Las Vegas, NV: Corn Creek

Visit Corn Creek, one of Nevada's best birding sites and a desert oasis.
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Visit Corn Creek, one of Nevada's best birding sites and a desert oasis.

This hike around the Corn Creek area links four trails from the north side of the visitor center. Start out on the Jackrabbit Loop (an ADA-accessible trail). You quickly cross onto the Bighorn Loop which is also ADA-accessible in this section. Walk alongside the spring-fed pond. Note that the map on the DNWR website shows that you are on the Bighorn Loop, but the junction sign indicates that you are on the Coyote Loop.
www.fws.gov/uploadedFiles/Trail%20map%20-20construction%20access%20with%20roads.pdf 

Take the Coyote Trail west along the north side of the pond. At the junction with the Bighorn Trail continue southwest on the Coyote Trail. The trail follows a stream that flows from the pond, across another bridge, and past staff headquarters. Most of the trees in the area were planted by the old homesteaders. You’ll find pecan, almond, pomegranate, wild grape, and mint to name a few. The trail soon crosses another bridge over what used to be an old pasture, but is now overgrown with cattails. You might hear rock wrens in this area. Shortly after this you reach an unsigned trail junction. Head west onto the Birdsong Loop and away from the maintenance building. After a hundred yards, the trail turns east and runs parallel to a wash. There are some benches along this portion of the trail. Sit and enjoy the view of the Sheep Range to the northeast. The mistletoe that is common here attracts phainopepla.

The trail will eventually turn south and rejoin the Coyote Loop. Just east of the junction is the railroad-tie cabin. Constructed in the 1920s out of recycled railroad ties, this cabin is made of remnants from the Las Vegas & Tonopah Railroad which operated close to Corn Creek. Just south of the cabin is the Pahrump Poolfish Refugium which houses a few of the remaining Pahrump poolfish in the world. In order to support biodiversity, these endangered fish were transplanted here after their population was almost wiped out by human interference and invasive species. After you’ve pressed your face up against the glass to catch sight of these teeny fish, walk east to meet up with the main trail. Pass the picnic tables and continue on the Coyote Loop at the junction with the Bighorn and Birdsong Loops. Head back toward the pond and to the visitor center.

Random Information
– There are more than 320 bird species seen here to date. Find the bird list here. The best times to bird here are during fall and spring migrations, in the morning and evening.
– Desert National Wildlife Range was established to protect desert bighorn sheep and their habitat.
– Corn Creek has an interesting history: First used by Paiutes thousands of years ago before the Anglo-European settlers came, the creek was a source of water during the mining and the subsequent railroad boom. Next came the ranchers (who made bootleg alcohol) in the early 1900s.

Trail Facts

  • State: NV
  • City: Las Vegas
  • Distance: 0.0
  • Contact: 1-702-879-6110 (the 1 is required)
  • Land Type: National Wildlife Refuge

Waypoints

CCT001
Location: 36.438617, -115.358351 Altitude:

CCT002
Location: 36.439091, -115.359492 Altitude:
Junction with Coyote Trail. Head southwest.
CCT003
Location: 36.439352, -115.361336 Altitude:
Hike west at the unmarked trail junction. Birdsong trail begins.
CCT004
Location: 36.439181, -115.362465 Altitude:
Head northwest on dirt trail away from the maintenance building
CCT005
Location: 36.440016, -115.364054 Altitude: 0
Trail heads right (northeast) into unmarked wash. Trail not obvious at this point.
CCT006
Location: 36.439583, -115.360858 Altitude:
At junction, walk east on wide trail towards the cabin.
CCT007
Location: 36.439689, -115.360189 Altitude: 0
Stop by the railroad tie cabin and then walk south to the poolfish refugium.
CCT008
Location: 36.439456, -115.360261 Altitude: 0
The poolfish refugium is southwest of this point.
CCT009
Location: 36.439372, -115.360456 Altitude:
Go back towards the trail you came from, then turn right (east) at junction towards picnic tables.
CCT010
Location: 36.439157, -115.359529 Altitude:
Back at trail junction. Head east around the north side of the pond, towards the back of the visitor center and to the parking lot.