Everybody I know is dreaming of cooler temperatures and speculating on where to find them without entirely leaving the Southwest.
An excellent way to escape our oppressive summer heat is by heading up to Kyle Canyon in the Mount Charleston area of the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area.
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah is enjoyed by about 2 million visitors a year who come to see its 10 deep, hoodoo-filled amphitheaters. Hoodoos are called that because they are tall natural columns that suggest living but unearthly beings. They are formed by an unusual type of erosion involving the freeze-and-thaw cycle that is repeated approximately 200 days every year due to the park’s high elevation.
Austin, a formerly booming mining town founded in 1862, is home to fewer than 400 people today. Yet, it’s one of the best-preserved early mining towns in Nevada and well worth a visit by city dwellers from the state’s southern end.
With plenty of summer outdoor activities available and temperatures at comfort level over the next couple of months, the town of Ely should be a priority summer destination for Southern Nevadans with an itchy hiking foot.
Waterfalls are pretty rare in the Southwest, except for seasonal examples that appear after snow melt or briefly after a heavy rain. For that reason, we treasure the few that put on their show year-round, including Lower Calf Creek Falls.
Every hiker who has heard of it dreams of walking the Bright Angel Trail, the famous footpath that snakes from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon all the way to the Colorado River on the canyon floor, with spectacular scenery almost every step of the way.
One of the best scenic drives in Southern Nevada starts only about a half-hour west of the Strip at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.
For an outdoor experience that’s different enough to make long-lasting memories, consider the Rings Loop Trail in the Mojave National Preserve, Calif.