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Miller's Rest Area, Western Nevada Desert
Birding Around Las Vegas, Favorite Places Far Away
Millers Rest Area
Miller's Rest Area
Entrance to Miller's Rest Area (view W)

Overview

Miller's Rest Area, also referred to as Millers Rest Area, is one of the most amazing birding sites in all of Nevada, but it is disguised as an ordinary roadside rest area and most people don't recognize its value. Many places have been described as islands of green vegetation in a sea of dry desert scrub, but Millers defines what that really means. The rest area is in the bottom of a broad, flat valley sparsely covered by miles of saltbush in every direction. The valley is surrounded by mountains, but they are so far away as to be unnoticed from the rest area. The rest area has many trees and a lawn that is heavily irrigated every night. For migrant birds trying to fly across this inhospitable land, Millers must shine for them like a beacon of hope on a dark and stormy night.

Link to Map.

Miller's Rest Area
Miller's Rest Area entrance sign (view W)

Description

Millers is a typical roadside rest area with flush toilets, shaded picnic tables, drinking water, trees, and a small lawn area. The highway entrance and exit are at the same point, so the road through the rest area makes a loop. When visitors first drive in, they arrive at the rest rooms, lawn area, and the tallest of the trees. To exit the area, the drive loops around an area with picnic tables and trees, but no lawn. Off the far (west) end of the loop, a gravel spur road leads a few yards to a parking area for overnight campers (Miller's Campground).

There are a few more trees and some irrigated shrubs around the perimeter of the camping area. The restroom area is lighted at night, which makes it a good place to watch bats and nighthawks. Commercial trucks park across the highway, so the area is relatively quiet. There is a gravel dog area; dogs are not allowed on the lawn.

Miller's Rest Area
Main Parking before toilets (view W)

A remarkable variety and density of unusual resident, migrant, and accidental bird species are regularly seen here during the spring and fall migrations. At other times of year, birders might see a House Sparrow or two; but it is always worth the time to stop and check.

Bird the tall trees and the lawn, plus the trees, water faucets, fence posts, telephone poles, and open skies around the rest area. Be sure to check the shrubs around the restrooms for skulkers.

Location

Millers Rest Area is located on Highway 95, about 3 hours north of Las Vegas. From Las Vegas, drive north on Highway 95 to Tonopah. From the intersection of Highway 6 and Highway 95 in downtown Tonopah, drive north on Highway 95 for another 13.3 miles. The rest area is on the north (right) side of the highway, it is visible from miles away, and it is well signed (GPS coordinates: 38.14049ºN, 117.45333ºW; 4,817 ft).

Miller's Rest Area
Lawn and big trees (view W)

Hours

Always open. The restrooms are always open.

Fees

None; even the camping area is free.

Millers Rest Area
Toilets and big trees (view SW)

Specialties

This is a good place to bird during migration -- it seems that everything shows up here including waterbirds (herons and kingfishers), raptors (falcons, accipiters, harriers, buteos), Mexican species (Hepatic Tanager), Eastern species (Hooded Warbler, Least Flycatcher, Ovenbird), shorebirds (peeps of various types), montane species (Mountain Chickadee), non-native species (House Sparrow, European Starling, Eurasian Collared Dove), migrants (Yellow-breasted Chat, Lincoln Sparrow, Rufus Hummingbird, MacGillivray's Warbler), and even a few desert species (Western Kingbird, Say's Phoebe, Sage Thrasher, Black-throated Sparrow, and House Finch).

Millers Rest Area
Approaching Miller's Rest Area (view NW)
Millers Rest Area
Millers Rest Area during summer (view W)
Miller's Rest Area
Main Parking before toilets (view W)
Miller's Rest Area
Miller's Rest Area during winter (view W)
Miller's Rest Area
Miller's Rest Area toilets during winter (view W)
Miller's Rest Area
Miller's Rest Area toilets during winter (view NW)
Millers Rest Area
Miller's Rest Area information sign (view S)
Millers Rest Area
Birding under the trees (view SE)
Millers Rest Area trees and picnic tables.
Shade trees and covered picnic tables (view W)
Millers Rest Area
Covered picnic tables and shade trees (view E)
Miller's Rest Area Miller's Rest Area
Millers Rest Area
Beyond the main parking area (view NW)
Millers Rest Area
Looping left to exit the rest area (view NW)
Miller's Rest Area
Miller's Rest Area in winter
Miller's Rest Area
Miller's Rest Area in winter
Miller's Rest Area
Parking lot beggars
Rock Pigeon
Cold Rock Doves Miller's Rest Area in winter
Miller's Rest Area
Miller's Campground area (view N)
Miller's Rest Area
Miller's Campground area (view NE)
Millers Rest Area
Camp area (view E)
Millers Rest Area
Camp area; not much, but it is free (view W)

Table 1. Highway Coordinates based on GPS Data (NAD27; UTM Zone 11S). Download Highway GPS Waypoints (gpx) file.

Site Location UTM Easting UTM Northing Latitude (N) Longitude (W) Elevation (ft)
0563 Miller's Rest Area 460301 4221307 38.14061 117.45302 4,817

Happy birding! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 170822

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