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Natural Resources and Climate of Spring Mountain Ranch State Park

Because of the higher elevation, the ranch offers a diverse opportunity for plant study. Four plant communities are represented: Desert scrub, Black brush, Pinyon-Juniper and Riparian. Plants typical of the desert, as well as woodlands, can be seen. With adequate rainfall the spring brings a burst of wildflowers. Common species sighted are desert marigold, globe mallow, brittlebush, Joshua tree, Mohave Yucca and Indigo bush. Animal life is diverse, but nocturnal, so many species go unseen. Typical desert animals include a variety of lizards and snakes, antelope ground squirrels, jackrabbits, cotton tails, kit fox, coyote, mule deer and wild burros. Higher elevation species include rock squirrel, badger and bighorn sheep.

At 3,800 feet, the ranch is usually 10-15 degrees cooler than the Las Vegas Valley. Temperatures range from below freezing to above 100˚F and winds gusting down Sandstone Canyon are not uncommon. The summer season usually brings a few thunderstorms and flash floods. Winters are cold, with occasional snow showers.

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