Denise Goldberg's blog

A return to death
To the lowest place in North America

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fleeting glimpses... of Red Rock Canyon

It was another early morning today - not because we were going somewhere to watch the sun leap into the sky, but because we only had a short amount of time to play before heading to the airport.

Up, moving... breakfast at 6, getting all of our travel pieces together, and we were off by 7. Funny, the directions to Red Rock Canyon said it would take 45 minutes to get there. I think it took about 20, but I suppose the longer time might be needed during the week. The roads were quiet today and we were at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area quickly, ready to roam.
If you're following us to this park, it does have a very reasonable entrance fee of $5. If you happen to have a National Parks Pass, don't forget to bring it with you - because entry to National Conservation areas like Red Rock Canyon is included with that pass. Denise always brings her parks pass with her - she needed it this trip since we were wandering in Death Valley - so we were all set.
And uh oh! Denise really liked it there. I have a funny feeling that we will be coming back here in the not too distant future (as in when Denise feels like she needs to escape for a couple of days) to spend a few days hiking at Red Rock Canyon. A couple of hours of wandering just wasn't enough.

There is a 13-mile Scenic Drive that allowed us to get a sense of the beauty in this park just west of Las Vegas. With all the glitter of the strip, it's easy to remember that natural beauty is very reachable here. We drove, and we stopped. We walked a bit, and Denise played with her camera. The Scenic Drive circles a big open area, but around the outside edges are mountains and stone formations, and lots of trails for bouncing. It's a one-way road, one that is wider than a lane, but it's driven as a one-lane road. There were lots of cyclists looping the hilly road, and there were runners out too. And we saw some folks heading out with climbing gear. It would be fun to follow them to their chosen cliffs and watch for a bit. I might try climbing, but I know that Denise won't. She doesn't like when she looks down and realizes that there is nothing under her feet.

What did we see? We saw mountains and cliffs off in the distance, and we stood right next to rounded rock hills flaunting bright colors, reds and oranges and yellows (once again!) with some bright white too. The sky above those colored rocks was a brilliant blue. It's funny, the sky over those distant mountains was hazy, but I bet if I stood right at the foot of those contours and looked up, I think I would see bright blue there too. I'll have to check that out the next time we are here. And yes - I can read Denise's mind. There will be a next time!

Where next?

Go back to Photos: 20 Mule Team Canyon again, or jump forward to Information from a sign.