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Shoshone Birding: Red Trail
Birding Around Las Vegas, Outside the Las Vegas Valley
Shoshone Red Birding Trail
Red Birding Trail
Trailhead parking by campground on north end of town (view NE)

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 Red Trail starts at the north end of town, across the highway from the campground, and heads east over the old railroad bed and down a spring-fed stream. The trail makes a loop (0.65 miles) out around the head of the spring, and if the water is up, shoes might get wet when crossing the creek on the way back.

Link to trail map.

Shoshone Red Birding TrailRed Trail starts near the highway sign (view NE)

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. Parts of the trail are covered with chipped wood (local trees and shrubs), so it can be uneven, making sensible shoes a good idea.

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 Red Trail is located on the north end of town, across the highway from the campground and adjacent to a highway sign. Park on the west side of the road, outside the campground.

Shoshone Red Birding Trail
Atop railroad grade, red trail markers lead into desert (view E)

The Red Trail

From the trailhead, the trail starts a few yards north across the highway. Starting north towards the highway sign, the trail departs the pavement (Table 1, Waypoint Red-01) and climbs onto the historic railroad grade.

Atop the railroad grade, birders will notice the red pole: this is a trail marker. Looking east, birders can see several more red trail markers.

Descending from the railroad grade, the trail runs west about 100 yards (Wpt. Red-02), then turns left and begins to runs north.

The trail runs north along the outflow stream from the spring. Hardly noticeable on the way north, the trail passes a junction (Wpt. Red-03) where the end of the loop rejoins the main trail. This is a good place to stop and look for Marsh Wrens and other wetlands birds.

Shoshone Red Birding Trail
Trail runs east (view E) ...

The trail continues north along the stream, eventually running along the edge of a saltgrass meadow. The trail curves right onto what looks like a dike (Wpt. Red-04) above the spring, then turns right again to run south along the other side of the stream.

Continuing south, the trail passes another trail junction (Wpt. Red-05), this time with the Aqua Trail. The Aqua Trail turns left and heads east across the valley bottom before turning south to connect with the Blue Birding Trail.

Continuing farther south, the Red Trail abruptly curves right again and plunges into the reeds and marsh grasses to cross the stream and reconnect with the main trail (Wpt. Red-03). Turning left, the trail runs back south and then west to the pavement and the end of the trail (Wpt. Red-01).

Shoshone Red Birding Trail
... then curves north (view N)
Red Birding Trail
Trail runs north (view N)
Red Birding Trail
Trail along stream-side vegetation (view NE)
Shoshone Red Birding Trail
Trail runs along spring-fed stream (view N)
Red Birding Trail
Trail runs along spring-fed stream (view N)
Shoshone Red Birding Trail
Vegetation supported by water in the shallow stream (view E)
Shoshone Red Birding Trail
Trail runs along spring-fed stream (view N)
Shoshone Red Birding Trail
American Robin in winter mesquite tree
Shoshone Red Birding Trail
Trail runs on edge of saltgrass meadow (view N)
Shoshone Red Birding Trail
Birder on dike (view E)
Shoshone Red Birding Trail
Birder on dike (view E)
Shoshone Red Birding Trail
Trail runs south along east side of stream (view S)
Shoshone Red Birding Trail
Trail runs south along east side of stream (view S)
Red Birding Trail
Aqua Trail junction (view S)
Shoshone Red Birding Trail
Birder at trail junction (view S)
Red Birding Trail
Trail marker along trail (view SE)
Red Birding Trail
Trail marker along trail (view W)
Shoshone Red Birding Trail
Deep saltbrush (view W)
Red Birding Trail
Trail along stream (view SE)
Red Birding Trail
Trail runs south along east side of stream (view S)
Red Birding Trail
Trail plunges through stream-side vegetation (view W)
Red Birding Trail
Trail through stream-side vegetation (view W)
Red Birding Trail
Returning to the trailhead parking area (view S)
more to come ...

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
Red-02 Trail Curves 565912 3981839 1,602 0.06 0.06 GPS
Red-03 Trail Junction 565938 3981938 1,602 0.07 0.12 GPS
Red-04 Top of Loop 566029 3982139 1,615 0.16 0.28 GPS
Red-05 Junction with Green Trail 566027 3981999 1,608 0.11 0.39 GPS
Red-03 Trail Junction 565938 3981938 1,602 0.08 0.47 GPS
Red-02 Trail Curves 565912 3981839 1,602 0.12 0.59 GPS
Red-01 Red Trailhead 565828 3981859 1,612 0.06 0.65 GPS

Happy birding! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 140427

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