Something that is a little different when visiting the Las Vegas area is the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. It is located in the Mojave Desert just a few miles from the city of Las Vegas. The Red Rock Canyon Interpretive Association works in conjunction with Bureau of Land Management to protect the fragile desert environment.
Visitors begin their day at the Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center. There is a 7,600 square foot building that distributes information and interpretations of the recreation in the park, the wildlife, vegetation and geology. There are wild horses and burros within the boundaries of the Red Rock Canyon.
The Book and Gift Store is a nonprofit shopping experience. The money that is earned from sales goes towards programs, exhibits, signage, publications and hikes. Some of the items for sale in the Gift Shop include work by local artists, Native American jewelry, and maps and books of the area.
An Exhibit Area features many desert dwellers that have been displaced from their own homes. The displays are done in a manner to recreate a natural habitat for the residents. A Lizard Lounge has two lizards that have been provided a new home. Chucky is a Chuckwalla.
Visitors to the park that ride bikes are able to use the Bicycle Pavilion to rest, get water and use the restrooms. There is also a picnic area for guests to use. They have put in benches, fire grills and picnic tables for day use. There is enough space for small groups at the Pavilion.
Guests with cars can take a scenic drive through the area. It is open seven days a week from 6:00 am to dusk. People may exit their vehicles in designated parking and pull out areas to hike on the many trails. This gives everyone a chance to take in the beauty of the Red Rock Canyon area and take pictures. The scenic drive is thirteen miles long.
There is a campground a few miles from the Visitor Center that is open from September through May. They have BBQ grills, trash collection, picnic tables, a water tank and primitive toilet facilities. There are no reservations taken; it is first come first served. Firewood is available for purchase from a campground host. Check online for prices or at the campground.
Hiking, biking and climbing are popular activities in the area. Climbers can familiarize themselves with the rocks with the Red Rock Select guide. The trails for hiking have different lengths and degrees of difficulty. They offer wonderful views of the Spring Mountains and the Las Vegas Valley.
After a day of fun at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area visitors can return to one of the many hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. There they can find restaurants, casinos and shopping before relaxing at the hotel swimming pool, hot tub or spas. The weather in Las Vegas can get very hot in the summer and very cool at night. Dressing accordingly is very important.
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