Continuing on with our travel theme, this week’s Blogging Through the Alphabet installment is about Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Located just to the west of Las Vegas, is a Bureau of Land Management property so is included in our America the Beautiful pass along with the National Parks and National Historic Sites. We like to take advantage of visiting spots on the pass to help with our travel budget.
Some of you may remember that hubby and I spent time in this area on our second honeymoon. You can read about our trip in Second Honeymoon in Vegas. I actually got the idea to write about Red Rock Canyon while I was updating that post for a Throwback Thursday link-up when I got to relive just how nice this area is.
To begin your visit, I recommend you head into the visitor center where you will find both indoor and outdoor displays that share information about this special area of the Mojave Desert. Here you will also see live Desert Tortoise habitats plus the typical bookstore/souvenir shop where you can pick up a patch or a water bottle as a reminder of your visit. The staff is very helpful in answering any questions you may have about the area and can provide good directions and suggestions for hiking and biking in the area.
The 13-mile scenic drive runs through the area and takes you to many trailheads and scenic stops. This is a nice way for folks who may have accessibility issues or little ones who may not be able to handle the longer hikes to take in the breathtaking scenery. While it can get very busy during the summer months, we found it fairly easy to find parking along the way so we could get out and take pictures along the way. The rock formations combined with the sun at different times of the day make for some amazing images even for the most casual of photographers.
Remember, I said it can get busy during the summer? I can’t stress this enough. We have gone by at certain times and the line of vehicles stretches out through the gates and along the highway with the Rangers allowing folks in only after others leave.
There are several hiking trails that open off of the scenic drive and a few others that are in the area but not directly on this route. Skill levels are anywhere from 1-hour fairly level walks for children and families to those that include climbing. There are also plenty of places for cycling, including the scenic drive itself. Red Rock Canyon does have one accessible trail that includes a natural year-round spring and rare salt grasses where you can view nature and water creatures that are supplied by the spring.
Some of you may have read about the burros in Oatman, Arizona who are the descendants of those who escaped or were abandoned by miners who left the area about 100 years ago. These burros are located in the Spring Mountain Range as well and the Bureau of and Management is responsible for their health and safety. As happened in Oatman, these animals can become too familiar with people and put themselves in peril by wondering in the streets and eating things that aren’t good for them so the BLM has a program to help stop this from happening.
Part of bringing this program to visitors was the adoption of Jackson the Burro as the “mascot” of Red Rock Canyon. Here is the video about Jackson and the wild horse and burro program from their website.
So there it is another little view of some of our travels. As you can see, a visit to LAs Vegas doesn’t have to mean The Strip and gambling. No there is plenty to do in the great outdoors for the entire family.
For more Blogging Through the Alphabet Fun please visit my amazing co-hosts:
- Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool
- Kirsten @ DoodleMom Homeschool
- Jennifer @ A Peace of Mind
- Kimberley @ Vintage Blue Suitcase
- Christine @ Lifes’s Special Necessities
- Yvonne @ The Life We Build
- Dawn @ Schoolin’ Swag
- Wendy @ Life on Chickadee Lane
- Lori @ At Home: where life happens
- Kristen @ A Mom’s Quest to Teach
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