Spent four days in Las Vegas so I could attend the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Convention with a good friend and fellow VJ. We had some down time on day three and took a road trip over to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Here’s a description of the area from the Bureau of Land Management site:
Red Rock Canyon was designated as Nevada’s first National Conservation Area. Red Rock Canyon is located 17 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip on Charleston Boulevard/State Route 159. The area is 195,819 acres and is visited by more than one million people each year. In marked contrast to a town geared to entertainment and gaming, Red Rock offers enticements of a different nature including a 13-mile scenic drive, more than 30 miles of hiking trails, rock climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking, road biking, picnic areas, nature observing and visitor center with exhibit rooms and a book store.
The unique geologic features, plants and animals of Red Rock represent some of the best examples of the Mojave Desert. In 1990, special legislation supported by the Nevada congressional delegation, changed the status of the Red Rock Recreation Lands to a National Conservation Area (NCA), the seventh to be designated nationally. This legislation provides the funding to protect and improve the area. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is enjoyed by the local population as well as visitors from the United States and many foreign countries. One million visitors each year enjoy the spectacular desert landscape, climbing and hiking opportunities, and interpretive programs sponsored by the BLM.
The BLM is the largest administrator of public lands in the West. It adheres to the policy of multiple use, thereby providing recreational opportunities, protection for cultural sites, and the management of natural resources, including wildlife.
That’s the government’s version. My description is summed up by saying it is AMAZING, and one of the most beautiful natural settings I’ve visited that sits so close to a major city.
By the end of the day, after watching the afternoon shadows stretch across the landscape, I was in love with Red Rock Canyon.
This place is beautiful. If you’re ever in Vegas, make sure to take some time to visit. If hiking is too much of a challenge, just drive the 13 mile loop, and then pick a spot and watch the sunset. I only had my tiny SD palm camera with me, but took this hour long video of the shadows blanketing the hillsides. It’s condensed into a :30 second clip.
An added treat on your return trip to Vegas is, it’s dark and the city is lit up in all its Vegas glory… that’s another story.
More information on Red Rock Canyon here: http://www.redrockcanyonlv.org/