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Scenic Drive?

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by jamie1983, Feb 9, 2016.

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  1. jamie1983

    jamie1983 Low-Roller

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    I'm renting a car for the first time in many trips to Vegas.....rented a Mercedes SLK convertible....planning on heading to Red Rock for a run one day, is there anywhere I should go for a drive, either fun roads, or scenic drive.
     
  2. smerrian

    smerrian Low-Roller

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    Red Rock is pretty much a single curvy road drive through the preserve. It starts at the end of Charleston Blvd by Red Rock and ends at Blue Diamond Rd slightly west of The Silverton. The road is Route 159. It is actually much more scenic if you start from Blue Diamond and drive north toweards Charleston Blvd. There are a couple of stops you can make on the route to see a natural spring etc but nothing of great consequence. The entire drive from your hotel on the Strip will take you about an hour. This would include a slow drive through the Preserve...I drive about 30 mph and pull to the side of the road every so often and let traffic go ahead of me. It's a drive every seasoned LV traveler should do.
    If you want a full afternoon, you may want to enter the Preserve. They have an entrance near Charleston Blvd and you can drive in and go for a hike or a long walk.
     
  3. BlacklabberMike

    BlacklabberMike VIP Whale

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    Mt Charsleton
     
  4. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    Valley of Fire or drive around Lake Mead is nice.
     
  5. smerrian

    smerrian Low-Roller

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    If you want a full afternoon drive, you may want to go to Valley of Fire State Park. The trip is one big loop from Las Vegas up the highway and then down along the LV side of Lake Mead and back into the city. The drive is about 45 minutes up I-15 to Valley of Fire Highway (actually a small single lane road). You pull off I-15 and take a bathroom break at the Moapa-Paiute Indian Reservation travel plaza. Then you just follow the small winding road through to Valley of Fire State Park. They do have a tourist office that lets you know about the scenery of the area and is interesting if you're into that sort of thing. Then you just drive to the end of the park. You make a right onto Northshore Road (route 167) and head back south. You just wind back to Las Vegas by going along the northwestern shores of Lake Meade. There are also some natural springs you'll drive by. All very beautiful and scenic. You can then turn right at route 147 and head back to LV in the northern part of the city or you can turn right at route 564 and head back to Henderson by I-215. I do not recommend VoF park in the summer...very hot. Spring is beautiful as all kinds of desert flowers are in bloom. I remember being there at both times and my favorite memory is blankets of yellow flowers in bloom against the iron-red rocks. Just gorgeous.
     
  6. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Red Rock isn't that far from The Strip and the drive through won't take you too long. Might be nice to pair it up with Mt Charleston if you're not planning on doing a lot of hiking.

    I love the drive out through Valley of Fire. I'm looking forward to making some time to head back out there next trip.

    I also really enjoyed Cathedral Gorge. It's north of LV, out I-15 to 93. There is a "short cut" road 317 through Elgin that looks really interesting, but I haven't had time to try it yet. I'm usually too anxious to get to Vegas. ;) Not much to do out there other than wander around all the little canyons and caverns, but there is another wilderness area Parghanenenenen or something lake that was a nice break spot to get out of the car and run the dog around a bit.
     
  7. bwatson23

    bwatson23 Low-Roller

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    We are regulars to Red Rock, highly recommended if you want to just spend half a day or so away from everything.
     
  8. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    I'm a native Californian, and that means driving is as innate as breathing. Nice car, top down, you made it this far west ... cruise on up to Zion.
     
  9. bobby jones

    bobby jones Low-Roller

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    While doable, wouldn't Zion be more of an overnighter?
     
  10. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    The NPS website says: From Las Vegas, Nevada (163 miles)

    It would be a really long day, but many people make the drive out to Grand Canyon and back in a day, which is 270+ miles each way.
     
  11. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Typically. Maybe. Yes. No. It's just more of a time/dollars/results thing. If one is just rubber necking, from Mesquite on it's pretty damn spectacular, and the end views kinda wash out what is available more locally (though still quite spectacular). Miles and time are relative. If this was one of those likely-never-again things, then forego the same-same of the casino.

    Anyway, we've been known to drive to Bev Hills or LA to meet friends for dinner, and we live half way between SB and SLO, and we drive hours most of the time just to catch a flight, so ... it's a Californian thing.
     
  12. Bommen

    Bommen High-Roller

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    It depends what your plans are. You can easily drive up there in the morning and do the scenic drive and then turn back for lunch in Springdale. You would also have time to do a shorter hike but any more than that i would recommend staying overnight otherwise it could be a tough drive back being tired from hiking and all.
     
  13. LVHooked

    LVHooked High-Roller

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    We did Zion in a day, original plan was overnight at Virgin River. But the room was nasty, so we went back to Vegas. Still loved it but two days next time.
     
  14. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

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    Best part of going to Zion is not the drive, but the time spent in the park. That's where best scenery is.
     
  15. Bommen

    Bommen High-Roller

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    The drive after you go past Springdale has some great scenery for about 30 minutes driving through the park. But i agree that it doesn't compare to hiking up and down the angels landing or through the narrows, but its still a great drive.
     
  16. jamie1983

    jamie1983 Low-Roller

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    Loving all these ideas! Thanks so much!....while I've been to Vegas a number of times and very familiar with the strip and downtown....much outside of that I am lost.
     
  17. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    Try laughlin.
     
  18. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    That is true of so many places, but at least the Colorado Plateau offers stunning sights no matter how someone chooses to travel. Let's be frank here -- and this is no slam on the OP and is directed at the larger audience here and of travelers in general -- most don't venture past the scenic turnout, anyway. And there's the added hook of Vegas where we have seen over the years a rare shot to take in a truly spectacular natural wonder often gets trumped if it takes too much time away from the umpteenth casino experience. Finally few are the capable backcountry artist that you are.

    I often cite Abbey's slam of American industrial tourism. But I'll cede a little because if a person has a chance to see, say, Bryce, once or not very frequently, and they really don't want to get dust on their shoes, it is still better to simply see it than not.

    As for the time demands and commitments, that's all personal.
     
  19. vegasbound

    vegasbound Moderator

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    We like to go for a cruise, a drive through the desert is good for the soul. The Extraterrestrial Highway hasn't been mentioned. We've enjoyed that ride. We also like Death Valley or even just a ride to Pahrump via Beatty. A jaunt to the China Ranch Date Farm is good too. There are hot springs in Tecopa, if that's any interest to you.

    As far as Zion goes, check out Kolob Terrace. It's lesser known and ideal for driving. You can get a quick hike in at Kolob Canyon too. It's off the beaten path from the main park so there are few tourists and plenty of open road.
     
  20. Danamrak

    Danamrak Low-Roller

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    Lots of good ideas...but if going to Zion I'd want more than it being a day trip.
     
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