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Crystal Reservoir at Ash Meadows

Crystal Reservoir at Ash MeadowsCrystal Lake at Ash Meadows

Crystal Reservoir at Ash Meadows Overview

Established on June 18, 1984, Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is a 23,000-acre spring-fed wetland area managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service located in Nye County, Nevada. The area is very unique by being home to over 20 unique plants and animals, with several listed as endangered.

On the refuge is the 70-acre Crystal Reservoir, which is an interesting place to stop for a visit as the water is incredibly blue and makes you feel you are in the tropics… well, almost.

It’s a great place to bring a blanket and enjoy lunch while watching the wildlife, such as wading birds and waterfowl (see pics below).

Be sure to swing by the Ash Meadows Visitor Center to learn about the area before you head out to explore.

Crystal Reservoir at Ash Meadows Location


Crystal Reservoir is located within the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, which is about 2 hours northwest of Las Vegas. Click here to view the Ash Meadow Map for detailed directions.

Crystal Reservoir at Ash Meadows Hours

The Ash Meadows Wildlife Refuge is a day-use area, which is open from sunrise to sunset.

Crystal Reservoir at Ash Meadows Fees

There is no entrance fee to access Crystal Reservoir at Ash Meadows.

Parking at Crystal Reservoir

Crystal Lake at Ash Meadows

Delilah Mae and her buddy at Crystal Reservoir at Ash Meadows

There is an unpaved area for parking with lots of room.

Each time I have been to Crystal Reservoir there have not been others there so I had the entire place to myself.

Crystal Lake at Ash Meadows

The parking area at Crystal Reservoir at Ash Meadows

Swimming at Crystal Reservoir at Ash Meadows 

Swimming at Crystal Reservoir is the only place on the refuge but be warned, there is a chance you can get Swimmer’s Itch. 

Swimmer’s Itch or schistosome cercarial dermatitis is a skin reaction caused by the penetration of the larval stage of certain flatworms that can be picked up while swimming. It is neither dangerous nor contagious but is very uncomfortable. (Source: Information from U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Crystal Reservoir at Ash Meadows 

This area is a “hot spot” for unique wildlife spotting.

There are so many animals you can that the list is too long to mention here. Below are resources to help you prepare for your trip to Crystal Reservoir:

  1. Learn more about which animals you may encounter from the US Fish and Wildlife Services page.
  2. Click here to download the Ash Meadows bird checklist.
Crystal Lake at Ash Meadows

The Wading Birds that may be seen during your visit to Crystal Reservoir at Ash Meadows

Crystal Lake at Ash Meadows

Waterfowl that may be seen during your visit to Crystal Reservoir at Ash Meadows

Dog-Friendly

Dogs must be on a leash at all times, except when used in association with legal hunting in designated areas.

Dogs are allowed on boardwalks; owners must clean up after their pets.

Do not leave pets in vehicles, especially from April through October when daytime temperatures can be high.

Road Bikes

No bicycles are allowed on the boardwalks.

Drones at Crystal Reservoir at Ash Meadows

Drones are prohibited on the refuge.

Launching, landing, or disturbing wildlife by aircraft (drones) is prohibited. (Source: 50 CFR 27.34/27.61)

Prohibited Items at Crystal Reservoir at Ash Meadows

The refuge does not allow horseback riding, fishing, camping, open fires, fireworks, off-road vehicles, swimming, or collecting of plants, animals, geological formations, or artifacts.

Boat Info

Only non-motorized boats or boats with electric motors are permitted on the refuge and only on Crystal and Peterson Reservoirs.

Watercraft must be in compliance with all applicable state and federal rules.

Help protect your boat and Nevada’s waters by thoroughly cleaning your boat prior to entering any body of water and checking for aquatic hitchhikers, such as the quagga mussel.

Related Content

Crystal Reservoir at Ash Meadows Additional Photos

Crystal Lake at Ash Meadows

It seems I pick the windy days to visit Ash Meadows and therefore all my pics have ripped water. One day…

Crystal Lake at Ash Meadows

Another view of Crystal Reservoir at Ash Meadows

Crystal Reservoir at Ash Meadows

Jim

Monday 3rd of July 2023

Is the water drinkable?