80°F
weather icon Clear

Desert Shores lakes, Red Rock Canyon offer escape for Summerlin-area residents

Where can you go in Las Vegas that can tease your senses into thinking you’re not in Las Vegas?

That’s a no-brainer question for those who live in or near Summerlin. They benefit from being on the fringe of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, as well as near the four man-made lakes that help make up Desert Shores.

LAKE JACQUELINE

Think there’s no place in the desert to sit by the water and enjoy watching swans drift past? Think again.

Lake Jacqueline at Desert Shores — bordered by Rampart Boulevard to the west, Cheyenne Avenue to the north, Buffalo Drive to the east and Lake Mead Boulevard to the south — offers a relaxing getaway spot. It’s one of four man-made lakes for Desert Shores residents to enjoy. But non-community residents also are welcome to stop in and enjoy the view and watch the ducks and geese and other wild waterfowl near the corner of Mariner and Regatta drives. Just be respectful: Don’t disturb the nesting swans as they sit on their oversized eggs, and don’t feed any of the wildlife.

Many people agree it’s a little corner of town that doesn’t feel very “Vegas.”

“I get that all the time — hear that frequently,” said Cary Brackett, general manager of Desert Shores. “Anybody in the valley can buy in here and receive this high-end amenity (lakeside living). … We’re unique in that we have four (lakes). They’re all accessible if you want to drive by and look at them. We’re not a gated community, and if somebody wants to walk down the sidewalks, which are public, great.”

Brackett asked that those who do stop by follow the community’s rules: Keep your dog leashed; do not fish in the lakes or go boating; and do not feed the waterfowl.

“That’s very important, no feeding the ducks,” Brackett said. “It’s so frequent we get people driving by with huge bags of bread crumbs. It’s bad for the ducks — makes them aggressive — and it’s a bad diet. So please, just enjoy them; don’t feed them.”

Visit desertshores.org.

FRENCH FOOD FAR FROM FRANCE

Want a less-close encounter with Lake Jacqueline’s peacefulness? Sip wine while enjoying the water at the Lake Jacqueline, overlooking Marche Bacchus French Bistro and Wine Shop, 2620 Regatta Drive, Suite 106. Along with the restaurant’s French and Mediterranean menu, the accompanying wine shop has more than 950 labels of American and international wines for sale, along with wine-educated staff members to help with decisions.

Visit marchebacchus.com or call 702-804-8008.

But Marche Bacchus is not the only eatery where your brain can be hijacked into thinking this is not Las Vegas. A visit to La Belle Terre Bread, 8390 W. Sahara Ave., is like stepping into a French bakery. The menu pays homage to various regions, from Provence to Normandy, with traditional pastries and signature crepes and quiches. It even plays European music, so if you speak French or Italian, you might be tempted to sing along.

Visit labelleterrebakery.com or call 702-685-7712.

RED ROCK CANYON

If anything is the direct opposite of the flashy, man-made Strip, it’s the calm and beauty of the Mother Nature-made rock formations at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. It’s practically in the backyard of most Summerlin residents, just a short drive west down Charleston Boulevard.

Summerlin-area resident Chelsea Smith likes to take her daughters, ages 5 and 11, there.

“(It is) the most peaceful spot close to Vegas, but you feel like you’re not in Vegas because there’s not all the lights and the sounds and the noise,” she said. “It’s just serene. My girls love going there. We take the bikes and try to do the loop, but we never get very far with two little ones. It’s a surreal experience being out there. I love Red Rock. And the climate, the temperature change, is awesome.”

She said it is not unusual for her to visit every couple of weeks.

“It’s a way to get away without a getaway,” she explained.

Steve Leslie, a wilderness specialist with the Bureau of Land Management’s Las Vegas Field Office, oversees 13 wilderness areas. He said Red Rock Canyon is popular with both residents and visitors to escape Las Vegas’ concrete structures.

“I think it’s a jewel. It’s awesome,” he said. “It also gets a lot of visitation — more and more each year, record-setting visitation — but it’s manageable.”

