One of our favorite things to do when visiting Las Vegas is to get off the beaten path. 

In less than 30 minutes we fall into panoramic views of red, sandstone peaks, and walk amidst of years of geological history. 

You can too.

This time, we skipped the Strip and found the coolest honeymoon suite in Lovell Canyon. The windows looked towards the snow-covered Mt Charleston.

We were here to explore Red Rock Conservancy State Park. It is a 13-mile scenic drive with access to hiking, biking, horseback riding, climbing and wildlife viewing.

Entrance requires a reservation to limit daily visitors, and while it initially feels like an inconvenience, it was worth the effort. It was easy to park, there was no traffic, and there was room to share the road with bikers. You will know you are close when you drive towards the striped hillsides on State Route 159

What to do in Red Rock State Park:

Stop at the visitor center. Funded by BLM, it is stellar in both it’s design and information. The life sized dioramas walk you through life in the Mohave Desert. Displays teach of Earth, Wind, Fire, Water, their connection to each other, and to us.

Stop at every overlook: The overlooks and trailheads are spaced perfectly along the route. Pull in, have a look around and/ or hike a few hundreds yards in for a different view. Many of the trails become playgrounds for those daring.

And while I expected the slick rock, the patchwork quilt landscape at Calico Hills was a pleasant surprise.

Take a picnic: And keep your eyes open. Our picnic spot treated us to hidden caves, petraglyphs, and blooming redbud trees.

Visit Blue Diamond on the way out: This gypsum, mining town was originally a stop on the Old Spanish Trail for traders from Santa Fe to California. Today it is home to a few hundred people, free roaming burros, and quiet. We enjoyed a look back in time, while a few others dropped in at their local diner.

Shop at Cactus Joe’s: We stopped here out of curiosity and were glad we did. The gardens, and unique landscape items enticed us to believe it was a more of museum than a shop.

And finally,

Wait for the sunset: Always.

Wind Kisses, Donna

Inspired by: This beautiful country we all call home.