Amargosa Desert

The Best Side Trip I Ever Took?

Some of my greatest joys occur when I choose the road less traveled. Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, an hour’s drive outside Death Valley National Park, aptly fits that description, but this jewel of desert beauty is also home to the toughest fish – shorter than an inch – ever to take a case to the United States Supreme Court. And the fish won – for now.

Ash Meadows is nestled in the Amargosa Desert in southern Nevada and men of ambition were determined to bring civilization to the desert. There was plenty of water underground just waiting to be taken. And who cared about a fish so small it was called “pupfish” or that you could easily fit 100 of them in a teacup? (The teacup notion fails once you realize less than 100 Devils Hole pupfish are currently alive, making them the rarest of the 30 or so species of pupfish). read more