Category Archives: Las Vegas Hikes

In Search of: Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

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Valley of Fire State Park is one of my absolute favorite places on the planet.  The park is about an hour outside of Vegas, and it’s positively breathtaking.  These pictures only crack the shell of what Valley of Fire has to offer.  The rock formations and colors are so diverse, it’s like a world away from reality.  And you would never know it by the drive out there.  It’s amidst middle of nowhere dirt and rocks with nothing spectacular to see.  Half the fun is the surprise of driving through barren desert — that suddenly becomes a veritable rainbow of rock.

As much as I love this locale, I haven’t spent nearly as much time there as I would like.  It’s one of those locations Vegas is famous for — and by that, I mean it’s hotter than hell in the summer, so you have to remember to get out during the late fall through early spring months.

Seeing as how my hiking slows down tremendously as winter approaches (I’m a weather wuss, peeps), I sometimes miss out on this beautiful locale because, honestly, I forget to go!  Sort of like this past winter.  I missed it.  Someone slap me, please.  Trust me.  Valley of Fire is not to be forgotten.  So much so that I’m considering an overnight camp and and a 4am hike (to avoid the wretched heat of the day yet still revel in the beauty of it all).

Can you imagine watching the sunrise from atop one of those rock formations?  I bet it would be stunning.  And the stars out there?  Out of this world.

Who’s up for camping at Valley of Fire?

 

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In Search of: Hiking White Rock Loop, Red Rock Canyon

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I discovered a new favorite trail at Red Rock Canyon.  It’s called White Rock Loop.  I went on a whim because the weather was bad, and I wasn’t sure my first-choice trail would be safe in the wind and rain.  Turned out there was no wind or rain (at least not while we were out), but I’m not disappointed my plans changed.  White Rock Loop boasts beautiful scenery and the perfect spot for lunch (I’m a fan of lunch with a view).  It’s also an awesome fitness hike – a great incline to get your heart rate up and thighs burning without being overly intense.  The perfect day hike.  Check out specific directions for the trail here.  Happy hiking!

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In Search of: Bowl of Fire, Lake Mead

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You know what gets me seriously excited?  Great hiking weather!  Let’s hope I don’t jinx it, but I daresay, the spring hiking season is finally here.  Woohoo!

This weekend, I hiked near Lake Mead at a place called Bowl of Fire.  The views were stunning.  We hiked amongst the red rocks and found the perfect spot to cop a squat for lunch.  We lounged for over an hour, taking in the views and watching birds fly overhead.  I played liked a lizard and laid back on a rock, soaking in the sun rays.  Good times, I tell you.  Good times.

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Arizona Hot Springs

When it comes to hiking, I’m a sucker for anything that involves water.  Give me a lake or river, or throw in a waterfall, and you can pretty much count on me showing up (and I may have bells on). So much in the desert southwest is dry.  It’s beautiful.  But there tends to be one humongous lack of water.  Thus, I was super excited when my hiking group announced it was heading out to Arizona Hot Springs.  Bonus factor: the springs are right next to the Colorado River.  And OMG, the Colorado is one beautiful river.  Don’t you think?

(See the lower left picture?  That was a very heavy rock.  And the upper right?  Next time, that’s going to be me!)

(We enjoyed a fantastic lunch while sitting above the river, watching the water rush by.  And then we got to watch a lady in her canoe work for an hour trying row upstream because she missed her exit.)

 

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Hiking Anniversary Narrows, Lake Mead

When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time at Lake Mead.  I grew up nearby, and the Lake was a cheap outlet for entertainment.  I remember one summer my mom took my brother and I there every day. 

Now, if you know Lake Mead, you know that it may just be the un-prettiest lake there is. It’s a lake that, quite honestly, was never meant to be.  It’s man-made; the result of Hoover Dam.  The water is pretty from a distance, as all water is, but up close, the beaches are a mix of rock and sticker bushes (no exaggeration).  It is a desert after all.  But it was fun.  (When it’s 118 degrees outside, you’ll settle for anything wet — even if you do step on a cactus on your way to the water.)

All this is to say that I have been pleasantly surprised by some of the amazing geography in that area.  My hiking adventures have taken me to places I never knew existed, places that prove Lake Mead is more than a reprieve from the heat.  It’s actually quite beautiful. And here’s one of my latest discoveries:  Anniversary Narrows — a cool slot canyon and old mining area randomly plopped in the midst of barren land.  I love these discoveries.  I really do.

(We passed by an old dam.  The dam is pretty much non-existent at this point, but the remnants are still there.  This block was from that dam, dated March 20, 1930 — even prior to Hoover Dam.)

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