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Hidden Forest, NV

Guide 2 Triplogs  0 Topics
  4 of 5 
NV > Vegas
no permit
0 2 0
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 5.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,856 feet
Elevation Gain 2,172 feet
Avg Time One Way 2.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 12.44
Interest Off-Trail Hiking & Historic
Backpack Yes
Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
52  2021-05-14
Hayford Peak - Sheep Mountains
author avatar Guides 26
Routes 19
Photos 562
Trips 1,391 map ( 11,424 miles )
Age Female Gender
Location Las Vegas, NV
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred May, Sep, Oct, Jun
Seasons   Early Autumn to Early Summer
Sun  4:53am - 6:39pm
Official Route
1 Alternative

unusual desert treat
by autumnstars

The destination of this hike is an old game warden's cabin tucked into the upper reaches of Deadman Canyon near Wiregrass Spring. The cabin is thought to have originally been built in the 1880s or 90s, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 as one of the few surviving examples of a log cabin in southern Nevada. There are many tales about the cabin, including use by bootleggers, until becoming a game warden's cabin when the Desert National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1936. The cabin was initially considered the Refuge's headquarters until Corn Creek Ranch was purchased in 1939. In 2008/09, the cabin was restored with a new roof, new floor, repairs to some walls, and replacement of broken windows.

The entire hike follows Deadman Canyon gradually up. The canyon is never steep, but the grade is unrelenting and the gravel is deep in places. There is no developed trail, so just follow whichever meanders of the wash look best to you. The route generally follows what used to be a road up to the cabin, but storm flow in the canyon has erased almost all traces of the road. Views along the way are confined to the canyon, where the walls alternate between near-vertical cliffs and sculpted limestone spires.
The hike begins in a lovely Joshua tree forest, gradually transitioning to Pinyon-Juniper, then Ponderosa Pine-White Fir forest as you ascend. This is the Hidden Forest, an unusual desert treat tucked away in a remote canyon of the Sheep Range. Continuing up, enjoy the shade of the trees as you make your way to the historic cabin. The water pipe in front of the cabin is an excellent place for bird watching, with several picnic tables located nearby. It is also interesting to sit here and imagine your life as a long-ago trapper, prospector, or bootlegger.
If you wish to visit Wiregrass Spring, simply follow the steep use trail north of the cabin for approx 0.2 mile. Here, you will find a spring box and a small catchment providing open water for wildlife, primarily bighorn. During times of high spring flow, water flows down the hill below the spring box, giving rise to a field of wiregrass (Juncus sp.), and giving the spring its name. Wiregrass Spring is also the jumping-off point for a hike to Hayford Peak, the highest point in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge.

Water Sources
Water from Wiregrass Spring is piped to the historic cabin and can be collected there for filtering. However, the spring is not reliable during periods of drought, so check with the refuge office.

No camping within 1/4 mile of water developments or springs. Many people camp in or near the historic cabin. There is a toilet due south of the cabin behind a tree - please use it if you camp here. Rodents inhabit the cabin, so secure your food if you intend to camp.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2015-10-12 autumnstars

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    Drive north on US95 from Las Vegas. Turn right onto Corn Creek Road, signed for the Wildlife Refuge. This is past the turn for Kyle Canyon. Drive east on Corn Creek Road (being paved fall 2015) for approx 4.25 miles past the visitor's center to the T-intersection of Alamo Road and Mormon Well Road. Turn left on Alamo Road and follow it for 16 miles, then turn right onto the signed Hidden Forest Road. Hidden Forest Road ends at an informational sign and parking area after approx 3.7 miles. This is the trailhead.
    Note that cell phone signal rating is for Verizon service.
    page created by autumnstars on Oct 12 2015 3:17 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool

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