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Shoshone Birding: Swimming Pool Trail
Birding Around Las Vegas, Outside the Las Vegas Valley
Swimming Pool Trail
Swimming Pool Trail
Trailhead parking (view NW from the paved road)

Description

Shoshone is a small town with a bit of water and green amid a very arid piece of desert. This isn't a birding destination, but it is a nice place for traveling birders to stop for the night and do some evening and morning birding.

There are five birding trails in town. The Swimming Pool Trail starts on the northwest side of town and heads west to an historic house, then drops into a desert wetland complete with trees, streams, marsh vegetation, and even pupfish.

The area is small and the trail is fairly short, but it seems that some clearing has been going on, and birders may need to find their own way around inside the marsh. If all else fails, birders can simply walk the 0.36-mile perimeter of the wetland and spot birds from the old, dry dirt roads.

Link to trail map.

Swimming Pool Trail
Birder starting on the trail

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ...this hike is pretty safe when the weather is cool. If the weather is hot, this area can be unbelievably hot, so bring some water. The trail runs through a marshy area, so wear sensible shoes and plan on damp feet by the end.

While hiking, please respect the land and the other people out there, and please try to Leave No Trace of your passage. This walk is so short that you don't need to bring the 10 Essentials.

Getting to the Trailhead

The Swimming Pool Trail Trailhead is located on the northwest end of town behind (west of) the campground trailer park. Look for the swimming pool; the trailhead parking is on the north side of the pool. Watch for pale blue trail markers. Note that the pool is for campground guests.

Swimming Pool Trail
Trail runs SW along base of hill towards on old home (view SW)

The Swimming Pool Trail

From the trailhead (Table 1, Waypoint Pool-01), the trail runs up the hill (northwest) to the right of the parking area. The trail stays right of the mesquite thickets until reaching an old road at the base of the hill (Wpt. Pool-02), then turns left and runs southwest on the old road towards an historic homesite.

The old road passes a break in the thickets (Wpt. Pool-03) where birders can descend into the marshy area. For those who go into the marsh, stay right as much as possible to the wellhead (big white box), and then turn down along the outflow stream (this trail exits to the perimeter at Wpt. Pool-06).

Otherwise, remaining on the old road brings birders to the old homestead (Wpt. Pool-04). The building isn't really safe to enter, but that rarely stops anyone.

Swimming Pool Trail
Birder approaching the old homesite (view SW)

Continuing southwest on the perimeter and bending to the south, the old road passes another break in the mesquite thickets (Wpt. Pool-05) where, again, birders can wander down into the marshy area. Doing so here will take birders to the outflow stream below the spring at a place where pupfish can be seen in a small pool (again exiting to the perimeter at Wpt. Pool-06).

Continuing south on the perimeter trail, the old road bends to the southeast and passes water tanks on the right. Then, staying between the thickets and some tin buildings, you arrive at a trail junction (Wpt. Pool-06) along the outflow stream. Birders who ventured into the marsh at either of the previous points exit the marsh here.

Now on a better-used dirt road, the trail continues east to yet another trail junction (Wpt. Pool-07). This damp trail cuts back across the marsh (following blue trail markers) through the wet lower area to the trailhead parking.

Staying on the better-used dirt road, the trail quickly exits onto the paved road (Wpt. Pool-08). Turning left and following the pavement north, birders pass wet thickets and the swimming pool en route to the trailhead (Wpt. Pool-01), completing the loop.

Swimming Pool Trail
Old homesite
Swimming Pool Trail
Old homesite
Swimming Pool Trail
Old homesite construction details
Swimming Pool Trail
Birder continuing on old road (view S)
Swimming Pool Trail
Birder turning down into the marshy area (view SE)
Swimming Pool Trail
Some clearing going on (not the trail)
Swimming Pool Trail
Trail turns right towards willows
Swimming Pool Trail
Trail passes right of date palm
Swimming Pool Trail
Spring box, trail turns left just before
Swimming Pool Trail
Outflow stream below the springbox
Swimming Pool Trail
Outflow stream
Swimming Pool Trail
Outflow stream
Swimming Pool Trail Swimming Pool Trail
Swimming Pool Trail
Approaching end of the service road
Swimming Pool Trail
Exiting trail onto perimeter road
Swimming Pool Trail
Near the last of the flowing water
Swimming Pool Trail
Small pond in stream along perimeter road
Swimming Pool Trail
Tunnel of trees (view N from perimeter road to trail marker)
Swimming Pool Trail
Crossing stream inside tunnel of trees (view N)
Swimming Pool Trail
Crossing some wet terrain
Swimming Pool Trail
Trail marker in the marsh
Swimming Pool Trail
Trail and marker in the marsh
Swimming Pool Trail
Trail and marker in the marsh
Swimming Pool Trail
Back on dry ground
Swimming Pool Trail
Exiting the marsh towards the parking area (pool at right)
Swimming Pool Trail
Swimming pool
shoshone
More to come ...
Hiking in the Opposite Direction
Swimming Pool Trail
Hiker starting the trail in the opposite direction (pool at left)
Swimming Pool Trail
Not the best way to go today (better to stay left past pool)
Swimming Pool Trail Swimming Pool Trail
Swimming Pool Trail Swimming Pool Trail
Swimming Pool Trail Swimming Pool Trail
Swimming Pool Trail Swimming Pool Trail
Swimming Pool Trail Shoshone Swimming Pool Trail

Table 1. Hiking Coordinates and Distances based on GPS data (NAD27; UTM Zone 11S). Download Hiking GPS Waypoints (*.gpx) file.

Wpt. Location UTM Easting UTM Northing Elevation (ft) Point-to-Point Distance (mi) Cumulative Distance (mi) Verified
Pool-01 Pool Trailhead 565661 3981827 1,585 0.00 0.00 GPS
Pool-02 North Corner 565596 3981878 1,617 0.06 0.06 GPS
Pool-03 Trail Junction 565562 3981847 1,614 0.03 0.09 GPS
Pool-04 Old House 565549 3981839 1,625 0.01 0.10 GPS
Pool-05 Trail Junction 565517 3981790 1,627 0.04 0.14 GPS
Pool-06 Trail Junction 565629 3981717 1,597 0.11 0.25 GPS
Pool-07 Trail Junction 565660 3981726 1,588 0.02 0.27 GPS
Pool-08 Paved Road 565687 3981732 1,579 0.02 0.29 GPS
Pool-01 Pool Trailhead 565661 3981827 1,585 0.07 0.36 GPS

Happy birding! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 170704

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