This place seems like it is in the middle of nowhere but it truly is an oasis in the desert. A sight to see for locals if they haven’t seen the Ash Meadows. It’s in between Pahrump and Death Valley so you can take a quick detour.
The mountains reflection in the water (see pic) is really what made this place special. There weren’t too many visitors so we depending on the day, you can have the whole park to yourself.
I saw the most beautiful sunset of my life at Ash Meadows and would recommend it as a good day trip.
Camping review: Dispersed camping just South of the refuge. There are lots of dirt roads off the main road outside of the refuge that you can camp on. There are little turn offs and cut outs for you to pull up in. Ideal for car camping or RV's. The main road heading into the park on the South side of the refuge so you can easily get into the park by foot or via the dirt roads.
You will need to look at maps to make sure you aren't on private property. The road going into the refuge is fine to for overnight stays, but if you want extended stays, you can go to Funeral Mountains Wilderness, which is across the main road on the way into Death Valley and stay up to 14 days for free.
Ash Meadows is a BEAUTIFUL refuge filled with wonder. A literal Oasis In the Desert. In this refuge you will find many endangered pupfish swimming along in the many warm springs in the refuge. They are federally protected so you will need to keep your distance. You can also see Crystal Spring. Crystal Spring pumps out over 2800 gallons of water a minute form an underground warm aquifer. It is also cerulean blue due to the limestone breakdown in the water.
There is also the incredible Devil's Hole located in the refuge. This is a geologic wonder of the world. It is a hole int he base of a mountain that is filled with the clearest water and the famous Devil's Hole Pupfish. These guys are incredibly close to extinction and live in a crazy environment. The Devil's hole is known the world over as a dangerous diving spot. Many divers have been lost in the underwater maze and no one even knows how deep it is. Some divers have even died trying to find out. Anywhere in the world if there is a large scale geologic shift (earthquake), it registers in this hole and the water will splash about like a wave pool.
The entire location is hike in only. You will need a map and check for permits at the visitor's center.
Travellers Autobarn Kuga Campervan Gear Review(Driving)
While out volunteering over a week for the Audubon Bird Counts, I was able to evaluate the AWESOME Kuga campervan. Since I was gone for 7 days, I broke my evaluation up into sections where the most important features of the van were utilized. If you want to see the rest, check out my reviews for Pahranagat Wildlife Refuge, Cathedral Gorge State Park, Ash Meadows Wildlife Refuge, Desert Wildlife Refuge, and Big Dune Recreation Area.
This company is awesome, they come from Australia and New Zealand and we are super excited to have a truly affordable rental camper van in the United States! You can rent out different sizes and get an array of gear with them. This is perfect for music festivals, road trips, and for camping in extreme weather.
Check them out here: https://www.travellers-autobarnrv.com/campervan-rv-rentals/kuga-campervan/
- Driving ability: This van is a pretty smooth drive for being such a big lug of a van. If you drive smart it gets about 500 miles to a 31 gallon tank which means I only spent about$250 total for a 7 day trip across Nevada and Death Valley Region. You have quite a few blind spots but if you leave the curtains open in the back window you can still use your rearview mirror in addition to the side mirrors. I kept the speed no higher than 55-60 so I could keep good gas mileage.
- Dirt Road Considerations: Even though this entire Refuge is dirt roads, do not take this on dirt roads if at all possible. They request that you keep to main roads that are paved with the exception of driving up to about 200 yards for campgrounds that are packed dirt. I saw why driving into this refuge when this hunk of a van was rattling and making me nervous. Mostly nervous because it wasn’t mine, but also because I didn’t put all my gear in safe places so I would occasionally hear a cup or book fall off the counter. They were smart and had little door button locks to keep the cabinets closed during drives too, which was handy!