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Great Unconformity Interpretive Site

Great Unconformity Interpretive Site is marked by an unimproved dirt parking lot along the south side of E. Lake Mead Blvd (NV 147). The path is badly littered, the interpretative geology signs are vandalized, and the smog makes for challenging photography, but maybe worth the 1/4 mi. hike up for the view if you're heading east early in the morning.

Sunrise view of Las Vegas, Nevada, from Frenchman Mountain
Las Vegas from Fenchman Mountain

White Rock Canyon

White Rock Canyon, a moderate hike to the Colorado River south of Hoover Dam, is also the land access to Arizona Hot Springs.

Colorado River at the Mouth of White Rock Canyon, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Arizona
Colorado River at the Mouth of White Rock Canyon

Arizona Hot Springs

The mouth of Arizona Hot Springs canyon is a short but obscure hike southward along the Colorado River from the mouth of White Rock Canyon. (Boaters have a sandy beach right at the mouth of the Springs canyon.) The hike up canyon is also short, but more physically challenging. You'll get wetter, but warmer, as you proceed to the hot pools.

Water chute in Arizona Hot Springs canyon, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Arizona  Waterfall ladder in Arizona Hot Springs canyon, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Arizona  Hot pools in Arizona Hot Springs canyon, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Arizona
Arizona Hot Springs: Scramble the Chute, Climb the Ladder, Soak the Pools

Las Vegas Dunes Recreation Area

The "Dunes" are more like badlands and the "Recreation Area" is a power toy playground.

Las Vegas Dunes Recreation Area
Power Toy Tracks

Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is <1 hr. outside of Las Vegas. It features a scenic loop drive and hikes of various lengths and challenges.

Icebox Canyon, Red Rock Canyon NCA, Nevada
View Coming Out of Icebox Canyon

Valley of Fire

Valley of Fire State Park is ~1 hr. outside of LV, with scenic drives and short hikes featuring unique scenery and native American petroglyphs. Popular Hollywood 'alien planet' landscape. Spectacular at sunrise/sunset.

White Domes Area, Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
White Domes Area

Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam is worth a look if you're in that part of Lake Mead NRA. But be warned: the tourist traffic is heavy, the post-911 tour is minimal, and the declining lake doesn't produce the dynamic flow shown on the official site.

Colorado River just below Hoover Dam

The River (Not So) Wild

Nevada Test Site


The Nevada Test Site on Nellis Air Force base is a bizarre landscape of craters, ruins, and other artifacts from over 900 atomic bomb tests. Free day-long tours of the Nevada Test Site are given about eight times a year, departing from LV. Book early! No cameras allowed.


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