It started like it does for dads from the Midwest, Boy Scouts from Texas and newlyweds from the Bronx: with a hike up Angels Landing, that predictably obvious, narrow fin of orange rock so tantalizingly cast out from Scout Lookout, a benign place to sit and watch, to lunch, beyond that other squiggly, curious haven, yes, Walter’s Wiggles, there in the mind-numbing center of the universe you and I call Zion Canyon.
At the end of an amazingly scenic drive down Valley of Fire’s lone paved side road lies a short hike that’s long on scenery: White Dome Loop. The two-mile circle begins up a sandy wash, then drops down into an incredibly colorful canyon used as a backdrop in the 1966 Burt Lancaster western, “The Professionals.
Spring Valley State Park is famous for being the best fishin’ hole within driving distance of Las Vegas. In fact, it’s so famous for fishing, most Southern Nevadans think it’s called Eagle Valley (the name of the park’s reservoir).
From mild to wild, here are nine trips to ‘wet’ your appetite for adventure, relaxation and family fun
A (worthwhile) trek to Eden in the desert
Baker Lake, Nevada
Get wet: If you’re looking to evade not only heat, but also neighbors and civilization in general, get out a Nevada map and circle Great Basin National Park, 286 miles from Las Vegas, near the Utah border. The 77,100-acre park is often overlooked because of its distance, but Great Basin offers something many nearer parks don’t: water.
If Bryce and Zion had a love child, it would look like Cedar Breaks National Monument. Located only 56 miles to the west of Bryce — and an even shorter drive north out of Zion’s Kolob Canyon area — Cedar Breaks is significantly smaller and much less crowded than more popular attractions in southern Utah, but it’s no less spectacular.
Whether you want to nosh with the family, log some miles or run your dogs ragged, there’s a perfect park for you
Best park for the whole family
Centennial Hills Park
Sweet, glorious springtime is in effect year-round at Centennial Hills Park, with soaring flower and butterfly shade covers to make you want to kick your heels up and frolic. Children and those with a soft spot for whimsy will be enthralled by the Alice in Wonderland vibe, completed by red toadstool tables and little froggies that spit water.
My name is Alan Gegax, and I am the chief of the Las Vegas Hiking & Outdoors Meetup. We are the hiking group that Branch Whitney singled out, without naming, in his essay in Desert Companion’s April 2011 issue (“Twenty-one is a crowd”).
How much Southwest can you see on a tank of gas? The answer from our
road-trip guru: Plenty — in every direction
We may live on an island in the sand, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t dozens of great voyages beckoning you and your land schooner. Tank up and head out on one of these 10 rewarding routes that will have you back in Las Vegas — without a refill.
From towering peaks and deep canyons to seasonal waterfalls and wild burros, Red Rock National Conservation Area is a premier destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Hikers have found some of the best rock scrambling hikes in the country here.
A “rare treasure,” the Desert National Wildlife Refuge is home to diverse wildlife, and is a hub of research and recreation — but the Air Force has it in its sights. We take a deeper look into this conflicted landscape and what’s at stake in the dispute.