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Crystal Wash Shepherd's Camp
Rock Art Around Las Vegas
Crystal Wash Shepherd's Camp
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Crystal Wash Shepherd's Camp

Overview

While not a prehistoric site, the Crystal Wash Shepherd's Camp is an interesting historic camp area so close to the Crystal Wash Rock Art Sites that people interested in history would be remiss to skip it. The BLM asked me to remind visitors that this is a fragile and irreplaceable part of the history of Lincoln County and Nevada. People are more than welcome to visit, but be sure to help take care of the area for future generations.

Link to Site Map.

Crystal Wash Shepherd's Camp
Main habitation area

The camp area is set among desert-varnished boulders where it appears that shepherds (perhaps cowboys?) set up a long-term seasonal campsite. The campsite is in an area protected from winds on three sides by boulders and a low ridge, and they built a low wall across the last side that would have kept sheep (cows?) out of the living area.

In the living area, they built rock walls that likely defined living quarters or a kitchen. I would imagine that they covered the top with a tarp.

Outside the living area, residents dumped huge piles of cans, bottles, and other trash. There are a few pieces of newer trash, but most are old. The steel-and-aluminum pull-tab cans on the top of the piles date from the early 1960s, suggesting the site was abandoned at that time.

Crystal Wash Shepherd's Camp
Details of rock wall

This is not a legally protected historic site, but it is an interesting site. Please visit the site respectfully and with the understanding that it holds clues to the history of Nevada.

Location

Crystal Wash Main rock art site is located beyond the Pahranagat Valley about 110 miles north of Las Vegas on Highway 93.

Crystal Wash Shepherd's Camp
If left by native people, we would call this a midden

From town, drive north on Interstate 15 to US Highway 93 (Table 1, Site 0674). Exit onto Highway 93 and drive north past Alamo and Ash Springs to the intersection of Highways 93 and 318 (Site 0677). Continue on Highway 93 for 4.06 miles to a large dirt parking area on the left (north) side of the road (Site 1099).

In the dirt parking area, a barbed-wire gate (Site 1100) blocks the access road. Open the barbed-wire gate, drive through, and close it behind you. Stay left and proceed 100 yards to a T-intersection (Site 1101). Continue straight another 100 yards to the camp area (Site 1103), which is on the left. Details of the access road are presented here.

Crystal Wash Shepherd's Camp
Old cans other items

Hours

The area is always open, but it probably should be considered day-use only. There are no established camping areas.

Fees

None.

Note: In this area, gasoline is available only in Alamo and Ash Springs.

Crystal Wash Shepherd's Camp
This is now the cattle guard
Crystal Wash Shepherd's Camp
Old stone walls
Crystal Wash Shepherd's Camp Crystal Wash Shepherd's Camp
Crystal Wash Shepherd's Camp Crystal Wash Shepherd's Camp
Crystal Wash Shepherd's Camp
Trash dump
Crystal Wash Shepherd's Camp
Watch for Great Basin Collared Lizards and other current residents

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) Verified
0674 I-15 at Hwy 93 689188 4028063 36.38091 114.89089 2,232 Yes
0677 Hwy 93 at Hwy 318 657363 4154834 37.52891 115.21911 3,831 Yes
1099 Crystal Wash Main Turnoff 662810 4157094 37.54832 115.15699 4,225 GPS
1100 Crystal Wash Main Gate 662794 4157154 37.54887 115.15715 4,211 GPS
1101 Crystal Wash Main Fork 662720 4157198 37.54928 115.15798 4,204 GPS
1102 Crystal Wash Main Parking 662487 4158033 37.55684 115.16044 4,138 GPS
1103 Shepherd's Camp Parking 662645 4157239 37.54965 115.15882 4,198 GPS

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 150526

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