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Gass Spring Route
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Birding Around Las Vegas, Desert National Wildlife Refuge
Gass Spring
Gass Spring
Gass Spring trailhead (view SW)

Overview

Gass Spring is a small water hole on the northeast flanks of Gass Peak. This tiny spot of water in the vast desert supports a few shrubs, a bit of grass, and lots of wildlife. This is a good place to see desert birds, bighorn sheep, and even bats as they come to drink. While visiting the spring, don't crowd the wildlife. The spring was dry in May 2017 after a very wet winter, which does not bode well for this area.

Link to map.

For general information on camping, regulations, other issues, and the natural history of the Wildlife Refuge, see the Desert National Wildlife Refuge -- Area Overview page.

Gass Spring
Hiker at fork in road: go right to the spring

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ...this is a pretty safe hike. Depending on road conditions, the trailhead might be accessible with a 2WD-HC vehicle, but inquire locally or use a 4WD vehicle just to be sure.

While hiking, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. Also, even though this hike is fairly short, it is remote, so be sure, at least, to have the 10 Essentials in your vehicle.

This is a wildlife refuge, so pay extra attention to respecting the land. Please, don't bother the bighorn sheep. They have a hard enough time making a living in these desert lands; they don't need extra stress from people hanging out around the spring.

Gass Spring
Trailhead signs

Getting to the Trailhead

This hike is located on the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, about 1.5 hours north of town when the dirt roads are in good condition.

From town, drive out to Corn Creek Field Station and continue east 50 yards to a T-intersection. Turn right onto Mormon Well Road, driving south and then east, the road heads up the bajada towards the mountains. At about 4.35 miles out from Corn Creek, shortly before Mormon Well Road gets to the mountains, Gass Peak Road turns right at a signed T-intersection. Gass Peak Road heads south and then east for 8.1 miles to Gass Spring Road. On the right (south) side of the road, watch for a parking corral, a gate, and "Service Road Only" signs. Park in the parking corral; this is the trailhead.

Gass Spring
Starting out on the trail (view SW)

The Hike

From the trailhead (Table 1, Waypoint 01), the route runs south on the service road heading towards Gass Peak. At a fork in the road (Wpt. 02) 0.4 miles out, the hike turns right and continues southwest.

The road bends right, then winds down through a wash before turning more to the south, and shortly Gass Spring (Wpt. 09) comes into view below the road on the left. On the approach, be sure to watch for wildlife that saw you and started moving away before you saw them.

This is an in-and-out hike, so follow your footprints back down the road to the trailhead. Be sure to stay left at the fork in the road.

Gass Spring
Route stays right at the fork in the road (view SW)
Gass Spring
Gass Spring (view SE from road)
Gass Spring
Gass Spring with a bit of water
Gass Spring
Gass Spring with a bit of water
Gass Spring
Gass Spring with a bit of water (view NE)
Gass Spring
Gass Spring (view NW)
Gass Spring
Upper spring area (view NW)
Gass Spring
Upper spring area (view NW)
Gass Spring
Middle spring area (view NW)
Gass Spring
Middle spring area looking towards northern area (view NW)
Gass Spring
Lower spring area (view N)
Gass Spring
Lower spring area; dry in May 2017 (view N)
Gass Spring
Lower spring area; dry in May 2017 (view S)
Gass Spring
Lower spring area; dry in May 2017 (view S)
gass spring
View north from service road near Gass Spring (view NE)
Gass Spring
Returning to the trailhead (view NE)

Table 2. Hiking Coordinates Based on GPS Data (NAD27, UTM Zone 11S). Download Highway GPS Waypoints (*.gpx) file.

Wpt. Location Easting Northing Elevation (ft) Point to Point Distance (mi) Cumulative Distance (mi) Verified
01 Trailhead 665069 4033558 4,910 0.00 0.00 Yes
02 Fork in the Road 664764 4032948 4,965 0.44 0.44 GPS
09 Gass Spring 664583 4032513 5,030 0.80 0.80 Map
01 Trailhead 665069 4033558 4,910 0.80 1.60 Yes

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 170505

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