Take a Trip Into Nature!
Who doesn’t know them? The high fountains, the luxurious casinos, and the colourful flashing billboards along the legendary Strip? Dazzling and shrill – that is Las Vegas. But there is a lot more to discover outside the city of neon lights: breathtaking nature, for example. Let us take you on a journey to experience the most beautiful areas, far away from the hustle and bustle.
Megalomania and Summits
The gravel tracks are extremely long, the red pines are immensely tall, and the view from the summit is endless. The USA is a country of superlatives and that also applies to its natural wonders. Charleston Peak stands at a respectable 3,632 metres, making it the eighth highest mountain in the US state of Nevada. Passing by mountain mahogany, silver fir, and a 3,000-year-old Raintree, head straight up skywards on the North Loop Trail. Or if you are happy with a little less – such as observing Palmer’s chipmunks – explore the area around the Cathedral Rock Trail, which is the only place you will find the cheeky little chipmunks.
An Emerald Sensation
At 2,333 kilometres, the Colorado River is considered the most important waterway in the south-west of North America and its source is high up in the Rocky Mountains. As if that were not impressive enough, it even has a fantastic natural spectacle to offer: the Emerald Caves. Here, in the sharp-edged rocky bay, the water shimmers not blue but emerald – a glow that spreads to the entire surroundings. So, grab yourself a life jacket and kayak and paddle out to experience this gem of a bay!
The Red Giant
At 141 square kilometres, the Valley of Fire is both the largest and oldest State Park in Nevada. And the name says it all: red sandstone formations that took on their present-day shapes millions of years ago thanks to erosion. They line up here, providing a home for cacti, coyotes, and the rare Californian gopher tortoises. Even skunks have made the ‘Valley of Fire’ their home. We recommend staying until sunset to experience the surreal impression of a painted sky as it turns red.
A Huge Dam
Right in the centre of the Black Canyon , you will find a place whose size and force are more reminiscent of a planet in the solar system than of a human-made structure. This is where the largest dam in the country, the Hoover Dam was built in 1931. 2.6 million cubic metres of concrete were used here in almost 222-metre-high walls to keep the waters of the Colorado River at bay. If you visit this giant dam and let your gaze roam from the bridge that crosses the vast complex, you will not only have taken a trip to Las Vegas, but also to a universe in its own right.
Wide Wild West: ‘Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area’
An arid tumbleweed sweeps across the red sand; sporadically, you come across sparse shrubs, otherwise there is not a soul to be seen far and wide. What appears to be the opening scene of a good old western turns out to be reality! Welcome to the Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area, just 20 minutes outside of Las Vegas. A special highlight is the Petroglyph Canyon Trail, that takes you past more than 300 rock paintings created by the first natives – a real cultural experience at your fingertips!
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