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The Trailblazer's Guide to Vegas Hiking

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http://www.scenic.com/ | Las Vegas and the surrounding desert is home to many state parks and conservation areas that are popular hiking and camping destinations. Take in the sights of Las Vegas on foot with one of the many hikes included in this guide, or by air with a Las Vegas tour from Scenic.

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The Trailblazer's Guide to Vegas Hiking

  1. 1. If you’re looking for stunning views of the Las Vegas desert, consider a hike through the area’s natural parks. One of the most breathtaking is Red Rock Canyon, which offers views of rock formations and craggy peaks in shades of brightly colored sediment. Visitors can take a scenic 13-mile drive to see the area’s many peaks and valleys, or set out on foot and explore more than 30 miles of hiking trails, rock climbing, mountain biking, nature observation, and more. Camping is also available if you’d like to witness sunrise and sunset at the park: the reflection of the sun’s rays makes the red rocks light up at different hours of the day.
  2. 2. Home to 1,700 ancient petroglyphs (rock drawings) carved by indigenous tribes that once called this area home, the 48,000-acre Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area is a piece of desert history. Though overnight camping is not permitted in this protected area, hiking, biking, and horseback riding are encouraged on existing roads and trails. After a morning hike in Sloan Canyon, travel 30 miles to Boulder City for a Scenic Airlines Grand Canyon Tour from Las Vegas. You’ll see panoramic views of the entire area, including the majestic Hoover Dam, the Colorado River, and the West Rim of the Grand Canyon.
  3. 3. On select Las Vegas tours from Scenic, you’ll be treated to views of spectacular Lake Mead. Created by the construction of the Hoover Dam, this manmade reservoir has the capacity to grow to 112 miles long. It’s a popular spot for escaping the hot desert sun, and locals can be found enjoying boating and fishing during weekends at the lake. After seeing Lake Mead from the air, take a closer look at the area with an overnight camping trip. There are several campgrounds at Lake Mead, including primitive backpacking locations as well as convenient vehicle camping.
  4. 4. For a relaxing hike to finish a day of touring Las Vegas, the Historic Railroad Trail near Boulder City, NV is a perfect fit. The 7-mile trail is wide and meandering with a mostly flat grade that passes through historic railroad tunnels. Built over one of the rail lines that serviced the Hoover Dam area, this route played a role in one of America's most prominent construction projects. This trail is designed for history lovers, as opposed to expert trailblazers looking for a tough workout. However, remote sections of the trail still promise excellent views of Lake Mead as well as the surrounding desert. Keep an eye out for desert fauna such as bighorn sheep, lizards, or bats.
  5. 5. No other peak in the area provides better views of Las Vegas than Frenchman Mountain. The triangular peak of Frenchman Mountain is technically not part of any mountain range; however, its 4,000-foot altitude surpasses the mountains that form the eastern border of the Las Vegas valley. Though steep, the hike up Frenchman Mountain is a favorite among locals.
  6. 6. Black Mountain gets its name from vibrant black lava cliffs that can be seen from miles away. Once you’ve climbed to the top of Black Mountain, you’ll be afforded views of the Las Vegas area as well as sights of Henderson, NV. In addition to a sweeping perspective of the desert floor, several mountain ranges and other parks can also be seen from the summit, including the Red Rocks, Spring Mountains, Jean Dry Lakes, and more.
  7. 7. Dedicated in 1935, Valley of Fire State Park is the oldest park in Nevada. Covering an area of 35,000 acres, Valley of Fire gets its name from vibrant red sandstone rock formations that appear to be on fire when hit by the sun’s rays. The area was originally home to prehistoric farmers who left their mark with detailed petroglyphs that can be viewed at several locations throughout the park. Hiking and camping are both permitted in Valley of Fire year-round. In the springtime, visitors can enjoy a variety of flora, including several cactus species and desert wildflowers such as desert marigold, indigo bush, and desert mallow.
  8. 8. After your Scenic tour, depart Boulder City for nearby Goldstrike Hot Springs. A one- of-a-kind nature experience, the adventure starts with a series of boulder climbs using fixed ropes. After a few hours of carefully traversing the rocky trail, you’ll arrive at the ultimate oasis: a collection of hot spring pools. Depending on the time of year you visit – winter and spring are best – you’ll be able to soak in one large pool or several smaller pools. The naturally warm waters of the springs make for the perfect post-hike soak.
  9. 9. Scenic is the largest and most experienced aerial tour operator in the world. Founded in 1967, the company showcases the most impressive landscapes of Southwest’s beautiful National Parks, specializing in Grand Canyon air tours. Scenic also develops customized airplane tours for groups, companies, or incentive programs. For more info, visit http://www.scenic.com/ or call 800-634-6801.

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