Sunset Regional Park is the crown jewel in the County’s park system and has served the entire Las Vegas valley since 1967. Phased park expansions have developed 214 of the 324 total acres, making Sunset the largest and the most distinguished park in the County system. The land for Sunset Park was acquired in 1967 and contains the last remaining dunes of what once covered most of Paradise Valley. Sunset Park was once home to early ranchers. The Paiute Indian Tribe inhabited the site a thousand years ago and greeted visitors who sought to trade seeds, nuts, and turquoise. Water continues to flow under the park and surfaces to provide irrigation to the entire west end of Sunset Park. This a great place for birding, close to the Las Vegas Strip for visitors, with varied habitats for different birds. The lake has water birds, ducks, geese and cormorants, while the desert landscapes provide habitats for ground birds like Gambel’s quail, crissal thrashers and Avery’s tohee.
Sunset Park Map
Sunset park is a good place for birding, with a pond, trees, cut grass lawns and native habitats. In addition, in the spring there are mulberry trees near the administration buildings which draw lots of birds including western tanagers, cedar waxwing, Bullock’s oriole and Lewis’ woodpecker among others.
Sunset Park Administrative Area
Behind the administration buildings, there are two mulberry trees on each side of a private lawn for the administration buildings. When the mulberries are on the trees, the birds are gorging all day long. A wide variety of birds will come and go, often in flocks.
You can see the mulberries in these pictures, in fact the branches and ground are stained with mulberry juice. Like any bird related activity, the best time is dawn, and you may find a flash is helpful for the back side of the trees. I will say that the light and proximity to the birds is much better than Corn Creek at the Desert National Wildlife Refuge across town.
Bushes Around Administrative Buildings
After the spring mulberries, the bushes around the administrative buildings continue to be a productive place to find ground birds and other natives. The lawn behind the buildings is fairly secluded, so the robins in particular have made it their home year round.
Southern Sunset Park, Desert Landscaping
There are a lot of mesquite trees at Sunset Park, with desert mistletoe which is the favored food for Phainopepla. Along with the Clark County Wetlands, Sunset Park is a good spot to look for Phainopepla.
Many people visit Las Vegas to see ground birds like the crissal thrasher or averts tohee. Sunset Park is a good place to find both of them.
In 2000, the pond was reconstructed to stop water leakage and improve shoreline access. At that time, a new bottom liner and fish habitat structures were installed. Water is supplied from wells and the pond is used as a storage reservoir for park irrigation. There are always water birds here since the lake is stocked with fish. It can be stinky in summer but it is a great place for birding.
Sunset pond is stocked with fish and is large enough to draw a variety of water birds, both wild and domestic.
Suprisingly, Sunset Park is very easy to find, on the southeast tip of the airport at sunset and eastern. It is just a short ride from the strip by either car or public transport. If you are visiting Las Vegas and you are looking for nearby birding, Sunset Park may well be what you are looking for.