Travel Beyond the Las Vegas Strip

There is a plethora of things to do within the city of Las Vegas. However, there are a ton of wonderful, outdoor activities just outside of the city limits. On my last trip, I had the opportunity to check out the Valley of Fire, Bonnie Springs Ranch, and Spring Mountain State Park. I saw some sights that were no less than amazing!

20151213_112729Valley of Fire is about an hour drive from Las Vegas. The drive is very boring, and there is absolutely nothing to see along the way. Once you get close to the Valley, there is no cellphone service. I would encourage you to eat before you go and bring water. We visited in December, so it was pretty cool outside. I imagine during the summer, it is scorching. There is a small gift shop in the visitor center that sells a few snacks and drinks, but outside of that, there is nothing near by. The entrance fee to the park is $9 per car. From the moment you enter, the views are mesmerizing. I never realized such beauty existed. There are several stops that can be made for photo-ops and a little exploring. Some of the stops have short hiking trails. We got there at about 11am on a Sunday, and there weren’t many people there. By the time we left at 2, it was pretty crowded. If you want some crowd-free viewing, you should probably go early.

We intended to head out to Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, and detoured at Bonnie Springs Ranch along the way. We got caught in a mini snowstorm, so we didn’t stay too long. There was supposed to be a zoo on site, but I didn’t see any animals. The ranch has shows scheduled at certain times, but there was nothing going on when we got there. It was set up like an old frontier town, with a saloon, an old church, and some other buildings. I wasn’t able to get the full experience, so I’ll have to give a more accurate review when I return.

Once we left the ranch, we continued on up to Spring Mountain Ranch State Park. At first glance, it doesn’t look like much. There was a $9 per car entry fee. We drove up to the ranch house and got a tour. It was pretty interesting. If you go definitely ask them to let you see the bedroom!!!¬†I won’t spoil the surprise for you, but it is definitely worth seeing! I’d heard there was a lake, but I didn’t see it. The tour guide at the ranch house pointed us in the right direction. We passed by some old buildings that we were told were built in the 1800s. We then hiked up a path to Lake Harriet. Oh.Em.Gee. The lake was¬†BEAUTIFUL! Crystal clear water with the mountains as a backdrop. Spectacular views. We walked over to the overlook for some more priceless views. God’s creations never cease to amaze me!

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