Talking about the “wildlife in Las Vegas” is sure to conjure up all kinds of interesting images. In actuality, away from the bright lights of the strip, the city is surrounded by national parks and even within the metro area, there are several nature preserves. Yes, you can live in Las Vegas and see actual wildlife! Here are four amazing options to get your nature on!
Within Las Vegas, Springs Preserve is a hotspot for native wildlife. There are more than 250 species of wildlife living within the preserve. Among them are Gila monsters, cottontail rabbits, pocket gophers, lizards, gray fox, owls, herons, butterflies (who have their own habitat), and tortoises! All of this, plus cultural attractions, make the 180-acre area a must visit for the whole fam.
Also close to the city is the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve. Located within the Water Reclamation Facility, it is approximately 140 acres and home to both waterfowl and desert birds. There is a paved path (which is ADA accessible) that winds through a quarter mile of the property, allowing you to view an astounding nine ponds. As a bonus, there’s a monarch butterfly garden, which helps in the preservation of the endangered species.
Slightly outside of the valley, but still close enough for a quick trip, is the Clark County Wetland Park, which spans 2,900 acres. 210-acres of that serve as a Nature Preserve, which features four trailheads. There are a remarkable 300 species of birds and 70 species of mammals that can be seen within the park, including beavers, coyotes, bobcats, and snakes (gulp). The park offers programming such as walks, guides, art, and children’s activities.
The Desert National Wildlife Refuge is located about an hour from Las Vegas and is the largest wildlife refuge outside of Alaska – whoa! It encompasses six mountain ranges and seven life zones. While there are a multitude of animals in this area, the primary resident that can be seen here is the Desert Bighorn Sheep. While there are trails, plus restrooms, and a visitor center that is open sunrise to sunset, keep in mind that this is more of a hike in the wilderness than the other preserves on my list.