Just outside of Las Vegas lies countless, nearly endless expanses of desert, rock formations and mountain ranges. Some mountains are capped with forest and get snow during the colder months, others get a sparse coating of desert shrubbery allowing the mineral filled rock below to shine. There's no mystery as to why our Red Rock National Recreation Area has earned it's name- the rocks are resplendent and come in shades of red, purple, beige and more. Wild burros, mountain lions, big horn sheep and rattle snakes proliferate the area, though they generally tend to be too shy to be spotted with any frequency.
Given our proximity to great swaths of nature, hiking (and skiing!) are popular activities. I've been a fan of hiking for quite some time, having even been in a public hiking club during my junior year of high school. As such, whenever I get the opportunity to venture out into the great outdoors, I'm generally pretty quick to take it. On this particular day, my friend Julie and I had made plans to go for an adventure together.
We met up early and after psyching ourselves up for the journey at her apartment, we packed up the car and headed out! It was a beautiful day for the excursion, early enough in the year that the sweltering summer heat had yet to fully settle in but warm enough to be comfortable.
Have you ever ventured beyond the city limits of Las Vegas? One of the best parts of living in the city is how much nature is actually available and accessible just beyond it's limits. Lake mead is about 45 minutes one way, with aquatic recreation available, while Mount Charleston offers snow sports during the winter months and camping among the trees. Today, we went to Calico Basin!
More photos after the cut!