Viewing wild horses roaming in the unforgiving Mojave Desert terrain certainly is a memorable experience. The opportunity to see wild horses in the wide open spaces actually is rare occurrence, but there are places where the odds of an encounter are better than others. As a rule of thumb, desert animals need water and where there is water the wild animals will come around sooner or later. Lake Mead is one of the largest water resources in the Mojave Desert, so this National Recreation Area is a prime choice for doing some wildlife viewing. The problem is this National Park covers a vast amount of land and the mountainous terrain varies greatly. For this reason, it is best to know what kind of habitat wild horses prefer when choosing a spot to do some viewing.
The morning hours are best for spotting wildlife at Lake Mead and for Bighorn Sheep, the earlier the better. On the opposite extreme, wild horses tend to set their own watering schedule, especially if they are loners. Unlike what many of the exciting wild horse documentaries depict, wild horses are naturally lazy, so they will usually choose the smoothest terrain to traverse while slowly moving to conserve energy. The stretch of Northshore Road between Red Rocks and the north entrance gate has many grassy flatlands and wide dry washes with a gradual slope to the water, so this area is a good place to keep an eye out for wild horses.
Going to a destination with high expectations of seeing wild horses will usually result in a let down, so it is best to use the blind luck approach. The same can be said for staking out an area for hours upon hours, because if the wild horses are not already there, they will likely not be around anytime soon. Sheer luck is what it takes to spot wild horses at Lake Mead and the best way to accomplish this is to drive slow on the north section of Northshore Road. In fact, that is how I captured the wild horse photos for this article. For this reason, be sure to rub the lucky charm before setting sail and stop often to take a look around for wild horses in the wide open spaces!
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