Friday, February 25, 2022
Sunday, February 6, 2022
Located about one hour north of Las Vegas, these two adjacent properties protect the headwaters of the Muddy River, and comprise restored habitat for two native fishes: the Moapa White River springfish and the Moapa dace.
Both were endemic to these watersheds, but became endangered to exotic species introductions. They are mostly isolated to these headwaters, now, where warm water springs seep to the surface.
Near the very headwaters, themselves, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has built some glass-sided viewing areas, where you can see these fish in their restored habitat.
The available walkable area, even between these two sites, is pretty minimal, so you probably don't want to build your entire day around a visit out here. But if you're already heading to other wildlife refuges to the northwest of Las Vegas, or coming back from Valley of Fire or points northwest, this is a nice stop. Vault toilets and picnic tables are available, here.
It's usually pretty lonely around here. When we arrived, there was only one car in the fair-sized dirt parking lot for the wildlife refuge, but the small paved lot for Warm Springs (Southern Nevada Water Authority, SNWA) was overflowing. By the time I finished walking around Warm Springs, however, that lot was completely empty.
Not a lot of birds to see when I was there. I assume there are specific seasons when they visit, or maybe more when it's hot, and the water is more welcoming to the local birdlife.
To get here from Las Vegas, you'd take I-15 north, to exit 90. That's NV-168. Head west for 7.1 miles to Warm Springs Road (sign for the Wildlife Refuge -- The other brown signs along this road were for entering or leaving the Moapa Indian Reservation). Turn left. Low speed limit, here, and pretty narrow, but still paved.