Visit the Bighorn Sheep at Hemenway Park in Boulder City: Vegas Day Trip

Written by Kali Todd

Budget Travel Guides & Tips

December 10, 2023

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With the picturesque backdrop of Boulder City and Lake Mead, Hemenway Park stands as a haven for wildlife lovers seeking to encounter Desert Bighorn Sheep without a trek. These sheep, known for their impressive horns and curious personalities, venture into Hemenway Park from the mountain daily. They are quite the spectacle, with up to 40 to 60 appearing at a time.

Check out how I stayed at Bellagio Las Vegas for free here

The Bighorn Sheep of Hemenway Park

Desert Bighorn Sheep
Desert Bighorn Sheep
Desert Bighorn Sheep are the state mammal of Nevada and are easily recognized by their majestic horns. They’re similar to the Rocky Mountain region species but lighter in color and smaller. The males are called rams and the females ewes. Their horns, known as curls, are important for determining rank within the herd, with the larger the curl, the higher the rank. 

Hemenway Park, situated a stone’s throw away from the historic streets of Boulder City, provides a natural habitat for a thriving population of Bighorn Sheep. This species has adapted to the harsh desert climate with specialized hooves to grip the rocky terrain, giving protection against predators who can’t climb and navigate rock scrambles. They also can go for extended periods without water. 

This resilient species of sheep are herbivores, with cacti included in their diet, and are similar to elk in that they also rut (mate) in the fall. These sheep will battle over dominance, with their large curls clashing at speeds of 15 to 20 miles per hour. The winning male sheep joins the female group which can consist of up to 100 sheep.

The park is an ideal setting for observing the River Mountain Herd in its natural environment, with its rocky outcrops mirroring the rugged landscapes that these creatures are drawn to. They also enjoy the large grass field in the park for some relaxation time and a good snack!

Desert Bighorn Sheep

Best Time to Visit

While the Bighorn Sheep are year-round residents of Hemenway Park and the surrounding area, they are wild animals and are not contained to the park. In 2022, Boulder City installed a live Ram Cam in the park so visitors can spot the sheet before heading over! Check it out here:



Please remember that with any wildlife encounter, it’s essential to maintain a respectful distance to avoid disturbing the animals and ensure their safety and yours. These are wild animals that can weigh up to 200 pounds. Their horns alone can weigh up to 30 pounds!

For those wanting a great photo opportunity, Hemenway Park offers visitors one of the best chances to capture images of these iconic mammals. When I arrived, I first thought that we missed seeing the Desert Bighorn Sheep, but after I passed the playground, I came across a large group of them! The park is peaceful, set against a backdrop of mountains and featuring the large and deep blue Lake Mead. I spent over half an hour admiring the sheep with the gorgeous Nevada backdrop.



    The park does have two short trails, the North Loop and South Loop. The South Loop is accessed next to the tennis courts whereas the North Loop is located at the bottom left of the park’s grass field.

    Desert Bighorn Sheep


    Final Thoughts

      A visit to Hemenway Park in Boulder City, NV, is not just a nature outing but an opportunity to witness the grace of the Bighorn Sheep in their natural habitat. As you navigate the park’s trails and enjoy the breathtaking scenery, keep your eyes peeled for these incredible creatures!

      Hemenway Park Address: ​401 Ville Drive Boulder City, NV 89005

        Pair Your Visit

        With a stop at the captivating historic downtown Boulder City and Hoover Dam. As you stroll through the quaint streets, adorned with charming shops and inviting cafes, you’ll uncover the rich past of Boulder City’s establishment in 1931 – a town created to shelter the resilient workers who dedicated years to the colossal Hoover Dam project. Standing proudly on the majestic Colorado River, this engineering marvel reflects human ingenuity and serves as a dynamic hub for hydroelectric power and crucial water management in the southwestern United States.

        Where to stay. We loved our stay at the Boulder Dam Hotel. It’s situated in Boulder City’s Historic Downtown and offers a relaxing stay with a marvelous past. The elegant hotel was built in 1933 and housed popular movie stars, government officials, and tourists looking to visit Hoover Dam. The Boulder City Museum and Historical Association restored the property in 2005 to ensure its continued presence and the property has been the #1 hotel in the area for 11 years.



        1. Terrie

          Very cool pictures and info I didn’t know before. Thanks!

          • Bright Snow Sayram

            That’s a great post. Have been looking to see this kind of sheep. I have to plan a visit with my family to Hemingway park. Thanks.

        2. KEVIN FOODIE

          Your pictures are sharp and stunning. Hemenway Park looks like a great way to get immersed in nature and check out the bighorn sheep. Thanks for sharing your travel experiences.

        3. Desiree

          I’ve never been to Nevada, but it’s on my bucket list! Here in Alaska we have Dall Sheep, which are considered “Thin horn” sheep. I could sit and watch them for hours, especially because I love nature photography! This destination seems like an epic destination for any nature/wildlife photographer. Thanks for sharing and adding to my bucket list of travels 🙂

          • Kali Todd

            How neat! You’d love Hemenway Park. It is such a nice and peaceful spot!

        4. Christine

          Wow this looks like such a cool trip! I didn’t realize you could see bighorn sheep like this and I love your idea of pairing the day with a trip to Hoover Dam. I’d definitely love to do this trip one day!

        5. Tracy McHugh

          The pictures of the bighorn sheep are so cool! I’ve been to Vegas a few times and I’ve loved exploring off the strip in surrounding areas.

        6. Jan Bishop

          Isn’t it amazing how they show up. They aren’t even afraid when the park has lots of visitors.


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