Sweet solo time in a gorgeous place

Sweet solo time in a gorgeous place

Since my last post we’ve been enjoying our free little lake paradise and the first real solo time we’ve had in a while. I absolutely love how social RVing is. In fact, it’s one of the things that surprised us most about this lifestyle. But we also love our solo-time and having spent a particularly social winter I have to to admit this little spot has been perfect for us in so many ways.

With our souls refreshed and our short hibernation coming to an end I can finally end the tease and reveal that we’ve been staying at Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge. This fabulous little stop-over lies in Pahranagat Valley, a fertile little strip of land named for the Pahranagats (“Person who sticks his feet in the water”), one of several southern Pauite groups that inhabited the Great Basin of Nevada thousands of years ago. The refuge is only ~90 miles north of Las Vegas and contains 5,380 acres of lakes, marshes, wet meadows and desert uplands creating a little Eden for birds and wildlife in the harsh desert. More interestingly for us nature-lovin’ RVers, it’s one of several Wildlife Refuges in Nevada that allow free camping. Can you say hidden little gems for boondockers?!

But the water & birdies as calming as they are, are not the only reason we came here. Besides the relaxing lake-side location one of the main reasons we came here was for the rock art. Indigenous people have inhabited this area as far back as 12,000 B.C and according to local archaeologists have been creating rock art for almost as long. These pictorial illustrations of ancient life make for super-cool rock hunting (an activity aaaalmost as fun as Geocaching)  with all the added thrill of finding something historic.

The outstanding "Lincoln County Rock Art Guide" lists all the best sites in the area.

The outstanding “Lincoln County Rock Art Guide” lists all the best sites in the area.

Here in Lincoln Valley the County has taken the extra, super-commendable step of mapping out 6 of the most significant sites in the area creating a website plus free downloadable 30-page color brochure with GPS coordinates and individual details of each spot. Once you make your way to the sites there’s a little sign-in booth with (typically) yet another free, detailed handout that takes you around the trail and most important petroglyphs. It is the BEST organized overview of rock art I’ve seen anywhere and it’s all the more amazing for being waaay out here in boonies. You’ll still have to putter around a bit to find the sites (none of the dirt roads are marked), plus you’ll have to wander around to find the panels (trails can be weak) but that is ALL part of the fun. The panels are accessible, but not too accessible which means you get that great “I found it!” boost when you actually locate them.

We’ve dedicated several days to exploring three of these areas starting with Crystal Wash (I recommend heading to the “entrance” site and not the “main” site…much easier to find), followed by Ash Springs and leaving the larger White River Narrows (be careful, road is bumpy here) for last. We got lost several times trying to find each spot, but thanks to the free brochure plus detailed hiking info from birdandhike.com we managed to snag every one of them in the end. Plus everywhere we went we were the only people there (literally no-one else for miles) making the discovery process all the sweeter.

Duck on the water

Duck on the water

We’re winding down to our very last few days here at the Wildlife Refuge. I’ll have a site review coming up as well as more about that encounter I teased you with in the last post (believe me, it deserves it’s very own blog).  We’ve also decided to change the route I laid down in Feb on the blog. The weather forecasts for US93 especially around Ely & Wells are still looking pretty chilly, even after our last few weeks of delay. I’m not against a few cold days, but it’s been bleedin’ snowing up there (??!!) and this flip-flop-loving-wimpy Dane is not gonna survive. So, once we hit 318 we’re gonna divert west along warmer lines and stranger roads. Coverage? shows us going into yet another area of zero internet coverage, but given how many strange things happen around here, you just never know. If you don’t hear from us for a while we’ve either gone into internet never-never land or disappeared into the weirdness of Area51. You’ll know soon enough….

