Updates from February 21, 2024:
Ash Meadows is recovering from recent heavy rain. Some roads remain impassable due to mud and wet conditions. Please respect road closure signs. Conditions change quickly. Please check with the visitor center on the day of your visit for current conditions.
Closed until further notice:
Longstreet to Peterson Rd cutover
East side of Crystal Reservoir loop from Spring Meadows Rd to the reservoir
West side of Crystal Reservoir loop
Point of Rocks Rd
Devil's Hole Rd
Best Time To Visit
The best seasons to visit are Fall and Spring. When comfortable temperatures are perfect for wildlife observations and strolls on the boardwalks.
In the fall the ash trees begin to display their gold and orange fall colors and in the desert this is a sight to see. Birds flock to the refuge on their annual migration, lizards scurry along the boardwalks and you never know when you might see a coyote, bobcat or desert bighorn sheep.
In the spring the flowers begin to bloom and although our flower display is subtle we have blooms throughout the year, not just in the spring.
Although in winter we sometimes experience freezing temperatures and snow, the winters are generally mild. The warm waters in the springs turn the refuge into a steamy and mystical place on brisk winter mornings.
Spring on the refuge is a good time to visit. Spring blooming plants are at their best. Animals are beginning to emerge from winter hiding. This is a good time for photography.
Since summer days can reach 110°(F) or 43.4(C) the best time to tour the refuge is early morning. Visitors are advised to drink plenty of water, use sunscreen, wear a hat, never leave pets or children in the car and limit time outside to avoid heat related problems. On occasion we can get rain from late summer monsoons.
The Community Environmental Monitoring Program (CEMP) has monthly or daily weather information for current and prior years. The website offers information on wind speed and direction, air temperature, barometric pressure, gamma radiation and total precipitation.
All roads in the refuge are dirt but they are maintained for regular vehicles and motorcycles. During periods of rain the roads can be slick, extremely muddy and possibly closed in some areas. During rainy conditions we suggest that you call ahead for road conditions.
The nearest gas station is located at Longstreet Casino approximately 6 miles from the visitor center on highway 373. There is a gas station at Lathrop well, the Junction of 373 and highway 95.
Accommodations and Eateries - The refuge is day-use only and no overnight stays are allowed however there are 2 hotels nearby. The Longstreet Inn offers fuel, hotel and RV accommodations and there are hotel accommodations at the Amargosa Opera House at Death Valley Junction. Both locations have restaurants.
More Amenities are available in the town of Pahrump, 30 miles south east of the refuge or In the town of Beatty, 48 miles north west of the refuge with a variety of accommodations, restaurants, shopping, auto repair and more.
Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is a biodiversity hotspot and a haven for rare plants and animals, as well as the setting of 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, observe the Amargosa Pupfish, stroll along beautiful boardwalks and walk in the footsteps of ancient peoples and pioneers.
The refuge is located in Southern Nevada and approximately 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
Downtown Las Vegas = 106 miles
Death Valley National Park = 44 miles to visitor center at Furnace Creek
Beatty, Nevada = 48 miles
Shoshone, California = 41 miles
Tecopa, California = 55 miles
Driving Directions to the Visitor Center
The recommended route to the Visitor Center for passenger vehicles and RVs is via the South Entrance off Bell Vista Road.
Other Facilities in the Complex
Ash Meadows National Refuge is part of Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex consist of four Wildlife Refuges: Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Moapa National Wildlife Refuge, Desert National Wildlife Refuge, and Pahranagat National Refuge.
Rules and Policies
There are lots of fun, interesting and educational activities that you can do on the refuge. Please check with refuge management before participating in an activity that could harm the environment, yourself, other people, wildlife or habitats. We want all of our visitors to enjoy the refuge. Please help us protect this area and its unique wildlife by adhering to the following rules and regulations.
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.
Driving Directions to the Visitor Center
The recommended route to the Visitor Center for passenger vehicles and RVs is via the South Entrance.
Coming from Las Vegas:
Take US-95 North to NV-373 South at Lathrop Wells/Amargosa Valley. Continue on NV-373 South to Death Valley Junction. Take State Line/Belle Vista Road to Spring Meadows Road (dirt road) to the South Entrance. Once you enter the refuge, follow signs to the Visitor Center.
Coming from Pahrump:
To the South Entrance:
Take NV-160 North to Bell Vista Road. Continue on Bell Vista Road for approximately 22 miles. Take Spring Meadows Road (dirt road) to the South Entrance. Once you enter the refuge, follow signs to the Visitor Center.
Alternative Routes (High Clearance Vehicle Recommended)
From Las Vegas/Crystal
Take US-95 North to NV-160 South. Continue on NV-160 South to Crystal Road. Take Crystal Road/Ranch Road/Devils Hole Road to the refuge Devils Hole Entrance. Once you enter the refuge, follow signs to the Visitor Center.
Take NV-160 North to Bell Vista Road. Continue on Bell Vista Road to Ash Meadows Road. Take Ash Meadows Road onto the refuge. Once you enter the refuge, follow signs to the Visitor Center.
Crystal Springs boardwalk will take you to our most beautiful Caribbean-blue spring pool. This spring produces 2,800 gallons of water a minute, is approximately 15 feet deep and the water stays a consistent 87° (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.
Crystal Spring Boardwalk is located behind the Visitor Center.
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. An interesting 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.
From the Visitor Center parking lot, turn right ( East), continue for 3.6 miles to Devil's Hole.
Distance form Visitor Center 3.6 miles.
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 mammoths 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 a series of interpretive panels. Visitors may even see desert bighorn sheep in the nearby Devils Hole Hills. The length of the boardwalk is approximately 0.5 miles round trip (775 meters) and is wheelchair accessible. No bicycles allowed.
Form the Visitor Center parking lot. Turn right (east) follow the road, turn right (south) on Ash Meadows Rd, turn left (east) onto Point of Rocks Rd. Follow the road till it ends in the parking lot.
Distance form Visitor Center 4.1 miles.
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 famed 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.
From the Vistor Center parking lot, turn left (West) at the first road, turn right (North), follow road to the Longstreet parking lot.
Distance from Visitor Center 3.4 miles.