During our stay in Pahrump we never encountered any of the wild horses and burros said to be plentiful there, but as soon as we drove out of town we spotted several of each. On our arrival in Beatty, NV for a short stay we spotted burros every day and heard them braying every night.
|Wild horses on the drive from Pahrump to Beatty.|
|Keep your eyes open as you drive around Beatty, you'll eventually spot wild burros on the hills.|
We spent three nights at Beatty RV Park, a rustic, no frills park just out of town and enjoyed walking onto BLM land right out the back gate.
|Walking onto BLM land right behind Beattyr RV Park...|
those are burro trails!
|HUGE Great Basin Gopher Snake!|
It's probably five feet long and about two inches at the thickest point.
|Kind of unhappy with our attention!|
It mimics a rattler by hissing and coiling and even flattening its head.
Just a few miles from Beatty is Rhyolite Ghost Town. Gold was discovered here in 1904 creating a boom, but by 1916 the town was finished. We walked the site on a clear, cold, windy morning, and despite the cold, saw a rattlesnake...too many snakes lately (though it sure is exciting every time we spot one)!
|Rhyolite, NV ghost town.|
|Saw this rattler as we approached our truck to leave Rhyolite.|
|This may be a Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake.|
Beatty, NV has been in a downward spiral since the last mine closed in 1998. Concerned citizens are trying to reinvent the town as a mountain biking destination. Spicer Ranch, located just north of Beatty RV Park, has a master plan to develop 300 miles of trails. Currently there are about 40 miles of trails and events such as mountain bike races and Tough Mudder runs are held there each year.
We walked about five miles of these trails and felt they would be fun mountain biking. All climbs are well engineered switchbacks and the trails are pretty smooth riding, not too rocky. If we pass through the area again we'd probably break out the bikes.
|Spicer Ranch is a swath of green in the desert thanks to springs feeding the Amargosa River.|
|Long nosed leopard lizard.|
|The Amargosa River is a tiny stream that comes and goes as it passes through Beatty, NV.|
As it disappears into the ground it leaves behind a white alkali residue on the surface, visible in the valley below.
|Desert horned lizard.|
|Such a fierce looking creature, that really isn't!|
|This black-tailed jack rabbit is frozen in place hoping we can't see him.|
We saw dozens of jack rabbits as we hiked at Spicer Ranch.
|Amargosa River grasslands.|
|Crayfish in the Amaargosa River.|
|Wild burro meeting.|
|This one was curious about us but kept at least 50 feet away.|
We've since moved on from Beatty to Hawthorne, NV for one night. A long drive through seemingly endless desert broken up by small, struggling former mining towns. The best part was that highway 95 is a great road, very smooth with low traffic.We'd gladly drive this route again just because the road was in such good shape!
Next up: a week in Reno, NV.