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!