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Red Rock Canyon

National Conservation Area - Las Vegas, NV

overcast 62 °F

The most amazing thing about our drive to Red Rock Canyon was coming through Las Vegas, a mega metropolis, now the 28th largest city in the Unites States, and after turning onto the last highway toward Red Rock, we drove through some subdivisions, the road went down to two lanes and all of a sudden we were in the desert again. Maggie and I looked at each other and said, "Wow, that was weird." I mean, we were just looking at all the homes, some still unfinished, the road narrowed, and everything was gone! Anyway, five minutes later we were at the Visitors Center at the Canyon. We asked about the campground availability and they said we just had to go there, a mile back down the road, and see if anything was available. The web site said they only had six RV sites so we were expecting to have to look somewhere else because, after all, it was Friday afternoon and we've noticed that the number of outdoor enthusiasts seems to be growing exponentially the farther west we got. But we picked up some Vegas luck and snagged the last space available...that is, we thought it was luck until the camp host came over to tell us that we could have also taken any of the tent spaces that had covered picnic tables (and those were actually nicer!) and there were several of those available that could have handled our 38-footer. So if you go, now you know, because the web site didn't mention that useful fact.

After securing the campsite, we drove the RV around the 13-mile, scenic drive, one-way loop through the canyon. We stopped at a few of the pullovers, took some pictures, did a small amount of hiking, watched a few rock-climbers (the first time we've ever seen any in-person - hard to see on the photo though, can you find one?), then headed back to camp. Maggie served up some delicious pan-seared scallops, jalapeno-cheese grits, and a kale salad. Yumm! There was a nice, small hill/plateau next to the RV, about 50 feet high so we took a couple chairs up and enjoyed the sunset, watched planes coming and going from Vegas International, and even saw a shooting star!

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The next morning, we returned to our seats on the hill and watched the sunrise, the planes again, and this time several hot air balloons rising over the skyline (If you look close at the bottom right corner of the photo showing the dramatic sun beams coming through the clouds, you'll see some small dots: those are the balloons - sorry but I all I have is an old iPhone 5 camera!). Then, I took off for a 20-mile round-trip bike ride back through the canyon. It was a nice, but difficult at times, ride, with the first half spent climbing some steep grades in thin air, followed by the rush back down. There were many cyclists inside and out of the canyon with a 58-mile cycling event happening in the area. Lot's of cool air on a nice overcast day, perfect for cycling. Although we were told to be on the lookout for wild burros and (if you can believe it) desert tortoises, we never saw any. Maybe next time!

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Campground Review

Would definitely recommend the Red Rock Canyon campground. The location was great, excellent for bicycling, and really enjoyed taking the fold-up chairs up onto the hill next to our site for sunset, sunrise, and star gazing.
Refer to our first paragraph of this entry for more tips on this campground.

Next stop: Death Valley National Park in California.

Posted by travelswitz 09:41

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