The first trip to the Las Vegas area, was without my son and more work related. Back then, we spent our time on the Vegas strip and in convention rooms. This trip I had my whole family along and we had more free time to explore. If I could give you some great advice take the 17 mile-ish drive to Red Rock Canyon (that was the distance from our hotel)! I wanted to visit it on our first trip and just did not have the time.
Once we landed at the airport, we got our Mazda CX-3 rental. It housed all our luggage without any issue. We were super excited to explore and set off after a quick stop at the hotel. I simply typed in “Red Rock Canyon” into the GPS point of interest feature and it immediately had the route we needed to take.
As we started to get closer I saw this rock and HAD to stop for a photo. We do not live by mountains and seeing them up close is so surreal! I wish I could explain how the views make me feel but words escape me. I can say I would take them over a beach any day. Something about them are simply majestic and make me giddy inside!
When entering the Park they have a $7 fee. This includes so many overlooks, the scenic drive, hiking trails, the welcome center museum and more! I feel almost guilty only paying that so we slipped extra cash in a donation bin whilst in the Center. I have been to many different Parks and this was well worth that small fee in my opinion.
The very first viewing point, I realized just how fast the weather changes. We went from sunny to very windy and chilly within minutes.
As we drove further into the scenic route many of the mountains had snow and the roads started to show signs of ice. I live in New York, these types of conditions do not scare me but it helps to have a reliable vehicle equip to handle whatever mother nature throws at you. If you are not as well versed of a driver take your time. I saw to many people take the curved turns too fast and wipe out due to the icy roads.
By the end of the trip we were exhausted from all the wandering, photos, tours, hiking and it was nice to take a short smooth ride back to our hotel. If you decide to add this to your list of MUST-SEE places (which I RECOMMEND YOU DO) you might want to bring a few things along with you.
1. Reliable car (we enjoyed our Mazda CX-8)- when the wind was so back it knocked over bikes with people riding them it helps to have a car that can handle itself!
2. Warmer clothing- even if it says 70 degrees (which it was the day we went) in the mountains weather gets progressively colder and they have snow.
3. proper walking gear- I wore sneakers and layers to help fight some of the weather conditions.
4. Water- it is the dessert for the most part. It is dry and if you are hiking you want to stay hydrated. There are no vending machines once you are on the trail itself that we saw.
5. Be mindful of wild animals. I saw so many signs alerting you to be careful of wild animals and for good reason. You are entering their preserve, if you will, and they are not meant for YOUR entertainment. I also can’t tell you ho many shows I have watched (because my son loves animal Planet) telling me how many poisonous reptiles live in this area.