A two hour spin west on lonely 140 (we saw no one on the road) brought us to the Sheldon Antelope Refuge, and its Virgin Valley Campground. As it was just a waypoint on our trek to the desert, we weren’t expecting much, but were we ever surprised at what the land had to offer.
A CCC work camp in the ’30s, Virgin Valley was once home to 1000 young men who toiled to dig irrigation ponds for cattle. That’s probably how the valley got its name!
In the center of the nearly-empty park is a nicely enclosed warm water spring, with a bath house next to it whose showers flow 24/7. It was a good chance to knock off some desert dust!
The melting ice on the creek below lent for some dicey footing in our many creek crossings on the way out. With the day warming rapidly, we dare not venture out too far, as we had on our way in. A cut in the wall just outside of frame led us to a 200 foot upclimb out of the wall, and onto some top-canyon adventures!