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Las Vegas Wash
Clark County Wetlands Park and Nature Preserve

Las Vegas Wash includes hiking and bird watching information. Las Vegas Wash and Clark County Wetlands Park provides habitat to about 300 fish and wildlife species and more than 200 species of upland, riparian and wetland plants. Some of the wildlife include coyotes, beaver, roadrunners, cottontail rabbits, lizards, toads, the Valley Leopard Frog, dragon flies, crayfish, and carp. At the visitor center you can pick up pamphlets on the different activities going on around the wash. One of the pamphlets is on the birds of the Las Vegas Wash which was compiled by members of the Red Rock Audubon Society.

las vegas wash trail picture

The park runs from the various water treatment plants near the natural beginning of the Las Vegas Wash to where the wash flows under Lake Las Vegas and later into Lake Mead.

The 12-mile long Las Vegas Wash is a natural drainage channel for the Las Vegas Valley bordering Frenchman Mountain and the red sandstone of Rainbow Gardens on its way to Lake Mead. Wetlands are known to clean the water that runs through them, filtering out harmful residues from oils, fertilizers, and other contaminants that can be found on our roadways and in the surrounding desert.

One purpose of the park is to reduce the environmental impact of waste water and storm runoff leaving the drainage basin area, to slow down the flow of the water, catching silt, and reducing the undercutting of the dirt walls that form the wash.

las vegas wash reeds picture

Native plants and large pieces of demolished construction debris are used to stabilize the sides of the wash. Some native plants in areas of standing water help to purify the water by removing various pollutants as the slow moving water provides these plants with nourishment. Wetlands Park is a 2,900 acre habitat for numerous species of wildlife and an essential step toward cleaner water in Southern Nevada.

las vegas wash pond picture
las vegas wash picture

The Nature Preserve is a wildlife habitat and viewing area. It features two miles of concrete walking trails, graveled secondary trails, a bird viewing blind, ponds, trail markers, and beautiful views of the nearby alluvial fan and mountains of Rainbow Gardens. As well, primary trails are ADA accessible. The water in the Nature Preserve is not intended for human contact, so swimming, wading and fishing are not allowed. The 100-acre Nature Preserve is located at the west end of the Wetlands Park. Visitors can explore the many facets of a dynamic wash environment that has formed as a result of water runoff from the Las Vegas Valley.

There is a 2.4 mile scenic drive and a Visitor's/Education Center with exhibits and classrooms. There are ponds for wildlife and plant habitat and re-vegetation plan of 210 acres. There are 43 miles of multi-use trails for equestrian and pedestrians only with rest stops every ½ mile. There are six multi-use trailheads, parking, signage, restrooms, and three equestrian trailheads. No overnight camping.

las vegas wash hike picture
las vegas wash erosion picture

Jason's thoughts - WOW a real river with real water falls in LAS VEGAS! Fun indeed. Great walk, gorgeous fun biking offroad with Kelly (part of my 12th year anniversary present to her, 30 day anniversary gift). We walked 1.7 mile of paved trail and biked 5 miles offroad across the water and through the brush. We got lost and had a security guard escort us off some county property. Jason liked trudging through the wash carrying the bicycles on his shoulder, one at a time so we could cross the icy cold water, with mud up to the knee. This is one of the most scenic areas INSIDE the city of Las Vegas for doing outdoor activities. Lots of places to have riverside or pond front picnics when it is not too hot.

Kelly's thoughts - Wow, what a beautiful oasis in Las Vegas. Some of my native Vegas friends didn't even know about the Wash. That's to bad, they could've been enjoying this place with their children. Of course I am not going to visit it in the summer season because the hikes and trails are in full sun, but count me there the other nine months of the year.

Travel Info - The east side of Las Vegas, the end of Tropicana Avenue. Click for pictures and hiking information on nearby Mount Charleston.


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