Visit redrockcanyonlv.org or tinyurl.com/2bqtqv.

AREA PARKS AND TRAILS

Summerlin’s parks and trails also make for a mini-getaway and are likely the best places in Summerlin to have a picnic. Gardens Park, 10401 Garden Park Drive near West Desert Inn Road and Hualapai Way, is a favorite of many for its seclusion and distance from traffic noise and congestion.

For those looking for light recreation, the Ward 2 Walkers group meets at 7 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Hualapai Trailhead Park, just north of Alta Drive on Hualapai Way. Join Las Vegas City Councilman Bob Beers for exercise and conversation. The group is free and open to the public. Call 702-229-2144.

Hiking one of the arroyos can also be a nature trail experience. A good place for such a hike starts at Pueblo Park, hidden at the southwest corner of Lake Mead Boulevard and Buffalo Drive. The trailhead is at the westernmost point of the park, and the trail goes under Pueblo Vista Drive with a wide tunnel, so one is never at ground level (you’ll likely see some rabbits and chipmunks).

Visit summerlink.com/parks.

To reach Summerlin Area View reporter Jan Hogan, email jhogan@viewnews.com or call 702-387-2949.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Week in Pictures: April 28-May4

Take a look at some eye-catching pictures from Las Vegas Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including Las Vegas Science & Technology Festival, Pirate Fest, weather and Canelo vs. Jacobs. Children play inside a hot air balloon provided by Las Vegas Balloon Rides during the Las Vegas Science & Technology Festival on Saturday, May 4, […]

Week in Pictures: April 21-April 27

Take a look at some eye-catching pictures from Las Vegas Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including Golden Knights playoffs, Raiders draft and WBA lightweight championship bout. The Meadows School third baseman Sam Kaplan looks in a high ground ball during fielding practice, he will play at Cornell University next year on Wednesday, April 24, […]

Week in Pictures: April 14-April 20

Take a look at some eye-catching pictures from Las Vegas Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including Golden Knights playoffs and Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend. The Pink Moon, the nickname for April’s full moon, is not pink at all but yellow and sets in the west behind the Raiders Stadium early on Friday, April […]

Week in Pictures: March 17-March 23

Take a look at some eye-catching pictures from Las Vegas Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including Vegas Golden Knights, Cesar Chavez Day festival, prep baseball and El Cortez shooting. Brooklyn Ruiz, 10, center, of Redlands, Calif., jumps out of the pool while playing with her cousin, Analyce Lopez, 11, of Redlands, Calif., left, and […]

Week in Pictures: March 10-March 16

Take a look at some eye-catching pictures from Las Vegas Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including the West Coast Conference tournament, the Mountain West tournament and the Pac-12 tournament. The Stanford Cardinals celebrate after defeating the Oregon Ducks during a NCAA college basketball game in the final of the Pac-12 women’s tournament at the […]

Week in Pictures: Jan. 14-20

Take a look at some striking pictures from Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including weather features, a boxing match and the super blood wolf moon. Ronald Holmes plays the alto saxophone on The Strip as dark clouds move in on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, in Las Vegas. Clouds, rain and snow are expected in […]

7 ways autocomplete can get smarter

Autocomplete is one of the best (or depending on how hastily you push ‘send’ – worst) things in the world. We rely on it so much that Google plans to let us autocomplete whole emails. Here are seven ways predictive input can improve. 1. Recognizing names from previous emails Jakub Kokoszka has a tough name to […]

Movie posters might soon be based on your clicks

You may have thought you left Blockbuster behind, but the basic way we browse movies hasn’t changed all that much. We peruse poster after poster, kind of like walking the aisles of a ‘90s-era video store. That one poster image, meant to appeal to as many people as possible, is often all we see before […]

What I’ll be covering at NAB 2018

The National Association of Broadcasters show kicks off this weekend in Las Vegas.  The show focuses on new and emerging technologies and trends in relation to the media and entertainment industries. As it’s not open to the public, I’ll be at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday to share some of […]