Useful Links:

  • BirdandHike Rock Art -> Great, detailed info on all sites. Click HERE
  • Lincoln County -> Info on everything to see and do in the area. Click HERE
  • Lincoln County -> 30-page free brochure on rock art sites. Download HERE

Note/ All the archaeological sites in Lincoln County are dog-friendly and a few of them (the “main” side of Crystal Wash in particular) had several open spots perfect for boondocking for medium-sized rigs (the road would be a bit to narrow/rocky for “the beast”, but perfect for a more nimble rig). Just be careful to respect the rocks and not damage the precious historic artifacts.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the product links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. That said, I only ever recommend products or services I personally use and love! Wheelingit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

47 Responses to Rocking Out In Lincoln County, NV -> Petroglyphs & Pahranagats

  1. What a great place! It’s going on our list.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Yup, it’s a really neat spot. Not all the Wildlife Refuges allow camping in NV, but those that do typically offer it for free. I’m quite impressed.

      Nina

  2. Rowanova says:

    That is spectacular. Who’d of thought that was available in the dry dusty of Nevada?
    Thanks, and continued happy travels.
    I really enjoyed the photos as I’ve always, even as a young kid, had an interest and curiosity for the Ancient Ones. It don’t get no better than good travels, nature, and great history, all in one trip. Gotta love it.

    • libertatemamo says:

      It’s been fun to knock around all the historic sites here. Even more so since we’ve been the only ones at every spot. Makes it somehow more “special”.

      Nina

  3. Hobopals says:

    Few people actually know that Nevada has many beautiful and varied areas. Enjoyed your post. I’m sure you know this but just in case some of your readers don’t…if you have Verizon, be sure to call *228 option 2. It programs your phone to pick up towers in the area you are in.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Hmmm…didn’t actually know that trick at all! We have resellers only (Straight Talk for our phone and Millenicom for our data), so it probably won’t work for us, but that’s a great tip for native Verizon users. Thanks for sharing.

      Nina

  4. Papa says:

    Look like a pretty good find…..maybe your best in awhile.
    My feelings are hurt, and I thought I had thick skin….lol
    I spent the day at the Bundy Ranch standoff…..so far what I have read seems a bit different than my experiences. ?..exciting and scarry, frustrated by the lies from our government, bully tactics with promises to leave, stalling and them more cops rolling in to intimidate, yet the people stood their ground and won todays battle……the war is not over yet so we will see…….oh ya another good meal at Sugar’s in Overton….do you miss Lake Mead yet?

    Papa
    http://www.papas-travels.blogspot.com

    • libertatemamo says:

      In a way I’m glad I’m not there to see it. The whole thing sounds just terrible. I’m sure the real experience is very different than what’s been reported in most of the news.

      Nina

  5. Doug says:

    I don’t blame you one bit for all the site “teasing” you’ve done lately. Even the most social butterflies eventually grow weary of being caught in a net all the time. I am glad my social LTVA season is finally coming to an end—really looking forward to the summer solitude!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Those LTVA areas are always way more sociable than you imagine. Who would’ve thought boondocking would be so interactive? I certainly never imagined that when we started out.

      Nina

  6. LuAnn says:

    We have so much more to explore when we head out west again thanks to you Nina. Love rock art. Your photos are fabulous! :)

  7. What an awesome surprise this places must have been. Finding a place so uninhabited makes for super exploring. Saving this location for a future visit. Thanks for such detailed information:)

    • libertatemamo says:

      It’s really been a fun discovery. Of course like all the States we visit once we start scratching the surface we discover sooooo many more spots to see. I’ve already decided we’ve got to come back to NV in the future since there is too much we won’t get to do this time around.

      Nina

  8. You guys sure do find the best spots to stay!! Great blog! Safe and happy travels!

  9. Neat spot! Thanks for the Lincoln County links, we’ll be along hwy 50 in a few weeks so this info may come in handy!

  10. Sandie says:

    We’re heading that way in a month and I sure wish I knew what the weather was going to be like. I’ll be curious to read about your Area 51 visit. Look out for the Men in Black.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Given how fickle the weather is right now, your guess is as good as mine. Lake Mead hit mid-90’s two days ago (we were mid-80’s here at Pahranagat). Today they’re forecasting a 10 degree drop and lots of wind. It’s just all over the place!

