Feeding My Soul at Ash Meadows Refuge

Death Valley desert view

Every year hubby and I take a week’s vacation towards the end of winter to somewhere warm.  We have relatives that live in Northern Arizona so this year at the end of February we flew into Las Vegas and rented a car and traveled around the area where California, Nevada and Arizona meet.

After a couple of days in Las Vegas where the weather was still very cool, we headed north out of Las Vegas for Death Valley National Park for just the day.   I immediately regretted not scheduling a few days there.  I must remember to just add a day to anything I plan to do!  Because of the name, I guess I always thought there wasn’t much to see or do where everything was dead but was I ever wrong.

It ended up being only a half day in Death Valley National Park because on the way we first stopped at the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge and quickly became enamored with this watery area in the middle of the desert.  We ended up spending the entire morning walking the short little board walks and enjoying the springs, small fish, and marsh area with ducks right in the middle of a desert!  This refuge is well-known for their small iridescent blue fish called pupfish that can only live in the very warm waters of the refuge and they are also located I believe somewhere within Death Valley.  Devil’s Hole is located here although we did not actually make it there.  It was such an incongruous place with dry desert views everywhere, such as the picture above, and with the barren mountains off in the horizon, yet as we walked, we would find small trees and shrubs with birds flitting about and singing.

boardwalk of Ash Meadows

The trees and shrubs would part, and there would be a beautiful spring as you can see below with small fish swimming around.

crystal springs

We live by a marsh back in Iowa so it made us laugh when we got so excited to find ducks in this marsh!  It was just so odd to find all this water in the middle of the desert.

ash meadows lake

The colors were so beautiful and the temperature was around 70 so it was hard to leave this peaceful place.  It restored my soul!

ash meadows lake

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7 thoughts on “Feeding My Soul at Ash Meadows Refuge

  1. Devil’s Hole, a 40 acre in-holding within the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, is managed by the National Park Service and is where the Devil’s Hole Pupfish can be found in their native habitat. Devil’s Hole pupfish are not found at Death Valley. They also can be found in several man-made refugia in the area. Ash Meadows NWR also has the Amargosa pupfush, another small endangered fish as well as several other plant and animal species that can be found nowhere else in the world.

    • Thanks for clarifying!! I wasn’t sure if there were pupfish in Death Valley when I was researching because I kept reading that people were seeing pupfish in Death Valley. Ash Meadows was definitely a special place!

    • I wish we had gone to Devil’s Hole too, but we got confused about what and where it was and totally missed it. Oh, well, next time we will catch it along with spending a night in Death Valley to allow us more time!!

  2. Pingback: Death Valley’s Mosaic Canyon | Jody's Journeys

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