A paradise for many species of wildlife and plants Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge serves as an essential stopover location for waterfowl and songbirds as they migrate south in the fall and back north in the early spring along the Pacific Flyway. Located in a region of Southern Nevada that only receives 6.4 inches of rain per year the 5,382-acre refuge is truly a unique landscape where lush wetlands and tall cottonwood trees meet the Mojave Desert. Fed by the life-giving waters of Crystal and Ash Springs here you will find acres of lakes, marshes, and wet meadows surrounded by desert uplands and a stunning array of flora and fauna. The Refuge staff invites you to visit the refuge and experience the wonder of this desert oasis!

Visit Us

National Wildlife Refuges offer us all a chance to unplug from the stresses of daily life and reconnect with our natural surroundings. Whether hiking, hunting, camping, or fishing, your visit will be enriched with beautiful landscapes and wildlife here at Pahranagat NWR. Best of all there is no cost to visit! 

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      A Managed Sanctuary... 

      The Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge is managed as a sanctuary where present and future generations of people can discover a connection to the rhythms of life. In spring, indigo bush and beavertail cactus bloom at the edges of verdant meadows and wetlands, fed by brimming lakes. The vital, spring-fed waters of this Mojave Desert oasis attract thousands of migratory birds each year. Pahranagat NWR’s seasonal marsh, wet meadows, and alkali flats provide high quality resting and foraging habitat for wintering and migrating waterfowl, shorebirds, and other waterbirds along the Pacific Flyway. Riparian gallery forests of willow, cottonwood, and associated plant communities support a flourishing population of the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher as well as a rich diversity of migratory and resident songbirds, colonial nesting species, and birds of prey. Coveys of Gambel’s quail emerge at dusk along with abundant cottontails and jackrabbits as nighthawks, coyotes, and owls begin to hunt. Each fall brings returning waterfowl and waterfowl hunters, while mountain lions follow mule deer down into the valley. 

      ...with so much to explore!   

      Pahranagat NWR’s recreational opportunities will bring visitors into close proximity with wildlife.  There have been 264 bird species recorded on the refuge, which is over half of all birds recorded in the state of Nevada! Visitors also have the opportunity to experience five different habitats all in one afternoon here at the Refuge.  Click here to watch a film and learn more! 


      Ranger-Led Guided Hikes Schedule*

      Birding 101. Every Saturday at 10:00 am at the Upper Pahranagat Lake Day Use Area. This 60- to 90-minute program touches on birding basics and how to identify birds followed by a short walk on the Upper Lake Trail. We'll practice our new skills and identify birds that make Pahranagat their home. Bring binoculars if you have them; if not, there will be some to borrow during the program.

      What We Do

      The National Wildlife Refuge System is a series of lands and waters owned and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Wildlife conservation is at the heart of the refuge system. It drives everything we do from establishing the purpose of a refuge, to the recreational activities offered there, to the resource management tools we use. Selecting the right tools helps us ensure the survival of local plants and animals and helps fulfill the purpose of the refuge. 

      Our Organization

      The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management and, where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife, and plant resources as well as their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans. 

      Whether you want to further conservation, learn more about nature, or share your love of the outdoors, you’ve come to the right place. National Wildlife Refuges provide many opportunities for you to help your community by doing what you love. National Wildlife Refuges partner with local nonprofit organizations, volunteers, youth groups, landowners, neighbors, and residents of urban and coastal communities to make a lasting difference. Find out how you can help make American lands healthier and communities stronger while doing something personally satisfying.  

      Our Species

      Small; usually a little less than 6 inches in length, including tail. Conspicuous light-colored wingbars. Lacks the conspicuous pale eye-ring of many similar Empidonax species. Overall, body brownish-olive to gray-green above. Throat whitish, breast pale olive, and belly yellowish. Bill relatively...
      FWS Focus
      Bald eagle up close with wing raised

      A large raptor, the bald eagle has a wingspread of about seven feet. Adults have a dark brown body and wings, white head and tail, and a yellow beak. Juveniles are mostly brown with white mottling on the body, tail, and undersides of wings. Adult plumage usually is obtained by the sixth year. In...

      FWS Focus

      Projects and Research

      Refuges use a wide range of land management tools based on the best science available. Some refuges use prescribed fires to mimic natural fires that would have cleared old vegetation from the land helping native plants regenerate and local wildlife to thrive. Other refuges contain Wilderness areas where land is largely managed in a passive manner. The management tools used are aimed at ensuring a balanced conservation approach where both wildlife and people will benefit.