The Sheldon National Antelope Refuge is located next to the Black Rock Desert region of northwest Nevada near the Oregon Border. This is a very remote area and there are only a few options for fuel, food and water in this end of the state, so it is best to be well prepared in order to make the tour a safe one. This wildlife refuge features a vast sagebrush covered long valley surrounded by towering upheaval mountains, which is exactly the kind of terrain that pronghorn antelope call home. There are a few designated campgrounds, fishing ponds and a reservoir in this desolate refuge, which guarantee plenty to see and do. Rock hounding for opals is allowed, but there are weight limits to be aware of. Natural hot springs can also be found in this refuge, but it is best to heed the warning signs before taking a dip. Antelope viewing is the main activity in this end of the Great Basin sagebrush country, so be sure to pack binoculars or a telephoto lens for the ride!
Unfortunately I cut my Sheldon National Antelope Refuge venture short of what was planned due to the extreme California wildfire season of 2020. The smoke was thick in this end of the Great Basin Desert and my breathing problems worsened, so I headed east after taking just a few pictures. The combination of wildfire smoke and extreme drought inhibited the antelope activity in the refuge that day and no pronghorn were spotted while I was there. I did photograph several antelope in sagebrush country east of the Black Rock Desert later that day, which shows that these majestic animals can be found in more favorable conditions during the wildfire season. Even if no antelope are present while there, the sheer beauty of the Sheldon National Antelope Refuge will create fond memories that will last a lifetime!
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