Located in southeastern Nevada about 1.5 hours north of Las Vegas, lies the beautiful Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge. The area is utopic bliss to a multitude of species of wildlife and plants, and has been preserved for thousands of migratory waterfowl and endangered species. Situated south of the quiet farming community of Alamo, Nevada, Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge is one of more than 550 refuges in the National Refuge system across the United States. Managed by the United States Fish and WIldlife services, this system is truly a living heritage, aiming to conserve wildlife and habitat for people to enjoy today, and many future generations to come.
In 1963, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service recognized the value of this oasis and designated 5,380 acres of lakes, marshes, wet meadows and desert uplands as Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge. Ornitology enthusiasts will have the pleasure of viewing hundreds of ducks, geese and songbirds as they migrate south in the fall, and back north in the early spring. You may luck out and even spot a bald eagle or two! In addition to the multitude of bird activity in the area, Pahranagat is home to the Mojave rattlesnake, Desert tortoise, coyote, mule deer buck, and tundra swan.
In addition to the wildlife Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge has to offer, the holds significant cultural importance to the Paiute people and has historically been utilized by these native people for thousands of years. In the Paiute language, Pahranagat means “Valley of Shining Water,” which is a fitting name for this wetland mecca situated in the Mojave and Great Basin Deserts. Petroglyphs and pictographs can be found throughout the Refuge and are protected under federal law. Furthermore, the valley is also home to a plethora of pioneer history as well! The first settlers in this area noted the valley’s abundance of water, and were interested in maintaining crops for cattle grazing purposes. One historical building in particular still remains in Pahranagat NWR, the Walden House. It is said to be the original pioneer dwelling in the area, and is estimated to have been constructed around 1864. Interestingly enough, the structure includes a multitude of stones with intricate carvings.
Pahranagat is broken into three different sections: the Upper Lake, Middle Pond and Lower Lake, with the Refuge’s headquarters located near the center. This is the perfect place to host a family outing, as there are large picnic areas, toilets, beautiful hiking trails, and even a campground area! Photography enthusiasts will also be thrilled to access the beautiful photography blinds in the area as well. While swimming is not allowed, Pahranagat does accommodate fishermen and hunters in permitted areas. Interestingly enough, there is even a handicap-accessible hunting area, located in the Middle Pond area!
Plan your next summer getaway to the restorative Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge!
An exciting free event to add to your calendar is the Scorpion Hunt and Night Hike, held annually each September. As the twilight turns to darkness, scorpions begin their nightly hunt for prey. Led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, prepare for a fun evening of searching for scorpions, while learning how they adapt to their environment. Ultraviolet flashlights are provided, and all ages are welcome, but space is limited. Reserve your spot to partake in this amazing experience today!
September 6, 2014, 8:00-9:00 p.m.