First Desert Ramble...
Las Vegas Travel Blog› entry 2 of 7 › view all entries
Everybody rousted around 8:30 AM and my waking thought was â€śdang, only four hours sleepâ€ťâ€¦until I realized we actually hit the sack at 2AM (despite it being 4AM on our home town clocks). It was a lazy start and we didnâ€™t strike out until two hours laterâ€¦
My wife & I love to hike, but rarely get the chance any more since we have failed to inculcate a similar yearning in our offspring. Regardless this desire tilted our itinerary towards many stops outside the city to sample the environs. Our first day was a road trip west of the city, with planned stops at an â€śold westâ€ť town, Old Nevada, and a visit to Red Rocks Canyon National Conservation Area.
We headed off and stopped at a McDonaldâ€™s for breakfast. The joint was conjoined with a local convenience store chain named Terribles, lol! What motivated us choosing McDâ€™s was a quick realization that civilization was rapidly evaporating as we motored away from the city.
Despite quickly transitioning from big city to utter desert wasteland, it was remarkably brief before we came upon exit signs for Old Nevada. Among the days first arrivals, we paid $10 for our carload and happily parked beneath the last of three trees in the parking lot that promised some relief from the baking sun.
We walked to the â€śtrain depotâ€ť and caught a ride on a ridiculously wee steam train that chugged about a quarter mile to Old Nevada (we realized during this ride that we could have driven right up to the town and bypassed the train rideâ€¦but it was all part of the experience).
There are quite a few run down buildings on the site and petting zoo here as wellâ€¦although nothing that provided any genuine entertainment or history of the areaâ€¦so it wasnâ€™t long before we disembarked to hit
Our tourist literature touted this as a natural wonderland, and we were confused by the absence of any signage despite it appearing to be very near to Old Nevada. What we did see were signs discussing a â€śBLMâ€ť area with similar characteristics, but nada for Red Rocks. Of course we soon scooted past a large boulder which had â€ś
A pretty basic natural park with nothing beyond an entrance gate and a thirteen mile scenic loop you can drive. It is nice that the loop is entirely one-way, so you donâ€™t have to worry so much about traffic as you enjoy the scenery (if you were the driver, as I was), but it didnâ€™t astonish. My wife and I felt it was a poor manâ€™s Sedona, a beautiful place but not a must-see destination.
There are several trails in the park and Eric had volunteered to stay at the resort one day with Spencer so Kim & I could fulfill our hiking desiresâ€¦so we tentatively approved this as a return destination for Thursday. We soon completed the park loopâ€¦and then the bigger loop back into Vegas. We were surprised at the time listed to acquire these two places until we returned --- if you approach from the south and take the Blue Diamond Parkway it is very quick. Alas, the northern approach runs along
The good news is that we chanced upon a P.F. Changâ€™s along
After lunch we plodded along back to the Strip (