One week of relaxing in Pahrump, Nevada…
Why we came…
After a week with no hook-ups in Death Valley, we wanted to pamper ourselves with full hook-ups, good wi-fi, good laundry, and nearby conveniences. Pahrump has a few high-rated RV parks, and with a population around 35,000, also has plenty of conveniences. It is popular with “snowbird” RV’ers. We looked forward to relaxing and giving our bodies a much needed break.
A pleasant campground / Our back yard
Lakeside Casino and RV Park was very nice. It claims to be “rated the #2 RV Park in North America and has earned the Good Sam’s 10-10-10 star rating”. It’s on the southern outskirts of town and very much like an oasis. A large pond has water fountains, a nice trail around it, and lots of birds claim the it as their home. Sites are good-sized, level and paved, with grass and lots of mature trees between each site. The facilities are also very good. There are three bathroom, shower, and laundry buildings that are well maintained. The wi-fi was usually pretty good, but kicked us off repeatedly on occasion. The cell phone was a strong and reliable 4G signal. The RV park, casino, and pond offered multiple ways to stay busy and entertained. The casino restaurant was decent and inexpensive. Prices to camp were also quite reasonable. Add it all up, and it’s a nice place to relax for a weekend or even longer.
Arleen, Rolf, Kitty
Arleen met Rolf in Alaska. He helped her buy her home and then managed it as a rental when the military made her move to Korea, Germany, and Washington state. And then, shortly after we retired from the military, he helped her sell the Alaska house. Rolf has recently retired and considers Pahrump his winter home. We met him and his wife, Kitty, at the Symphony’s Restaurant for lunch. It was an excellent lunch and we enjoyed a great conversation. Hopefully our paths will cross again in the future!
Geocaching route we did just east of Pahrump / Arleen with a cache…Mt Charleston in the background
There are a bunch of geocaches in the Pahrump area! Most of them didn’t sound too interesting to us. However, we found a string of five that looked like a sufficient challenge and would also have good views.
Hundreds of geocaches near Pahrump, Nevada
We parked by the lowest cache just east of Wheeler Pass Road. We chose to go after the most difficult one first: “Dang My Knees Hurt”. It was only one and a half miles from the truck, but it was also a thousand feet higher! Most of the thousand feet of climbing is within the last quarter mile. There is no trail…just seat-of-the-pants navigating through steep, rocky terrain. Because the cache is so tough, it doesn’t get many visitors. We questioned our sanity a few times, but we made it! The view was outstanding. The nearly 12,000 foot high snow-capped peak of Mount Charleston seemed really close. We signed the cache log, added a couple of goodies, and prayed we’d make it down in one piece. Our prayers worked…we were very glad to be walking safely along the valley trail! The next four geocaches were much easier. We got back to the truck as the sun dipped below the horizon and cast the desert in a pleasant orange glow.
Tough terrain / Half way to the first geocache
A cache hidden near a family of barrel cacti…Pahrump in the background / The first cache was up there
Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
From the brochure:
“Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is a haven for rare native wildlife and for people. In a world of dwindling natural areas, especially wetlands, the refuge protects a unique piece of the Earth. Here you can escape the rush and blare of the city, admire the beauty of desert and wetlands, marvel at the variety of plant and animal life, and know it will be here for generations to come.”
“Water is the key natural resource that makes Ash Meadows a unique ecosystem in the dry Mojave Desert. Where does it come from? Over 100 miles to the northeast, water enters a vast underground aquifer system. This water, also known as fossil water, takes a thousand years to move through the ground. A geologic fault acts as an underground dam partially blocking the flow of water and forcing it to the surface into over 500 seeps and springs. Over 10,000 gallons per minute flow year round, most of which come from seven major springs.”
There are 26 plant and animal species found nowhere else on the planet. It’s amazing that in the early 1980s a community of 30,000 people was planned in the desert oasis. We liked Ash Meadows. It is certainly worth a morning or afternoon visit.
Checking out the interesting terrain / Snow in the desert?!? Nope… it’s salt deposits
Crystal Springs…the largest spring gushes 2,800 gallons per minute / The rare pupfish…where’s my fly rod?!?
A hawk flying over Crystal Reservoir / Arleen with a geocache
We had five great days at Mesquite Springs in Death Valley National Park.
Lakeside Casino and RV Park…a desert oasis!