See Bighorn Sheep at Hemenway Park!

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If you’re around Las Vegas and you’re going to Lake Mead or the Hoover Dam, a place you can commonly see Bighorn sheep is at Hemenway Park in Boulder City, Nevada!

It’s a small park, with a big green lawn of grass-pretty uncommon around here and a welcome site in the driest state in the US. There are a few shade trees, a small pavilion, and even a play area for the kids. It’s a good spot to stop for lunch if you’re on your way to the Hoover Dam, and you might even see some bighorn sheep while there!

A Desert Bighorn Sheep grazes on the grass in Hemenway Park, with Lake Mead in the background.
A Desert Bighorn Sheep grazes on the grass in Hemenway Park, with Lake Mead in the background.

Where is Hemenway Park?

It’s located right in the residential area of Boulder City, Nevada, just off highway 93 to your left as you’re heading towards the Hoover Dam or Lake Mead. It’s only a 10 minute drive from the dam, or 30mins from downtown Las Vegas. The park hours are 6am-10pm.

Spotting Bighorn Sheep in the Park

Our super friendly Airbnb hosts gave us a tip to look for the Desert Bighorn Sheep that come down from the mountains in the area, and often times are found in people’s yards or the local park.

We were watching out for them in the morning but didn’t see anything, till we were on our way out and passed by the park, and luckily caught site of one them!

Big Horn Grazing with Lake Mead in the background
Female bighorn sheep, eating some grass with Lake Mead in the background.

They love munching on the grass in the park. Sometimes entire herds of them will come. They don’t seem to mind people, and haven’t ever harmed anybody. You can actually get pretty close to them, although I wouldn’t advise getting too close. I mean, look at those big horns! Just be safe because you never know….

Big horn sheep drawing artwork
A drawing I did of the female big horn sheep we saw.

Interesting Fact: The males are called rams, and females are ewes. The male’s horns are larger, curl around more, and can weigh up to 30lbs / 14kg! The Bighorn sheep themselves weigh up to 300lbs or 140kg. They range across the western portion of North America.

Hemenway Park
You can sit in some nice cool shade on the grass in the park here. An uncommon site in the desert of Nevada!
Big Horn Sheep ewe with collar
Desert Bighorn Sheep in the park
Signs in Hemenway park talking about the Bighorn Sheep.

The River Mountains Herd

The bighorn sheep in this area are called the River Mountains Herd. Bighorn used to be plentiful in Nevada, but their numbers dwindled due to hunting, illness from domestic animals and habitat loss. In the 1960’s wildlife conservationists worked to restore the herds to larger amounts, and were becoming quite successful. In the recent years however, a deadly bacteria pneumonia has been taking over, and killing off the herds.

The bighorns can’t fight against it, and either die or live to spread it to more of their kind. Currently all biologists can do is wait and see. More information on the illness can be found here.

Shade Tree in the park
This beautiful shade tree reminds me of back home. You don’t see too many trees like this in Nevada!
Colored Pencil and Digital drawing of a Bighorn Sheep

Hopefully these beautiful animals will make a comeback one day!

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Bighorn Sheep, Hemenway Park, Boulder City, Nevada

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