Red Rock Canyon
As if you needed more reasons to go Vegas.
Designated as Nevada’s first National Conservation Area, Red Rock Canyon is another natural park near the excitement of Sin City. For my favorite park near Las Vegas, take a look at Valley of Fire State Park!
I first discovered this place on an annual Vegas trip with a car club – the 13 mile scenic loop in this park is full of hairpins and is a blast, even at slow speed. Years later, I finally went back to it on the trusty GS.
One of the highlights of Red Rock NCA is Mojave Max. Max is a desert tortoise that lives in the park, and is used as an mascot to promote the area. Like Punxsutawney Phil, Max ’emerges’ from a burrow each year, and it unofficially signals the start of springtime. They have an “Emergence Contest” and let local schoolkids try to guess when Max will finally come out. The winner this year got a backpack, a digital camera, and a laptop. Score!
In addition to the scenic loop, which is paved, there are some fire roads that branch out into other parts of the canyon.
Alright, so it won’t be the only reason you go to Vegas, but I’d highly recommend that you check this place out on your way in and out of town.