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Trip of the Week

Preparation helps make snow play safe, enjoyable

Snow-capped Charleston Peak and neighboring crags west of Las Vegas remind us that winter is here, despite balmy days on the desert floor. Every storm front moving through the area promises snow, luring crowds to the mountains.

Ample room to play in the sand at Dumont Dunes

Beautiful Dumont Dunes near Death Valley National Park attract more than 120,000 visitors annually. One of the great dune systems of the Mojave Desert, Dumont Dunes provide opportunities for a variety of outdoor adventures.

Explore unique geology of Rainbow Basin area

The eroded, fossil-laden landscape of the Rainbow Basin Natural Area north of Barstow, Calif., invites exploration of its multicolored formations, winding desert canyons and washes with areas of dense vegetation.

Celebrate Old West Days in Shoshone, Calif.

Tiny Shoshone, Calif., near Death Valley, welcomes visitors to celebrate its heritage during its annual Old West Days, scheduled for Nov. 1 to 3. This fun-filled weekend appeals to history buffs, nature lovers and folks who enjoy country music, lively dancing and barbecue.

Explore scenic route near historic Caliente

The little railroad town of Caliente welcomes travelers along U.S. Highway 93, a portal to eastern Nevada’s many scenic and historic attractions. Its tree-lined streets mark a change after miles dominated by sage-covered desert.

Prescott, Ariz., preserves, celebrates its storied past

Prescott has been a hub of activity in central Arizona since frontier times. This charming Western town honors its heritage by preserving much of its past and promoting activities that spotlight arts, entertainment and history. Not many weeks go by without some festival, special event or other entertaining public gathering.

California ghost town provides peek into past

Bodie — California’s most authentic ghost town — is preserved as a state historic park and a national historic landmark. Annually, thousands of visitors explore the former gold and silver boomtown. Maintained in a state of “arrested decay,” Bodie appears much as it did when the last residents left more than 50 years ago.

Find a furry friend at Utah animal sanctuary

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, located in a region replete with scenic splendor and world-famous outdoor destinations, has developed into an unusual and absorbing attraction in its own right. The nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary, Best Friends is a few miles north of Kanab, Utah, and offers free tours daily, except on Christmas Day.

Arizona's Walnut Canyon home to ancient cliff dwellings

Walnut Canyon is an eroded gash in the forested plateau surrounding Flagstaff, Ariz. The canyon contains 20 miles of diverse habitat along a creek named for the native Arizona walnut trees that grow there. Early pioneers discovered that they were not the first settlers in the area when they found ancient cliff dwellings tucked into ledges beneath the rim of the canyon.