Thursday, March 25, 2010

Beyond Vegas

OK, so you are in Las Vegas but you want to do some nature and wildlife photography. But not the wildlife of night time Vegas. The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is located just a few miles west of Las Vegas and encompasses 197,000 acres within the Mojave Desert. Red Rock is an area of worldwide geologic interest and beauty. The Mojave is the smallest of the North American deserts. The four deserts in North America, in order of area are: Great Basin, Sonora, Chihuahuan, and the Mojave. The area has a nice scenic drive with plenty of pullouts to stop and photograph some nice landscapes. The area has numerous hiking trails and plenty of wildlife viewing. Get there very early when the light is still soft.  It is cold in the winter, and blazing hot in the summer.

Now there are many interesting places to visit such as Lake Mead, and Hoover Dam, but a really interesting place is the Valley of Fire State Park. Dedicated in 1935, Valley of Fire is Nevada's oldest State Park. It is located only 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas. The rough floor and jagged walls of the park contain brilliant formations of eroded sandstone and sand dunes more than 150 million years old. These features, which are the centerpiece of the park's attractions, often appear to be on fire when reflecting the sun's rays.


Drive up Interstate 15 from Las Vegas to exit 75 near Overton Nevada. The park has almost 36,000 acres and over 20 miles of roads. There are some amazing rock formations and ancient
3,000 year-old Indian petroglyphs. An excellent visitors center and nice camping facilities are located in the park. Again this is high desert country so the tempratures cany vary widely depending on what season you visit in. Spring and Fall are the best times.
A land of desolate but anazing beauty. Sometimes you feel like you are on the planet Mars when you are driving through some of the red rock formations and boulder fields. Well worth a day away from the craziness of Las Vegas. A truly great place to do some landscape and nature photography                                                                          

1 comment:

  1. Nice tour! Thanks.
    I watched Ocean's Eleven last night cause a friend wanted to. I didn't know it was about Vegas. It was interesting and even more interesting after just seeing your blog post on Vegas.