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Hiking near Vegas - suggestions?

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by BreakEven, Aug 26, 2018.

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  1. BreakEven

    BreakEven High-Roller

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    I'm looking to do some hiking when I'm in Vegas next month.

    Hiked out @ Red Rock Conservation Area earlier this year, want to try a different location this time (so many awesome places to see!). I'm thinking about a drive around/through Mojave National Preserve, and trying a hike there.

    https://www.vegasmessageboard.com/forums/index.php?threads/what-are-your-favorite-off-strip-outdoor-nature-destinations.143646

    That thread mentions that you need a 4wd vehicle for MNP. Is that just for off-roading, or do you need it if going ANYWHERE in the park? Don't want to destroy the rental car :)

    For MNP, there are a lot of options (still looking into them). If there's a favorite trail, would love to hear a recommendation. I'm doing this as a day trip, so anything < 10mi is probably doable. Depends on what the temps will be like a month from now.

    And I'm not completely committed to MNP yet. If you have a better suggestion, would love to hear it!
     
  2. larryg

    larryg Low-Roller

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    At MNP having high clearance 4WD increases your options, but it isn't required. However, road conditions change frequently, so check the gov't website to make sure your desired destination is OK for standard sedans.

    If you're planning on hiking anytime soon, heat will be a factor, especially for the lower elevations. I'll ignore that in my following comments.

    One nice hike is at Kelso Dunes. The last part of the drive is on a dirt/sand road, but is usually OK.

    Another good hike, at a higher elevation, is the Teutonia Peak Trail. I seem to recall it about 4 miles round trip, and gets you almost to the top of Teutonia Peak (the final bit involves a bit of fifth-class climbing, i.e., ropes and all, at least for us mere mortals). It's a pleasant hike, beginning through a bunch of Joshua trees; the area is the largest Joshua tree forest in the United States.

    There are other destinations that might best be done with high clearance, and maybe even 4WD -- although I've seen folks with regular sedans at some of these places. For example, there a famous lava tube off of Aiken Mine Road, which is rocky, and at times has deep sand.
     
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  3. Burnsie

    Burnsie High-Roller

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    Valley of Fire State Park. If not this trip, put it on your list for future Vegas visits. It's a must-see. And Zion Canyon National Park in Utah is a doable day-trip, too, with an early start. Just beautiful.
     
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  4. joaks

    joaks desert tortoise

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    There is plenty to do at Mojave. The Kelso Dunes Road is easy in any vehicle unless there is a flooding rain.

    Areas Death Valley are only a 2 hour drive or so.

    The Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge is about 1.5 hours away.
     
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  5. Junkyard Hog

    Junkyard Hog High-Roller

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    We love Valley of Fire.
     
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  6. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    Valley of Fire! But if its still really hot, hiking may not be a good idea.
     
  7. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    I was there a week ago. There are some pics and descriptions in my most recent TR that would answer some of your questions.

    FWIW, I did not use a 4WD vehicle and had no problem getting around the Preserve. The only place I could not get to was because the road was closed to all vehicles. It was a really beautiful area and I would highly recommend it
     
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  8. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    You'd have to get well off the path in the Preserve to need 4wd. That doesn't mean you're gonna find pavement everywhere, but anything you'll encounter will at least be bladed.
     
  9. WSUCougs2000

    WSUCougs2000 Tourist

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    Agree with Valley of Fire....
     
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  10. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

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    After doing many hikes around Vegas, my favorite remains Mt. Charleston, either North or South loop. Much cooler than some of the other spots mentioned.
     
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  11. Grant1982

    Grant1982 High-Roller

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    I did Zion today, it's a little over a 2 hour drive from downtown and absolutely amazing. Angels Landing is out of commission however, which is one of the "main" trails, however after looking up pictures for iIt Iwouldn't attempt anyways, as I am still too young to die. Middle of Upper emerald pools are also out of commission. You will still find plenty of amazing hiking trails there, however it is crowded.
     
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  12. joaks

    joaks desert tortoise

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    Zion and the Escalante Staircase areas east are some of my favorite hiking in the US. Lots of great “scrambling” opportunities with no rules to stay on any official trail.
     
