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Birding Around Ash Spring
Birding Around Las Vegas, Outside the Las Vegas Valley, Pahranagat Valley
Birding Around Ash Spring
Ash Spring
Hwy 93, approaching turn to Ash Spring swimming area. Birders use the highway edge (view N)

Description

NOTE: The swimming area is closed for repairs and renovations, but without plans to do the work. The birding areas (along the highway) are still open.

Ash Spring is a riparian area in the desert with water, trees, lots of vegetation, and easy access. The spring produces lots of water that flows through a small riparian area with a long, narrow springpool. Aquatic vegetation, including filamentous algae and emergent species, is abundant during the spring and summer. The shoreline vegetation includes grasses, shrubs, rushes, and cattails; and the trees include ash, cottonwood, and willow.

Link to map.

Ash Springs
Birding from the highway (view NE)

The site has warm, clear water, trees, shrubs, grasses, and aquatic vegetation, all of which is surrounded by the vast Mojave Desert. Like other little spots of green in the desert, this area is a magnet for birds, especially during migration. However, much of this part of the Pahranagat Valley has cottonwoods and other trees, so the birds here are not as concentrated here as they are in parts of the valley farther north.

Ash Springs is not a wilderness area. The spring is located in the small town of Ash Springs, the riparian area mainly is on private property, and the site is fenced off with big "no trespassing" signs, but birders can look over or through the fence. This area once was developed as a trailer park, the remains of which still are present.

Birding Ash Spring
Birding from the highway (view NE)

This is a nice little place to stop and bird, but please respect the property owner. In addition, and this is extremely important, this spring supports the White River springfish (Crenichthys baileyi), a federally endangered species of fish. This species only occurs in the water that emerge from Ash Spring. Be careful here and don't trash the place.

Ash Springs is not a destination, but rather one of several birding sites in the Pahranagat Valley to visit as a group or on the way to somewhere else.

The site is right along the highway, so be careful of the traffic.
Ash Springs
Birding from the highway (view E)

Location

Ash Springs is located in the Pahranagat Valley, about 102 miles north of Las Vegas.

From town, drive north on Interstate 15 to Highway 93. Turn left on Highway 93 and drive north past the town of Alamo (73 miles) to Ash Springs (80 miles). Park on the east side of the highway under the trees, but stay outside the fence (Table 1, Site 444).

Ash Springs
Birding from the highway (view E)

Hours

Always open, but stay outside the fenced area.

Fees

None.

Ash Springs
Birding from the highway (view E)

Specialties

This is a good birding area for passerines, especially migrant warblers, wrens, sparrows, swallows, and towhees. Look the endangered fish too, although you are most likely to see the nonnative species that were released into the springs (e.g., convict cichlids, sailfin and shortfin mollies, mosquitofish, bullfrogs, and crayfish).

Ash Spring
Ash Spring swimming area (view S)
Ash Spring
Ash Spring swimming area (view S)
Ash Spring
Ash Spring swimming area (view SE)
Ash Spring
Ash Spring swimming area information signs (view E)

Table 1. GPS Coordinates for Highway Locations (NAD27; UTM Zone 11S). Download Highway GPS Waypoints (*.gpx) file.

Site # Location Latitude (°N) Longitude (°W) UTM Easting UTM Northing Elevation (feet) Verified
444 Highway 93 at Ash Spring 37.4609 115.1930 659818 4147331 3,700 Yes

Happy birding! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 150410

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