      Nina

  11. Janet says:

    I would like to give you a very sincere thank you for another great post and that I appreciate all of the hard work you do in putting these posts together. I was reading your post about things you didn’t expect from RVing, and you said being an inspiration wasn’t one of them. Well let me tell you that your posts inspire and maintain the dream my husband and I have to RV fulltime. Our plan is to start in about 4 years. I often show him pictures of the places you stay and he can’t believe how many amazing places there are for free! My fear is that in 4 years your site won’t be around and we will have lost all of your valuable information, please compile it into a book or ebook and I will buy the first copy!! Again, thank you for the posts, I wanted you to know how much they are appreciated even if I don’t post a lot to say so.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Well goodness…thanks so much for the lovely/kind words :) maybe someday I’ll get around to that ebook I’ve been thinking about writing (it has been on my mind). Really happy to have you along on the blog for our travels.

      Nina

      • Greg says:

        I seem to recall that blogger had a way to nearly instantly turn your blog into an actual physical book. I wonder if WordPress has something like this.

        • libertatemamo says:

          There are actually several websites that offer this kind of service (e.g. BloggtoBook and BlogtoPrint), although most of them just offer straight out printing (to book form) of your posts. If I were to write a book I’d probably take a different angle and write about stuff I’ve not covered in the blog…or at least approach it differently to give it a new and interesting feel. Sadly I’ve always got too many ideas and too little time…I guess it’s a good problem to have :)

          Nina

          • Janet says:

            Greg’s got a great idea, you’ve already written all the quality content and you have plenty of amazing photos, you don’t need to do much else. With one of these sites, you could be an author by the end of the week!

          • libertatemamo says:

            Thanks Janet. The thought is a good one. Maybe I’ll actually get around to doing something about it one of these days.

            Nina

  12. karen sawyer says:

    Love you guys! You are my inspiration to do more boondocking (that is to convince hubbie to do more boondocking) and less RV parking!

    Just wondering if your latest travels brought you anywhere near the BLM/cattle roundup drama that’s currently going on…

    Hope all is well with your travels, thanks so much for the time and effort you take to document and share with the rest of us!

    • libertatemamo says:

      We were actually there (Lake Mead) just last week! I have some other friends travelling through the area right now and they said the whole thing is a mess/zoo. Not a pretty sight I’m afraid.

      Nina

  13. Dave says:

    Tried to stay there last October during the government shut down, but were met with a gate and hand written note stating,”Closed by Order of King Obama”. Ended up pulling across the street and boondocking in the old gravel pit which was probably federal land (closed) as well. Thanks for the post.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Oh bummer! I did see that parking area across the way and have noticed some people using it for overflow. Apart from street traffic from Hwy 93 (which we do hear at our site), this is about as good as it gets.

      Nina

  14. Yvette says:

    As another avid geocacher, I refuse to believe people haven’t placed caches near some of these petroglyphs. ;)

    Looks spectacular!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Oh there were most likely Geocaches, but {{embarrassed}} I didn’t check!! We had no phone coverage at any of the sites (I usually access cache locations on the phone) and I managed to forget to check before we went. I’m sure this area is terming with geocaches. Lincoln County even has a webpage on it:
      http://lincolncountynevada.com/exploring/geocaching/

      Nina

      • Yvette says:

        Ah that’s a pity!

        I highly recommend btw learning how to run pocket queries on the geocaching website if you’ve never done so btw (it’s a premium member feature). I sometimes don’t have time to do my research before traveling but it’s nice to just preload them, go hiking or what have you, then fire up the GPS on the way back and nab a few caches.

        Btw looks like you guys are heading up this way next? https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1b8VhcV3yki54pXTMynpnoQPYPFawZjmyD4wj_zZ7bz0 Don’t think I’d do it myself, but if already in the area I might consider doing the alien head. :)

        • libertatemamo says:

          Thanks so much for that link…it is FABULOUS!! I love (love, love) the Alien Head Cache…whoo hoo!

