After going to the Smoky Mountains a couple of times, we have found we really enjoy hiking, so we knew we wanted to go somewhere that would include a lot of day hiking opportunities (neither of us are campers). We were able to fit in 3 hiking days into our itinerary, none of which were more than a 1-hour drive from our hotel.
Red Rocks Canyon National Conservation Area
The first place we went to was about 30 minutes west of the strip and really lived up to its name! It reminded me a lot of Hueco Tanks outside of El Paso as there were lots of rocks to scramble over and between. As the temperature was forecasted to get pretty bad after 12, we did a series of shorter hikes in the morning and enjoyed a picnic lunch before heading back. Overall it was really fun and I would love to go back in cooler weather so we can do some of the longer trails.
|There were two cowboys riding horses on our trail, |
with a dog running beside them. I felt out-Texaned :)
While we didn't get to do nearly as much hiking here as would have liked (it was already above 90 degrees by 9 AM), the scenery was absolutely gorgeous and so unique. This was the first state park in Nevada and featured several distinct rock formations, petroglyphs, and petrified logs.
|I learned the panoramic setting on my new camera at this park. |
Hopefully you can click this image to make it bigger.
|We saw so many lizards! See if you can spot him|
Mt. Charleston and the Spring Mountains
This was definitely my favorite place we went to our entire trip. I had no idea that I was going to see snow-covered mountains when I went to Las Vegas in late May, but sure enough there it was! We went here on our last full day when the heat was at its worst (when we left the city at 7 AM, it was already 88 degrees and quickly climbing) and the timing couldn't have been better since it was about 15 degrees cooler in the mountains! We did two amazing hikes up some of the 'smaller' mountains and enjoyed the best views of the trip.
|Approaching the mountains on our drive|
|Finally at the top!|
|[Hopefully] Click on the image to enlarge|
|Self-timer + bench :)|
|At the top of our second hike, the Mary Jane Falls trail.|
|While the falls weren't much to look at...|
|The view on the other side was amazing!|
Have I convinced you yet to go? There is so much we didn't do at each of these parks and we can't wait to go back!