Hemenway Park In Boulder City Nevada Is A Great Place For Counting Sheep!
Sheep Doing What Comes Naturally
Nevada Big Horn Sheep Frequent Hemenway Park
Last fall, we decided to take a day trip out to Hemenway Park near Boulder City, Nevada, overlooking Lake Mead. Were we ever glad we went! We had heard stories about herds of Bighorn Sheep that make their way down the mountainside to graze in the green, grassy park, but had never seen them up close and personal.
The day we went, we did see them! We counted probably about 75 sheep in the park, and they are magnificent animals to watch! They have no fear of people whatsoever. They simply graze in the fields, usually with people standing or sitting in groups watching them.
Hemenway Park is located near subdivisions of homes and isn't even that big of a park, but the biggest attraction there is the wild sheep that graze and play in the park. Some days, you'll see the male sheep butting heads with their horns. The day we went, this only happened once, and it was a "blink and you'll miss it" moment. There are certain times of the year, like mating season, when it happens more frequently.
Taking photographs there is incredible, since you have the mountains, the town and Lake Mead with its blue water as your backdrop. We took a LOT of pictures that day, some of which I'll share here.
Since Boulder City is only about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes from Las Vegas, visiting Hemenway Park makes a fun, interesting day trip. And, it's a nice way to escape the busy-ness of Las Vegas itself! Sometimes you just need some fresh air, sunshine and warm breezes. Exciting, spectacular scenery doesn't hurt either. You can get weary of the neon lights, packed casinos and crowded sidewalks in Vegas.
They are wild, so don't get too close!
You Need To Remember They Are Wild!
One thing people need to know and remember about visiting this park is to keep a safe distance from these wild bighorn sheep. They are wild animals, and those horns are not just there for show! I'm sure they would use them if necessary, especially if they were to feel threatened in any way.
It's best to keep a safe distance and just observe and enjoy watching them! If you're lucky, you'll see babies along with full grown sheep. I'm guessing the likelihood of that is probably more in the spring when they're first born.
And NEVER try to feed them! They find all the nourishment they need from the grasses and food they find naturally. They don't need any human help!
The bighorn sheep are usually found in the park in spring and summer, but we were lucky to see them on an early September day in 2015. The sheep pretty much have the run of the park. They will usually gather in groups in the large grassy areas, but we did see some that had wandered off over by the tennis courts!
Long time residents love having these sheep as neighbors, and the park is watched and cared for. They are very careful not to allow graffiti or other signs of city life take over the park, and strive to keep it a nice, natural and enjoyable place.
Another thing you need to know, there are no dogs allowed in the park, for obvious reasons. I don't even know what might happen if a dog were to get loose among these wild animals, and I wouldn't want to find out! If you need to bring a dog, it's best to go to a park where they are allowed, not Hemenway Park. There are parks in and around Vegas that allow and welcome dogs.
The Informational Sign at the Entrance To Hemenway Park
An Interesting Sign Provides Some Information
There is an interesting sign at the entrance to the park that explains a bit about the Nevada desert bighorn sheep. There are about 200 adult sheep in the area, and throughout history, these sheep have traveled between mountain ranges.
With the development of local communities, their ability to move safely between mountain ranges has been hampered. They are native to the River Mountains, El Dorado Mountains and you'll find them in places like the Black Canyon.
They are drawn to Hemenway Park when the incredibly hot desert sun scorches their food resources on the mountain ranges. They come down the mountains, and in the park they find an all-you-can-eat buffet of clover and grasses. Someone who made up this sign had a sense of humor by putting a reference to the buffets of Las Vegas!
The desert bighorn sheep are herbivores, and they get most of the water they need from the clover and grass. They need relatively little water. Finding water every few days will keep them healthy.
They are also attracted to the cool grass underneath the trees and of course the shade provided by trees. This is a luxury that they don't find up in the rugged mountain terrain. Desert bighorn sheep are very nimble and skilled climbers. They have to be to successfully traverse the rugged mountain terrain.
Cute and Kitschy Shops in Boulder City
Boulder City Nevada is Also a fun Town to Visit!
Boulder City Nevada is also just a fun town to visit. If you have time after your visit to Hemenway Park, I'd recommend a trip into downtown Boulder City. You'll find quaint shops like doll shops, antique shops and even an interesting shop with an alien theme!
Jewelry and Indian made crafts are also popular themes for shops in Boulder City. As a bonus, most of the shops are air conditioned for comfort and a respite from the hot desert afternoon!
Any place with an alien theme, you know has got to be a fun place to stop! We found a shop with an alien outside of the shop, and he was even green, to help seal the stereotype we had in our imaginations!
The Boulder Dam Hotel is an interesting stopping point. This historic hotel was built in 1933 to host people from various government organizations who were sent to oversee the building of Hoover Dam. And speaking of Hoover Dam, it's right down the road from Boulder City!
You'll even find a selection of restaurants in Boulder City that are family run and many serve sandwiches and dinner specialties!
The Nevada bighorn sheep are a big attraction to the Boulder City area, but there are also a lot of other fun, interesting things to do.
If you're lucky, you may even find a craft show like we did and you'll be able to see booths set up by local artisans. We found a picture there of a place I had always dreamed of going, but haven't been to yet, Cinque Terre, Italy!
Lake Mead is also close to this area, where you'll find places to rent houseboats and take dinner cruises, or just enjoy fishing and swimming. There is a lot more wildness to Nevada than just the Las Vegas strip! We've loved getting out there and discovering nature and the adventures you can find in these other beautiful places in Nevada.