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A trip to the Boulder City Pet Cemetery

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It is not possible to talk about a pet cemetery, especially one in the middle of the desert, without thinking of Stephen King, but there is nothing sinister about the Boulder City Pet Cemetery. It is also known as the El Dorado Valley Pet Cemetery and, despite what you may have found on the internet, its address is not on Craig Road. There is no Craig Road in Boulder City. Google tends to confuse the Craig Road Pet Cemetery in Las Vegas with the Boulder City Pet Cemetery. That is because the Boulder City Pet Cemetery has no address, being in the desert just off of the highway. Countless commuters between Searchlight and Las Vegas have driven past it without ever knowing it was there.

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According to local folklore, if you go there at night a white cat may follow you around as you walk through the cemetery—but only if the ghost-cat likes you. This legend is appropriate because the cemetery is not in the least bit threatening; if anything it feels welcoming. The love can be seen in the ornate plots assembled by the animals’ families. One can almost feel the wagging of a tail in the breeze.

Some of the older graves are in a state of great disrepair, likely owing to the fact that the pets’ families have already joined them on the other side. The oldest graves date back to the 40s, but most of them are from the 50s and 60s. It is still an active cemetery, with new graves from 2013.

The cemetery is not officially recognized. It lies on federal land that is set aside as a desert tortoise sanctuary. As such, it is technically illegal to construct anything on it or to inter the remains of family pets. However, there have been ongoing talks between the city, state, and federal government about making the cemetery official.

It is important to remember that if you choose to bury your beloved pet here (or anywhere else in the open desert) to make sure to dig deep and wrap the remains in plastic or at least a blanket. The smell will draw coyotes that will dig up your pet for an easy meal. Walking through the cemetery, one can occasionally see evidence of this.

Finding the cemetery is actually much easier than many online sources make it sound. It is right off the US 95. In fact, you only have to pull off the road and walk over to it. The area is fenced off to keep out motor vehicles, but hiking and on foot exploration is allowed (the fence is not barbed and anyone should have no trouble stepping through it.)

You can see the cemetery's location in Google Maps (the green arrow marks the turn-off).

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