Getting some fresh air by taking a Sunday drive in the wide open spaces is a tradition here in the desert southwest. Wandering around and taking pictures of the great outdoors provides stress relief and a chance to capture memories that last a lifetime.
The goal of outdoor destination articles like today's, is to promote destinations that are not often mentioned in tour guides. Places like Ash Meadows offer a good natural history learning experience for children and adults.
Ash Meadows is recognized internationally as being a fragile desert ecosystem conservation area. The prime attraction in this desert refuge is a rare natural desert oasis. The blue water of the desert spring oasis is home for the ancient Pupfish. Pupfish have not changed since the age of the dinosaurs and they have survived a millennia of adverse environmental conditions. Pupfish are adjusted to extreme heat and high salinity water. No other fish can live in these conditions.
The Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge covers more than 22,000 acres and it is part of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge complex. There is a well maintained dirt road that runs through the entire length of Ash Meadows. A regular passenger car can traverse this road with no problem, but a 4x4 or high ground clearance vehicle is always a smoother ride.
Ash Meadows is located in the Amargosa Valley, Nye County, Nevada. This destination is about a 60 to 90 minute drive from Las Vegas, depending on which of the two routes that are followed.
From the Alien Travel Center on Highway 95, State Road 373 runs west to the north Ash Meadows entrance. The Ash Meadows sign can be seen a few miles short of the Longstreet Casino near the state line.
To reach the southern Ash Meadows entrance via Pahrump, follow State Road 190 to Belle Vista Road, then follow the signs to Death Valley Junction. A couple of miles before the historic ghost town, the south entrance to Ash Meadows can be found. The pictures above show outlying areas near the Belle Glade Road access point.
Respect for the environment is best to keep in mind when visiting Ash Meadows. No contaminants or litter can be left behind and only memories can be taken from this wilderness area. The old rule of "what you pack in is what you pack out" always applies in pristine environments.
Like always, when traveling in the desert, carry a two day supply of water and nonperishable food in the car. This practice does save lives. Spring temperatures in the desert southwest are mild and pleasant, so this is the best time of year to enjoy the great outdoors!
More information about Ash Meadows can be found by following this hyperlink:
• US Fish And Wildlife Service - Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge - Nevada