Sunday, August 14, 2011

Road Trip Report 8: Wild Horses near Las Vegas

My daughter's number one wish for this road trip (every family member got one) was to see wild horses. I was nervous about that - after all, they are wild, and you can't schedule seeing a wild being. I did a lot of research: Nevada seemed promising. But where to go? Blogger Kellee @ Vegasjuhl helped me out, responding to my email and describing exactly where to possibly find them at Wheeler Pass, off US-95, which ended up being "just" on the other side of the Spring Mountains from where we were staying in Pahrump.

Early morning drive north on SR-160 to US-95

Joshua trees grow abundantly in the higher altitudes on the road to Cold Creek off US-95.

This sign is promising! As were the frequent horse droppings on the road.

Success! We saw these wild horses after turning right on the dirt road by the ponds where all the Cold Creek mail boxes are. The dirt road winds around a bunch of private properties and we spotted this herd right after the fences end and before the road leads up higher onto the mountain. The wide grin on my daughter's face was priceless and I was plain happy that this excursion had met with success. We were all surprised to see how healthy those horses looked - judging by their shiny coats and muscled bodies, life in the mountains must be good.

And then, unplanned, the gift of spotting wild burros off route 156! We were heading down the mountain after hiking in the Mt. Charleston Wilderness Area when we saw those three burros on the side of the road.

Goes to show you can almost plan to see wild animals in the mountains around Las Vegas! I was really impressed by how easily you can get away from it all so close to a major city - the wilderness seems untouched, and far from human habitation. There is one resort in those mountains; other than that, trails are virtually empty, ATVers and horseback riders galantly share them, and views are wide open. That is quality of life!


  1. Beautiful! In florida, it's nice to see deer and wild bores. There are times you get a glimpse of balck panthers and bob cats, too.

  2. I loved your pictures. The scenery was stunning. Here in the Binghamton area, we've had bears and deer in the urban areas. I hope I never see a bear while taking an exercise walk, which happened to my walking partner at work when she took a stroll after dinner one evening.

  3. Wow! What an amazing find and road trip. Love that everyone got to pick a must-see. We love the wild horses here in the Outer Banks (and Assateague in MD). My daughter is crazy about horses!

    Thanks for sharing. I always love stopping by here.

  4. You can plan all day long, but sometimes just putting yourself out there makes all the difference. Life ia a journey, not a destination and when we view our days that way, life is priceless.
    Nancy J Nicholson

  5. Shelly - wow! I didn't know there are black panthers in FL - that's cool and just a little scary.

    bookworm - I sure hope you don't encounter a bear on one of your walks!

    Tia - one of these days I have to plan a trip for my daughter to see those wild horses on the Outer Banks. Thanks for reminding me. Sounds like both our daughters could collaborate!

    Nancy - you're right - sometimes you do have to put yourself out there to experience life and sometimes you get lucky and it all comes together.

  6. I love these road trip posts! I have never seen wild horses (lived out west for many years) and I'm very very jealous! I have however seen joshua trees and burros when in Death Valley, and I love them too! Must've been such fun for your kids!

  7. As a fellow horse lover, I am so tickled that Josephine got her wish. Great planning, Annette, as always.

  8. Annette, this looks like a wonderful road trip. I really enjoy your photos - they make me want to jump in the car and drive out to the wilderness :-)