There are only four wineries in Nevada and two of them happen to be in Pahrump. We enjoyed free wine tasting at Pahrump Valley Winery (attached to the RV park) as well as the weekly wine dinner catered at the RV resort ($15 includes three glasses of wine and full dinner with dessert). We also had a delicious, free wine tasting at Sanders Family Winery located a few miles away.
|Our Montana is in the second row, second site from the end (#821).
Very clean park with reasonable site separation and each row is slightly tiered giving the impression of more separation.
|We had an almost unobstructed view of a couple of miles of creosote covered desert
between us and the mountains and Mt Charleston with just a touch of snow left.
Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge lies about 30 miles NW of Pahrump and about the same distance from Death Valley. What a wonderful surprise it was to find crystal clear springs in the middle of miles and miles of dry desert. This refuge is such a unique environment it has been listed as a Wetland of International Importance. The name comes from the Ash trees once abundant, now returning.
The water table is close to the surface in this area and geologic faults allow it to flow to the surface creating springs in the most unlikely places. Native Americans made good use of the abundant water for centuries before settlers arrived looking to mine or farm the land.
By the 1970's the springs and channels had been diverted for human use and big development plans were in place to build homes bringing thousands of people to the water. Thanks to the discovery of at least 26 endemic species here (which are endangered), the state of Nevada purchased the land from the developers and started the long slow process of returning the land to a natural state. 23,000 acres were declared a National Wildlife Refuge in 1984.
|Beautiful metal work is scattered throughout the refuge.
There is an excellent visitor center with a very good movie describing the history of the refuge.
|Spring at Point of Rocks viewing area.
Spring fed pools on the refuge hold four types of fish, plus other microscopic species
that have adapted over time to live here and no where else on the planet.
|Boardwalks protect the recovering habitat.
|Far ahead of us on the dam we could see a large bird picking at something.
|This hawk was eating a merganzer. I'll spare you the photo of the remains...
We stopped at the visitor center (only a couple of years old) and enjoyed the very informative 20 minute video, then walked the boardwalk along another beautiful spring and stream.
Another few miles drive brought us to Longstreet Spring and Cabin. An infamous prospector, gunman and horse breeder, Jack Longstreet settled in Ash Meadows from 1894 - 1899.
|Longstreet's cabin built with the local limestone.
|Longstreet's spring about 50 feet from his home.
Grasses have been trimmed as part of the restoration of the wetlands.
|Endangered Ash Meadows Amargosa pupfish.
We took a drive up Wheeler Pass road into the mountains behind our RV park.
|Desert Plume flanks the road, joshua trees live here!
|What do we spy in the road ahead?
|One of many large washes draining the mountains.
|The wash deepened dramatically downstream!
|Climbing out of the wash we were treated to masses of blue sage among the joshua trees.
|Pale pink cholla!
We really enjoyed our stay at Wine Ridge RV Resort. Great group of folks playing pickleball daily, really nice pool and hot tub with a view of the mountains. The grounds are very clean, including the laundry room. Very quiet location, plus good Verizon and AT&T. We'd stay here again.
Onward, to Beatty, NV!