Facility Activities

Things to Do

If you have 15-minutes...

  • Stop by the visitor center for some information followed by a quick walk on one of the hard surfaced trails.

If you have one hour...

  • Go birding! Corn Creek is one of the best spots in Southern Nevada to see migratory birds.

If you have half a day or more...

  • Go for a drive on one of our many backcountry roads (4WD recommended and high-clearance required).
Visit the Refuge Virtually!

Don't live nearby, but still want to see what the refuge is all about? You can tour the refuge virtually, thanks to Vegas PBS and PBS Reno. Additional videos about the refuge can be found in the library


There are many hiking opportunities throughout Desert NWR. 

Corn Creek has five shorter trails, three of which are accessible. Please see the Corn Creek Trail Map for more information. 

Other hiking opportunities in the refuge are in the backcountry. Popular...


Backpacking is allowed throughout the refuge. No permits are required. All camping must be at least 100 yards away from water developments or springs. Campfires are prohibited in the backcountry, including the Hidden Forest Cabin. Backpacking stoves are allowed.

Please note...

Wildlife Watching

Desert NWR is home to many species of wildlife that are supported by a wide variety of vegetation communities over a large elevation range. Approximately 320 bird species, 53 mammal species, 35 reptile species, and four amphibian species have been identified in the different...

Auto Touring

Desert NWR has over 150 miles of rugged, backcountry roads to explore. A high-clearance vehicle, and four-wheel drive (4WD) is suggested. Be sure to check the current road conditions before setting out.

Two main roads diverge from the visitor center, with several spur roads...


Biking is a good way to see wildlife, learn about habitats and photograph nature. At Desert NWR, biking is allowed on both the paved and unpaved roads. Riding off-road and on trails is prohibited. E-bikes are permitted on any refuge roads where traditional bicycle use is...


From bald eagles to spoonbills, from condors to puffins, birds abound on national wildlife refuges. Refuges provide places for birds to nest, rest, feed and breed making them world-renown for their birding opportunities.

Here at Desert NWR, Corn Creek offers excellent birding year-...


Camping is an excellent way to experience the refuge, and we offer several options at Desert NWR, all fee-free. Accessing them requires travel over rugged backcountry roads; four-wheel drive (4WD), high-clearance vehicles with good tires are strongly recommended.

Desert Pass...

Dog walking

Dog walking is welcome on the refuge. All pets must be leashed at all times to avoid disturbing wildlife and other visitors. 

For your convenience, there are three pet disposal stations located throughout the Corn Creek trail system.

Horseback riding is permitted on designated trails of a limited number of refuges. Riders must follow refuge rules and regulations for this activity. See individual refuge websites for details.

We recognize that hunting is a healthy, traditional outdoor pastime, deeply rooted in America’s heritage. Hunting can instill a unique understanding and appreciation of wildlife, their behavior, and their habitat needs.

Limited desert bighorn sheep hunting is available by state-...

Painting and Drawing

Painting and sketching in nature is possible at nearly all sites open to the public. Nature journaling can be a novel way to connect to the National Wildlife Refuge.

Please note: the painting and leaving of decorated rocks is PROHIBITED


Wildlife Viewing and Photography

Wildlife viewing and photography is one of the highlights to visiting a National Wildlife Refuge! 

Desert NWR is considered to be one of the best birding sites in southern Nevada, with over 320 species known to use the refuge.  

In addition...


Picnicking is allowed at Corn Creek in the designated picnic area only. This is an excellent location to enjoy a snack while doing some birdwatching. 

The area is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Large, organized groups must apply for a special use permit....

Ranger-led Programs

At Desert NWR, we strive to offer regularly scheduled ranger-led programs. We also try to accommodate requests for programs from homeschool groups, teachers, and Scout groups. Some programs may be limited in size or require advance registration.

For a full list of...