Big Bend of the Colorado State Recreation Area is a must-see. Handily located at the southern tip of Nevada, the park was established in 1996, on the Colorado River south of Laughlin’s Casino Drive.
A visit to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona requires some effort, but the payoff, in addition to seeing unusual cactuses, is the natural beauty of the Sonoran Desert.
You don’t have to travel more than an hour, from anywhere in the Las Vegas Valley, to reach Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, which boasts some of the finest canyon hikes in our region. One in particular— Pine Creek Canyon — is not only pleasing to the eye but offers historical interest.
Many Americans will never experience the thrill of seeing an eagle in the wild. But you needn’t be deprived, for these majestic and rare birds gather every winter in Arizona’s Verde Canyon. And it’s easy to see them while taking a train trip on the Verde Canyon Railroad.
One of the best displays nature affords is the sight of its largest animals — whales.
With the holidays upon us, many of us find our stress reaching all-time highs, and our attention focused on material goods — not necessarily what we hope, but what in the world to give loved ones! Neither condition is good, and for once, I am going to suggest that running away may be the perfect cure. A family trip to a national park can remove you from the pressure cooker of commercialized Christmas, promote togetherness and perhaps even start a family tradition.
Hualapai Mountain Park is a 2,300-acre preserve located just outside of Kingman, Ariz. Often overlooked in favor of larger and better known parks, it is a gem hidden in the pines with elevations ranging from 4,984 feet to 8,417 feet at Hualapai Peak.
Fortification Hill, just east of the Hoover Dam on the Arizona side of Lake Mead National Recreation Area, towers about 2,000 feet above Lake Mead’s Boulder Basin. Although it looks impenetrable, there is a short but strenuous route to the top where you will be treated to some of the finest views in the park.
For a short outing from Las Vegas, a trip to Corn Creek at the Desert National Wildlife Refuge is a great choice. Less than 30 miles from the city, you can stroll the short nature trails, visit a perennial stream and spring-fed ponds, see lush vegetation and also do some birding in a quiet outdoor environment.
October is a wonderful time to spend outdoors enjoying Zion National Park. Daytime temperatures will likely drop into the pleasant zone, and you’ll be there for the start of fall foliage season depending on the elevation. You can get double value for your visit if you participate in one of the workshops being offered by Zion Canyon Field Institute.