Things to Do in Las Vegas: See some wild donkeys (and horses too, if you’re lucky)

Usually there are only a few circumstances in which the  words ‘ass’ and ‘Las Vegas’ appear together in the same sentence and those circumstances are usually in reference to strippers or the drunk Hang-Over types on the Strip.

Rarely do you encounter a situation in Vegas involving the animal definition of the word (as in donkey), but go hiking in Red Rock Canyon and you might.

When I first heard that there were wild donkeys and horses roaming the Las Vegas valley, I wrote it off as urban legend. No way could a city with a population of three million allow farm animals to meander around out in the open. This wasn’t Shrek for crying out loud, and it wasn’t Home on the Range. And furthermore, Las Vegas is in the desert; what did all those donkeys and horses eat (cacti?) or drink (Snooki’s leftover tequila?).

But since relocating to Sin City last year, I’ve seen wild donkeys three times now. Twice were at the Spring Mountain Ranch State Park (located in Red Rock National Park, about 20 minutes west of the city) and once was in a ghost town near Area 51 (about two hours outside of the city). For reasons no one (including two park rangers) have been able to provide, the wild donkeys in Las Vegas are referred to as “Burros” (which means “donkey”  in Spanish).

We were able to get pretty close, huh?

Donkeys in the Desert (AKA “Burros”)


Update: After I published this post, I saw some more wild burrows in the town of Blue Diamond (near Spring Mountain Ranch State Park). They were really friendly! My mom and I were able to pet them (even the baby!).

Wild burros in Spring Valley, Nevada


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Comments ( 7 )

  1. Jeremy@coach hire Dublin

    The pictures are the true depiction of remote locations of Vegas. The Burros are the certainly the specialty here.

  2. Fred

    Great pics! Another great place to see wild burros is Red Rock Canyon. The sandstone rocks are beautiful and the wildlife plentiful. The canyon is home to burros, bighorn sheep, wild horses and of course, the desert animals such as coyotes, bobcats and even mountain lions. You can take the 13 mile scenic loop drive for those who want to see it all from the comfort of your own car.

  3. Anonymous

    LOL. i saw a Donkey yesterday on the way back from Vegas. When i told my friends they laughed and did not believe me

  4. Anonymous

    I think the answer to why the donkeys are called burros was already given to you (burro meaning donkey in Spanish). Nevada was once part of Mexico. This is similar to wondering why Los Angeles is called Los Angeles and not the City of Angels

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