Which Las Vegas day trip?

Old May 23rd, 2011, 12:22 PM
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Which Las Vegas day trip?

We will have one full day in Las Vegas - we will arrive the evening before - and would like to take a driving trip.
I have been reading about Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and about Valley of Fire State Park.
Which would be the best choice?
We are seniors and are not hikers; we could visit a Visitors Center but mostly would be better off driving.
Please give us advice!
Thank you.
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 12:55 PM
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When are you going?? My favorite cool weather day trip is to Death Valley. We go north on 95 to Beatty then west over the ridge to DV. We often stop for a few minutes at Rhyolite, a ghost town, that has a house made of cemented bottles. Then we stop at to top of the ridge and look at the amazing vista down the valley. When we get to the valley we head south, stop at Borax Works, VC, Devil's Golf Course, Badwater, then head north through Artist Pallet Drive and out towards Parumph with a stop at Zabriski Point.

This is a whole day trip and you would be wise to pick up lunch, water, snacks, etc. before you leave.

As to Red Rock or Valley of Fire, both are fine, but there is more to see in VOF and you can go through it and out along Lake Meade on the way back to Vegas.
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 01:13 PM
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I have driven the Red Rock Canyon loop but haven't been to VoF.. (going in July)... my gut feeling is that RRC is better seen by hiking into parts of the canyon not visible from the road... while VoF can be enjoyed very well from the window of your car. At either site, the best time to visit would be early AM or just before sunset... the colors will be better and you will avoid the brutal mid-day sun. Enjoy!
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 01:14 PM
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I can't think of a better way to spend a day than by driving through Red Rock National Conservation Area before or after visiting nearby Spring Mountain Ranch State Park: http://parks.nv.gov/smr.htm

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Old May 23rd, 2011, 01:57 PM
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I agree with the Valley of Fire folks.

Red Rock Canyon NCA is my favorite natural area near Las Vegas -- but it's best seen by hiking and scrambling, not driving. To me, driving through Red Rock Canyon is interesting, but not that great.

On the other hand, the Valley of Fire is very impressive via a driving trip. All you really need to do is walk a hundred feet or so at various lookouts. If you're ambitious, there are some nice quarter mile or half mile walks as well.
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 03:37 PM
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Gotta go with the Valley of Fire. Did the drive up there with a senior citizen and the scenery was spectacular from the car as well as an easy short walk from parking areas. However, if time is limited, Red Rock would be closer. Be sure to see the petroglyphs at VOF and the beehive rock formations. Amazing.
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 05:04 PM
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I just returned from Las Vegas last month. This was my 3rd trip there and my focus this time was on day trips. While Death Valley was by far my favorite, Valley Of Fire to me was much nicer than Red Rock. I took my parents who are in their 60's so I was only able to do a little hiking, they didn't do any. You could see a lot of Valley of Fire by car and I felt that to really see what Red Rock had to offer would have required more hiking than the little I did in VOF.
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 06:50 PM
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You guys are terrific! What a great Board!

You really answered my question.

We will be there at the beginning of June, and it will be during the week so it shouldn't be too crowded.

Thanks so much.

Sylvia in Philly
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 08:58 PM
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Valley of Fire is especially interesting late in the day when the shadows are beginning to fall. You might want to take a picnic dinner with you. There's a spectacular picnic area. I think it is called Seven Sisters.
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