City Escape:  Las Vegas, Nevada

Text: Tim Kessel • Photography: Tim Kessel

Most visitors to this area, and likely many Las Vegans, have no idea what wonders lie just outside the neon-illuminated city limits. Rugged red rocks and alpine peaks reside a short ride from the frenetic streets of Sin City. Due to the altitudes, it is best negotiated in spring through fall.

Crimson rock canyons, high desert vistas, and 8,000-foot forests are all on the menu. The ride is a mix of straights, long sweeping curves, and sections of hairpins. Be mindful of wildlife, especially in the mountains.

Getting through Las Vegas traffic can be a challenge. The popular Red Rock Canyon Scenic Loop can also be heavily traveled. The mountain portions can have wash-over sand and gravel. In late fall and early spring, snow and ice can be an issue at the higher elevations, especially in the Lee Canyon. The pavement is generally in good condition.

Lunch Stop

Mt. Charleston Lodge serves fitting meals, like hearty chili, alongside other all-American fare. Find it at 5375 Kyle Canyon Rd, Las Vegas, NV, (702) 872-5408. www.mtcharlestonlodge.com