will need
        • All garbage (including food waste) must be packed out.
        • All campsites have a BBQ pit and picnic table. Most sites also have a fire pit. If your campsite does not have a fire pit, ground fires are prohibited. Construction of fire rings is also prohibited.

      • Hunting and Firearms

        • Hunting is permitted on designated days in designated areas of the refuge, subject to all applicable state and federal regulations.
        • When participating in a legal hunting activity, firearms are permitted but must be unloaded and encased or dismantled while being transported by a vehicle or boat. Loaded is defined as having rounds in the chamber or magazine. 
        • Hunters may only possess approved non-toxic shot. Lead shot is prohibited.
        • From October 1 through February 1, hunters are restricted to no more than 25 shotshells.
        • Target shooting is prohibited. 
        • Firearms are not allowed in the visitor center.

      • Artifacts and Fossils

        Enjoy the petroglyphs, pictographs, fossils, and archeological sites throughout the refuge, but take only pictures. Don’t touch or remove any artifacts - it not only prevents future visitors from being able to enjoy them, but is also a violation of federal law

      • Swimming

        Swimming is not permitted anywhere on the refuge.

      • Drones

        Launching, landing or disturbing of wildlife by aircraft (drones) is prohibited. 

      • Restricted Access Area

        The north marsh is permanently closed to all public use. Black Canyon is currently closed to all public use. Entry of all kinds is prohibited in both areas. Other refuge areas may be closed as needed for habitat rehabilitation or wildlife monitoring activities. Check the visitor center for up-to-date closure information.