          Nina

  15. Luckybreak says:

    Great lighting on the cat photo, dramatic! Good eye!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Thanks! It was a fun shot to capture. Kitty just happened to be in the light with dark shadow behind her.

      Nina

  16. […] trail around the lake is excellent and there is plenty to explore around the area including ancient rock-art, road&walking trails as well as the notorious Extraterrestrial Highway. The only dings are […]

  17. dawn vezina says:

    Hi there we were parked above you at Stewarts Point in the RoseAir. We decided it was too hot there and have to head back
    to Canada anyway so we went here on Sat. and the place was full. So we headed up 318 to Dave Deacon campground at Wayne Kirch WLM. The campground is not much to talk about but it does have pit toilets, and a dump station with water. It was nice when we got there on Sat. but that night the wind began to howl and never stopped til this morning. We had planned to only stay one night but didn’t want to drive in that wind. Left this morning and we are at Wendover now, came through Ely no snow there or in the pass. Tonight we are parked in the huge lot behind the McDonald’s and Pilot in Wendover, tomorrow Idaho.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Dave Deacon was going to be the next stop on our “original” jello travel plan. I’ve heard everything from rave reviews to so-so on it, so interesting to hear your feedback. With our “new” jello travel plan we will head west on 375 and miss that whole section of NV. Something to come back for!!

      Hope the rest of your travels back to Canada go well. LOTS of Canadians going north right now. The weather looks good for the next week so hopefully will be smooth going for all those travelers.

      Nina

  18. Nina – I understand the need sometimes for some solitude. I love people, but there is also a reason to go off in the wood, find a mountain trail and be alone with nature (and your main squeeze).

    I have a funny incident to share about being alone. We were camping and saw an RV with their blog logo and URL on the back of the RV. Didn’t want to rudely go up to rig and say hi, so I just sent an email saying howdy, like your blog and fun to see we are at same campground. Response came back friendly, but saying that blog was for friends and family. Hmmm, I get that but why then put your logo and URL on your rig where everyone can see? The mysteries of people always amaze me.

    Love your latest gem. Enjoy the peace & quiet.

    http://www.sockmonkeytrekkers.blogspot.com,

    • libertatemamo says:

      Nature time is definitely refreshing. We’ve never put any logos on our RV for exactly the reason you mentioned. Then again most folks recognize Polly and Paul (not so much me) from all the pics on the blog, so I guess we do carry a type of inadvertent advertising LOL. Still, it’s nice to hide out sometimes.

      Nina

  19. locoBob says:

    Nina, That is a good looking cat, but where is the other one? Is it camera shy? My wife and I have 2 cats that are littermate sisters but they couldn’t be any more different. I am wondering if you have the same situation.

    • libertatemamo says:

      You’ve got it exactly right. The other one is camera shy. Like yours ours are litter-mates and exact opposites. Taggart, the orange one in the pic, is outgoing and social. Rand, our brown one, is timid and shy. Rand prefers to be out at night and will hide if ever we have guests. Every now and then I manage to snag a pic of her, but it’s tough!

      Nina

  20. Brenda says:

    Very cool! We love petroglyphs! Nice that you are having some alone time, enjoy.
    Brenda

    • libertatemamo says:

      You’d definitely enjoy this area then. It’s very rich in rock art! I see you guys have finally left San Diego. Certainly looks like you enjoyed the spot tremendously. It’s a fabulous city and a hard one to leave.

      Nina

  21. dawn vezina says:

    If you ever go to Dave Deacon do not use the south road that goes into the campground, we did and we had so much dust and talk about bone jarring washboard. When we left we went out the north road and while it was still dusty, it wasn’t as bad or as jarring. The campground is not really pretty but for free with water and a dump station isn’t not bad but you have to weigh that against the road in.

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