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Bunkerville Choo Choo

Exploring the Bunkerville Choo Choo Water Tank

What makes this attraction interesting

Tucked away in the picturesque landscapes and boundless skies of the Virgin Mountains lies a remarkable feat to human ingenuity and collaboration—the Bunkerville Choo Choo Water Tank. This extraordinary structure showcases how working together can bring about ingenious solutions, even in the face of challenges like water supply in the desert. Let’s dive into the interesting story of this attraction.

The tale begins with Melburn Jensen, a Bunkerville resident who faced the daunting task of providing water to the arid desert region. Back in the 1960s and early 1970s and undeterred by the barren landscape, Melburn devised an ingenious plan to repurpose an old train car. His idea was to use it to transport water from Hen Spring on Bunkerville Mountain, ensuring a vital water supply for both humans and wildlife in the area.

Melburn knew he couldn’t accomplish this feat alone, so he enlisted the help of his friend Paul Leavitt. Together, they embarked on an impressive journey to make Melburn’s vision a reality. With the assistance of a Caterpillar D8 dozer, they carefully maneuvered the train car up the rugged mountain terrain.

Bunkerville Choo Choo

Bunkerville Choo Choo

Once the train car was in place, the next challenge was to establish a reliable water distribution system. Melburn and Paul ingeniously used a durable black plastic pipe to carry the water from Hen Spring, the mother spring down to a tank car located several miles away. This tank car had faithfully served the local cattle community for over thirty years and was also used by Cliven Bundy, a well-known rancher in the area.

The impact of their efforts extended far beyond cattle. The water provided by the Bunkerville Choo Choo Water Tank became a lifeline for various wildlife species in the region. Desert bighorn sheep, deer, quail, and other animals relied on this water source to survive in the harsh desert environment. The collaboration between Melburn and Paul not only addressed the immediate water needs of the community but also created a positive ripple effect for the local ecosystem.

Bunkerville Choo Choo

Bunkerville Choo Choo

Today, the Bunkerville Choo Choo Water Tank stands as a remarkable symbol of human ingenuity and resourcefulness. It serves as a reminder that when faced with challenges, we can find practical solutions by working together and thinking creatively. Melburn Jensen and Paul Leavitt exemplify this spirit of collaboration and problem-solving without relying on external intervention.

For adventure enthusiasts, the surrounding area offers exciting opportunities for exploration. In the nearby Gold Butte National Monument, you’ll discover an ATV campground that caters to those seeking thrilling off-road experiences. The monument’s vast expanses of untamed wilderness and stunning rock formations provide an ideal playground for ATV riders.

Strawberry Hedgehog Cactus Blossoms at Bunkerville Choo Choo Water Tank

Strawberry Hedgehog Cactus Blossoms at Bunkerville Choo Choo Water Tank

The Aravada Springs campground in Gold Butte National Monument offers a base camp for ATV adventures, where families can set up camp in cabins or miners’ tents. From there, you can venture out and explore the rugged terrain on your ATV, immersing yourself in the beauty of nature while experiencing the thrill of off-road riding.

As you embark on your ATV riding adventure, take a moment to appreciate the remarkable history of the Bunkerville Choo Choo Water Tank. It serves as evidence to the wonders of collaboration, the resilience of nature, and the incredible possibilities that lie within human creativity.

Bunkerville Choo Choo should be included in your next ATV route plan

So, whether you’re traversing the desert on your ATV, marveling at the Bunkerville Choo Choo Water Tank, or exploring the captivating beauty of Gold Butte National Monument, this journey through nature’s tapestry is an invitation to celebrate the joy of exploration, the wonders of the great outdoors, and the lasting bonds that strengthen our souls.

We would love to have you plan your next ATV riding adventure with Aravada Springs in mind as a base camp for gathering together to build some lasting memories.

Come book a stay at Aravada Springs in one of our cabins or miners’ tents and make it a fun family experience.


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