RED ROCK CANYON NATIONAL PARK
Las Vegas Travel Blog› entry 4 of 75 › view all entries
July 2nd, 2006 – by: mellemel8
Red Rock Canyon is a narrow valley that lies just about 15 miles west of downtown Las Vegas and is one of the most scenic places to visit in the Southern Nevada area.
While the tops of the peaks are visible from the Las Vegas Valley, much of Red Rock Canyon is nestled below them and out of sight from theIce Box Canyon city of Las Vegas. The red sandstone that makes Red Rock so distinctive, and red, is part of the same geologic formation, the Navaho Formation, found in the Valley of Fire, Zion National Park and throughout parts of the Southwest United States and Southern Nevada. The contrast of red sandstone layered through gray limestone is impressive against the tall sheer cliff faces of - as high as - 600 meters or about 1,800 feet.
The layout of the valley that Red Rock is in, its mountains, cliffs and hills show a typical Great Basin north-south orientation.
To the west are the Wilson Cliffs. The Wilson Cliffs has several distinct mountains, Bridge Point, Bridge Mountain, Rainbow Mountain, Mount Wilson, Indecision Peak and Sandstone Mountain.
On the north part of this small valley is the BLM Scenic Drive and Visitor Center. To most visitors this is the area thought of as Red Rock Canyon Las Vegas.
The eastern boundary of this valley consists of a series of low hills collectively known as Blue Diamond Hill. Between these mountains and hills is the valley that State Highway 159 runs through. From Highway 159, you can drive though the whole valley that Red Rock occupies.
Near the southern part of the valley is Blue Diamond a mining community.
There are a lot of things to do in Red Rock Canyon. If you like to hike, take spectacular pictures or if you want to learn more about the desert, plan to spend some time here. Red Rock Canyon has a lot to offer. Horseback riding at Bonnie Springs Ranch, picnicking at places like Willow Springs and rock climbing are very popular. In the summer months, there is 'Super Summer Theatre' at the Spring Mountain Ranch. These productions are put on in the 'Theatre in the Meadow', an outdoor theatre. Cool nights, beautiful setting, great art this is something that you should try to take in.
Wild Burros The easiest way to see Red Rock is to just drive through the place. Any kind of weather will work for a drive through.
The best time for photography is very early in the morning. Exactly at and just after sunrise, the light is perfect to shoot pictures of the Wilson Cliffs. The sunlight, at that angle, highlights the red colors in the cliffs because they face east and reveals the subtle colors in the sandstone best.
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