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Bird Watching and Hiking

Birding Around Discovery Park

Discovery Park, located near downtown Pahrump, is an abandoned golf course that was taken over by Red Rock Audubon and the efforts of local citizens who live on the perimeter of the park and elsewhere in Pahrump. Getting better all the time, birders have now recorded 176 species in Discovery Park.

Typical for a golf course, the area is long and narrow with paved trails that run the length of the park. Two ponds remain, as well as many trees, and local volunteers are busy planting trees and native plant gardens in the old fairways. The “roughs” remain rough too. Discovery Park is a spot of green amid an arid piece of desert.

 

Birding Outside the Las Vegas Valley

Several bird watching sites outside of Las Vegas provide excellent birding for desert birds and other western species; however, they involve long travel times from Las Vegas, guarantee few extra species that can’t be found closer to town, and limit the ability of visitors to maximize their birding time because of time spent in the vehicle. For Las Vegas birders looking for interesting day trips or when on the way to other places, these sites can provide excellent birding.

 

Hiking at Mount Potosi

The Spring Mountains are a long, linear, north-south aligned range of mountains that stretch for some 55 miles along the west side of the Las Vegas Valley. From the perspective of town, the Spring Mountains are anchored by Mount Charleston (11,918 ft) to the northwest and Mount Potosi (8,514 ft) to the southwest. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, directly west of town, lies between these two mountains, and the Cold Creek area lies north of Mount Charleston. The mountains rise from desert valleys at elevations below 2,000 ft to nearly 12,000 ft, creating a variety of climate and vegetation zones. Because they stand so tall and are completely surrounded by desert, the Spring Mountains form an island of mountainous habitat in a sea of desert. Isolation of the upland flora and fauna has resulted in the evolution of endemic species and subspecies, about 30 of which have been named; others surely await discovery.