Las Vegas: Places to Explore

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Summerlin and Red Rock Canyon

There's a master plan behind the Western suburb of Summerlin, and it shows. The town—which was founded by movie legend Howard Hughes—has been developed and built out according to a written-on-paper strategy, a "planned community" through and through. Today the neighborhood comprises dozens of gated communities, as well as a handful of epic golf courses and casino resorts such as the J.W. Marriott and Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa.

While the Red Rock Casino is hip and fun, the highlight of the region is the casino's namesake, the Red Rock National Conservation Area. This area, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, is an expansive open space that heads from civilization into the ocher-rock wilderness of the Spring Mountains beyond. Canyon walls boast some of the best rock climbing in the world. There also are petroglyphs, drawings from Native-Americans who first inhabited this area more than 1,000 years ago.

One of the best ways to explore the wilderness outside Summerlin is, without question, on horseback. A number of outfitters run half- and full-day guided trips; some even include dinner. Just about every ride brings visitors up-close-and-personal with native flora and fauna, including Joshua trees, jackrabbits, and more. If possible, ask your guide to lead you to the top of the canyon for a one-of-a-kind glimpse of the Strip.

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