Footloose Las Vegans travel in all directions of the compass but tend to reserve southerly excursions for colder months. You still have time for at least one more trip southward before the weather warms too much.
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One of the great advantages of living in this region is being able to enjoy nature up close and privately, along the many uncrowded back roads.
Joshua Tree National Park, just outside of Twentynine Palms, Calif., is often overlooked in favor of better-known parks, but it shouldn't be.
Zion National Park is the default destination for many Southern Nevadans who require frequent doses of wilderness, but in winter, snow and ice sometimes make its best-known trails too dangerous to hike.
A great winter activity for snow lovers is cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah.
For more than 60 years, the town of St. Thomas was a legend — Nevada's Atlantis, lying deep under the surface of Lake Mead. But after drought lowered the waters in 2002 and uncovered the old settlement, it has become an interesting and educational destination, with the bonus of a scenic drive to get there and back.
Grafton, Utah, offers one of those sweet visual experiences that decorate a traveler's memory like so many ornaments on a Christmas tree.
Getting outdoors for some fresh air and exercise this weekend could possibly solve two problems at once: overeating at Thanksgiving and keeping your family and out-of-town guests busy.
Right now, you might be seeing a tarantula or two while driving or hiking around the back country. Rather than dissolving into a quivering pool of arachnophobia, try to focus on the interesting aspects of our eight-footed friends.
Ahhh, the elusive alpaca! Prolific producer of fine fleece for luxurious clothing, patient poser for photos in geography books, whose very name regularly rescues crossword puzzle devotees, the animal itself rarely seen in North America.
For travelers along Route 66 in Arizona, stopping for a brief visit at the roadside attractions is an essential part of this traditional American experience. But one of them, Keepers of the Wild, deserves more than a brief visit.
A great fall road trip for savvy explorers of remote country is to the Hard Luck Mine Castle in Esmeralda County.
The Zion Narrows attracts hikers and adventurers from many parts of the world, but Southern Nevadans are fortunate enough to live within a few hours of this marvelous and unusual hike.
Any visit to the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area should now start at the Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway.
Kershaw-Ryan State Park, just outside of Caliente in neighboring Lincoln County, makes a great summer destination for a day trip or to camp. This oasis in the desert, with elevations ranging from 4,312 to 5,080, offers temperatures 10 to 15 degrees cooler than in Las Vegas and features lush vegetation, hiking trails and even a spring-fed wading pool.
For outdoor lovers in Southern Nevada, summer temperatures can bring out severe cases of cabin fever. It is difficult locating a hiking or biking destination with moderate temperatures that isn't crowded and isn't too far away.
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, is such a feast for the eyes that more than a million people from around the world visit every year. Located on the eastern rim of the Paunsaugunt Plateau, the park features natural amphitheaters filled with a colorful landscape of spires, pinnacles and pillars called hoodoos.
Getting to Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah, takes a little more time and trouble than some weekend jaunts, but the rewards are also a little bigger. You’ll not only see three of the nation’s most impressive natural bridges, but on the way there, you will see some more of the Southwest’s most spectacular scenery.
Just east of the Sierra Nevada range, near the small tourist town of Lee Vining, Calif., is one of the most unusual bodies of water you’ll ever visit. Mono Lake is one of the oldest in North America and has no outlet, and for that reason, mineral salts have become so concentrated in the lake that fish cannot live in it. These high concentrations combined with other local conditions to form towers of rock tufa, extending high above the water surface and are equally beloved by birds and photographers.
With the arrival of warm weather and school almost out, this is the time to think about a summer visit to the cooler climates of Northern Nevada. One of the most stunning areas you can visit lies just east of Elko: the Ruby Mountains.
Hackberry Canyon in the southwestern section of the 1.9 million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument remains so enchantingly unspoiled it’s easy to forget you’re in the 21st century. And that’s the point of going there. While the hike is quite remote, the reward is a stunning narrow canyon, carved by a perennial stream, flanked by lush vegetation. If you go right now, there are also wildflowers.
Lincoln County, our nearest neighboring county to the north, is rich in sites where you can see unspoiled petroglyphs, the mysterious rock carvings that have graced cliffs and boulders since prehistoric times. Two of my favorite sites in that area are the White River Narrows Archaeological District and the Mt. Irish Rock Art and Archaeological District, both located off of state Route 318, north of Alamo and Hiko.
Angels Landing in Zion National Park, Utah, is a viewpoint atop a giant red sandstone monolith, offering one of the best panoramic views in the park, which is to say one of the best in the American West. The 5-mile round-trip hike to Angels Landing is famous among hikers throughout the world, mostly because it is one scary trail, especially in the last bone-chilling half-mile. If this hike is on your bucket list, it’s good to do it in spring, after the sun has melted any ice that might have made the path slick and before summer brings the year’s largest crowds to the park and hot temperatures.
Black Canyon National Water Trail in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area is one of only 16 national water trails in the United States and the first one in the Southwest. Designated last year, this Colorado River corridor stretches from Hoover Dam about 30 miles downstream to Lake Mojave.
Many of the treasures offered by the 1.6 million-acre Mojave National Preserve can be found only by traveling on remote gravel roads. One such destination is Fort Piute in the extreme eastern region of the park.