  13. lancerh

    lancerh Tourist

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    A nice, somewhat short hike is lone mountain. It is about a 25 minute drive from the strip out past Summerlin. We hiked this yesterday near sunset and did not go all the way to the summit since I hike and my wife does not. We still had a nice view of the valley and the strip. Make sure you park on the west side of the mountain, we parked on the east side at first and there weren't rrally any trails to hike up but once we got to the west side ( only a 5 min drive from the east side) the trail was easy to follow.
     
  14. DBear

    DBear VIP Bear

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    Next trip, I was thinking Zion but was warned of the crowds. Thinking of stopping by but continuing on to Bryce and Escalante Staircase and North Rim, basing myself in Kanab given lower hotel pieces than Springfield near Zion. A friend just returned at the end of July and said while Zion was packed, he saw 3 cars in Bryce. Will probably spend at least 2 nights, maybe 3, then return to Vegas for a few nights to finish the week long trip.

    Valley of Fire was quite scenic and just about an hour from the Strip. Maybe not as many intense hikes you may be after though.
     
  15. jr7110

    jr7110 VIP Whale

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    I'm also Team Mt. Charleston. While Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire are great and have good trails, Mt. Charleston is only about 40 minutes from the Strip and the scenery is breathtaking. There are also a couple of places to grab a bite on the mountain (the better of the two is Mt. Charleston Resort, which is not the first one you see when you ascend the mountain. Keep going to reach the resort:
    http://www.mtcharlestonresort.com/

    Here is some info on Mt. Charleston hikes. I have hiked several of the trails and it is fantastic (Mary Jane Falls has a lot of switchbacks and there is a small waterfall at the top (depending on the seasonal rainfall, sometimes it's just a trickle) and there is also a very shallow cave you can go in.

    https://www.gomtcharleston.com/hikes-trails/

    In winter there is skiing on the other side of the mountain, and I have seen deer and wild horses running free on Mt. Charleston. The best part is that it is usually about 20 degrees or so cooler than any of those other hiking destinations because of the high mountain elevation.
     
  16. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    Here's a pic form the summit of Lone Mountain:
    Atop Lone Mtn.jpg
     
  17. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    How do you balance on top of the stick?

    Recommend http://parks.nv.gov/parks/spring-mountain-ranch as well. It's surprisingly close to Vegas. There's a bunch of history stuff to explore there with the ranch house tour etc, and some nice hikes into a canyon. Great lookout too on another short trail.
     
  18. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    Believe me, I tried!

    Agree about Spring Mountain Ranch. Here it is:
    Moo.jpg
     
  19. Guy

    Guy High-Roller

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    On the subject of Death Valley, there is a good hike from a parking lot in the main valley across to Zabriskie Point and back. You get some views of the multi-coloured rocks that you don't get from the main viewpoints.

    I had a quick google and found some directions => http://www.birdandhike.com/Hike/DEVA/Golden_Zab/_Golden_Zab.htm (but the photos make it look less than impressive).
     
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  20. BreakEven

    BreakEven High-Roller

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    Sorry all, thought I'd finalized my plans & came back here to thank people for the great advice. But I looked @ my trip planning stuff & realized I didn't figure this out!

    https://www.nps.gov/moja/planyourvisit/upload/HITW_Area_Trails-10-6-CS5-low.pdf

    I think I was looking @ doing the Hole In the Wall loop trail, but can't recall if there was something that made me steer clear.

    https://www.nps.gov/moja/planyourvisit/conditions.htm
    Looks like Kelso Dunes Road is one of the few with no warnings, so that seems like a good sign for this excursion :)

    https://www.nps.gov/moja/planyourvisit/upload/MOJAmapWild.pdf
    So I think I'll take a minor detour & go via Cima road. No Teutonia Peak for me, but at least I'll drive past some great scenery. Then on the way back, heading the shorter way via Morning Star Mine Road

    Have Zion & the Grand Canyon on the "must do" list for next year :)

    Thanks everyone!
     
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