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Corn Creek Field Station
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Desert National Wildlife Refuge
Corn Creek Field Station
Corn Creek Field Station
Visitor Center

Overview

Corn Creek Field Station is the field headquarters for the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, a unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Corn Creek is a tiny spot of green in a vast sea of desert-dry Mojave Desert Scrub. Springs provide water that supports trees, lush vegetation, desert wildlife, and even humans over the last few thousands of years. The ancients left their marks on the land, but most evidence of human use derives from pioneer and more recent times.

A visitor center, opened in February 2014, houses exhibits about the refuge, information about current conditions, and of course, a gift shop.

Link to Highway Map or Trail Map.

Corn Creek
Information desk and gift shop (left and behind)

Most of the habitat immediately surrounding Corn Creek is low-elevation Mojave Desert Scrub dominated by creosote bush, white bursage, fourwing saltbush, and a few Mojave yucca). This area is in the rain shadow of the Spring Mountains, so it gets less rain than usual, even for a desert, and as a result, the vegetation is sparse and stunted.

Springs at Corn Creek provide water for a desert oasis supporting honey mesquite, cottonwood trees, and many other wetland plant species. Water from two of the springs was used by late-1800s homesteaders to support a farm, and these two springs still water the cement pond and the trees, grass, and orchards that remain, all of which provides habitat for birds and other wildlife. Historically, this has been a world-class birding destination, but recent changes have disrupted the habitat and birds; time will tell if they all come back.

Corn Creek
Exhibit about bighorn sheep

Getting to Corn Creek Field Station

Corn Creek Field Station is located northwest of Las Vegas on the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, about 30 minutes northwest of downtown Las Vegas.

From Las Vegas, drive north on Highway 95 about 30 minutes. Pass the turnoff to Mt. Charleston and pass the turnoff to the Las Vegas Paiute Indian Reservation (the highway goes under an overpass here). About 6 miles past the overpass, the turnoff to Corn Creek (Table 1, Site 0350) is marked by a small green refuge sign, a Corn Creek Road sign, and a well-graded, gravel road heading east across the desert. Turn right onto Corn Creek Road and drive east for 3.8 miles to the Visitor Center parking area (Site 0106), which is located on the far side of the Refuge headquarters and maintenance buildings. If space is available, park in the shade of the covered parking area.

Corn Creek Field Station
Visitor Center
Corn Creek
Exhibit hall
Corn Creek
Restroom and to-the-trails!
Corn Creek
Start of the trails behind the visitor center (view NE)
Corn Creek
Family on trail
Corn Creek
Contemplating the cement pond
Corn Creek
Historic railroad-tie cabin
Corn Creek
Pupfish refugium
Corn Creek
Highway 95 at Corn Creek Road (view N)
Corn Creek
Corn Creek Road at refuge boundary (view E)
Corn Creek Field Station Corn Creek Field Station
Corn Creek Field Station Corn Creek Field Station
Corn Creek Field Station Corn Creek Field Station
Corn Creek Field Station Corn Creek Field Station
Corn Creek Field Station
Visitor Center (view NE from parking area)
Corn Creek Field Station
Covered parking (view W)
Corn Creek
Start of the trails (view NE from visitor center side porch)
Corn Creek
Start of the trails (view NE from visitor center side porch)
Corn Creek Corn Creek

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
0106 Corn Creek Parking Area 647225 4033632 36.43845 115.35745 2,814 Yes
0350 Hwy 95 at Corn Creek Rd 641416 4032155 36.42601 115.42251 3,050 Yes

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 170808

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