The Gilcrease Nature Sanctuary is one of Las Vegas’ best-kept secrets. If you’re an animal lover, or just need a few moments of peace and renewal, we urge you to spend part of a morning or afternoon visiting the sanctuary’s 600+ animals: among them are white peacocks, turtles, deer, goats, llamas, ostriches, baby donkeys, macaws, swans, ostriches, emus, miniature horses, lamas, and – entirely suitable for a town where people race off to get hitched – lovebirds.
The sanctuary has fully recovered from a 2010 fire that killed more than 200 of its most beloved, beautiful birds. Back to being a relaxing and calm oasis, it’s a delightful place for both adults and children. (Kids especially love the parrots, who both talk and perform little tricks.)
The Nature Sanctuary is dedicated not only to providing a safe haven for animals but also to educating the public, so in addition to tours, they offer classes and presentations about animal wellness. A well-timed visit can be fun, fascinating and informative for the whole family.
A visit here is also quite inexpensive: $5 for adult admission and $1 for children.
Open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the preserve not only provides the petting zoo, but also picnic areas and walking trails. Give yourself at least two hours to tour this place at leisure.
FYI: if you’re really on a nature kick, there’s also a 60-acre sister orchard that sells fresh fruits and vegetables that you can pick yourself. (It’s not next door to the preserve, but the taste of Gilcrease Orchard’s fresh cider is worth the drive!) Check the orchard’s web site for hours, as well as to see what’s in season right now. In the springtime, you’ll tend to find asparagus, carrots, spinach, arugula, bok choi, and of course their famous apple cider and pear cider.
To reach the Gilcrease Nature Sanctuary (and the orchard) from the Riviera:
Gilcrease Nature Sanctuary
8103 Racel Street
Las Vegas, NV 89131
7810 N Tenaya
Las Vegas, NV 89131
Open 7:00 a.m. – Noon
(Saturdays only until May)