I want to go back to Vegas. To hike! LA’s never been. But, now that we’re steadfast set on hiking more, Vegas is a great choice. Direct flights abound. Numerous scenic and challenging trails to peruse within a short drive of the strip. Not to mention there are dozens, upon dozens of awesome restaurants. Chefs going all out to please. Entertainment galore when you’re not on a trail. What’s not to like?
And we’ll be testing our new Merrell hiking boots we purchased during Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Great deals at both DSW and Merrell’s website. You can still get a great deal before, and likely after, Christmas. Since I got my Merrell MOAB’s directly from Merrell, they gave me a Merrell’s referral link that will get you and I an extra $20 in savings. Please feel free to use the Merrell’s hiking shoes discount link. My Men’s Moab 2 Mid Waterproof hiking shoes ended up costing just $65 (under $70 with tax, free shipping).
Lee Ann got the Women’s Deverta 2 Mid Waterproof hiking boots at DSW online. Total cost about $70 too (excellent deal). She loves the fit and arch-support. We’ll see how they do in the great outdoors.
With respect to water skiing, years ago a good friend had his ski boat on Lake Mead and invited me to join him. And, wow – one of the best places I’ve ever water skied. If you ever get the chance to water ski in and out of the canyons on the lake, I highly recommend it. Smooth as glass. Enjoyable beyond belief. We also ventured out to the hiking trails during the same trip. We spent a few days enjoying the rest of the strip had to offer as well. Going back!
Hiking Las Vegas will likely start with Red Rock Canyon for us. Here’s what I found researching so far.
How far is Red Rock Canyon from Las Vegas?
About 17 miles west of the Las Vegas strip on Charleston Boulevard/State Route 159.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is located in Nevada’s Mojave Desert. It’s known for towering red sandstone peaks and the Keystone Thrust Fault, as well as Native American petroglyphs. The Visitor Center is located near the start of a one-way, Scenic Loop Road. It is a 13-mile one-way road. Several panoramic viewing areas along the Scenic Drive. If you are lucky, you’ll see seasonal waterfalls in Ice Box Canyon. Also, to the south, Spring Mountain Ranch State Park features historic buildings and hiking trails.
Recommended Las Vegas Hiking Websites
Bird and Hike – website hosted by Jim Boone. He is an Ecologist, Outdoors Man, and Environmental Activist. According to the website, Jim has spent most of his life living in and exploring the southwestern deserts. Now retired, Jim shares his experiences on BirdandHike.com, a website that encourages people to get out in the deserts and mountains around Las Vegas, fall in love with special places, and join the fight to protect public lands.
BLM Resource: The Geology of Red Rock Canyon published by the U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM). An easy and quick read, the link takes you to a brief overview of the geology (PDF file).
General, but useful map of trails along the BLM Scenic Drive (Overview Map).
Man in a Can: For a rather long read, you’ll find “Man in the Can” by Outside contributing editor Mark Sundeen. Entertaining, possibly a little troubling, but you’ll also learn a bit about the history and current conditions of the water supply situation in Vegas. The article provides insight into the human remains being found in Lake Mead as the water level drops. Numerous people perished in the lake for a variety of reasons. Cold cases abound.