Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California may be named for a tree you can see closer to home, but it also offers some other attractions worth the 200 mile drive.
The next couple of months are the ideal time to head to Southern California to watch whales and dolphins in the Pacific Ocean. It’s something everybody should do once before dying, and with the fringe benefits of experiencing the open sea and the salt air, you can have a great day even if you don’t manage to see one of the world’s biggest creatures.
It’s pretty hard to go wrong with an excursion to Valley of Fire State Park this time of year. The elevation is about 2,000 feet, like Las Vegas, so the depths of winter there usually mean daytime temperatures that are merely comfortable.
The Boulder City Diamondbacks fast-pitch softball team captured the Henderson Girls Softball Association’s 12 and younger Winter Classic Championship Tournament Dec. 1. They also placed second in the Fall Fling 15 team tournament Nov. 23 at Majestic Park in Las Vegas.
Well if you did it again — waited till the last minute to buy Christmas presents for your favorite hiker or camper — you’re not in as much trouble as you may think. Some of the most practical and appreciated gifts for outdoorsmen can be purchased at your corner CVS, Walgreens or hardware store, right through Christmas Eve.
When Coach Chris Pingree decided to organize several local boys to play baseball this fall, his intention was to keep them involved in the sport until Little League started up in January. He persuaded his friends at Denali Builders to help with the costs of the registration and hoped for the best. He had no idea of the roller-coaster season the boys would take him on.
Beckoning seductively to city dwellers who long for elbow room, the 1.6 million-acre Mojave National Preserve lies in Southern California, barely an hour’s drive south of Las Vegas. While it has fewer than a dozen developed hiking trails, some of those are great ones. Among the best is the Teutonia Peak Trail, which boasts spectacular views of the east Mojave and beyond.
Verde Canyon Railroad operates in north central Arizona, headquartered in Clarkdale. The town itself is a National Historic Landmark. Founded in 1912, it’s named after William Andrews Clark, the same man who founded Las Vegas in 1905.
The Boulder City/Henderson Heatwave amateur swim club has more than 500 swimmers on its roster, but that doesn’t keep the younger athletes from getting noticed.
Whether it is to escape the holiday madness or to start a new holiday tradition, visiting one of our national parks over the next couple of months is an excellent getaway. One that provides lots of options to get outdoors and soothe the soul, yet offers a festive holiday flair, is Yosemite National Park, Calif.
Over the next six months or so, Death Valley National Park, California should be a must-do entry on your weekend travel list. You will find pleasant temperatures and sunny skies that afford great hiking, road trip and camping opportunities. An added bonus to these outdoor pleasures is visiting Scotty’s Castle, only about three or so hours northwest of Las Vegas, depending on the route you choose.
Great Basin National Park lies less than five hours north of the teeming cities of Southern Nevada, and one wonders why it remains one of the least-visited in the park system. Certainly it offers a great summer experience; it lies in the Snake Range of Eastern Nevada and offers elevations from 6,200 feet all the way up to 13,063, the latter atop famed Wheeler Peak.
Capitol Reef National Park, in south-central Utah’s red rock country, is a special jewel in our national park system. While most people visit to see, hike, or climb in the natural landscape, or to see the prehistoric rock art, many others go there to pick fruit or nuts. The park is home to the largest historic collection of orchards in our national park system with more than 3,000 fruit and nut trees.
Everybody I know is dreaming of cooler temperatures and speculating on where to find them without entirely leaving the Southwest. My suggestion is Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah.
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. You can expect temperatures to be about 25 degrees cooler than in Las Vegas, and there are plenty of trails to hike under the nearly ideal conditions.