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.
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.
Points of Interest
Red Rock Harley-Davidson
This dealership houses a fantastic private collection of vintage race motorcycles. Beautiful bikes that were ridden by some of the biggest names in racing history are the star attraction. Find it at 2260 S Rainbow Blvd, Las Vegas, NV, (702) 577-1536.
This tiny mountain community is a wonderful rest stop on this City Escape. Log cabins cling to rugged mountain faces amidst towering evergreens. It's hard to imagine that the hamlet rests only 40 miles from Las Vegas.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
The scenic loop through this preserve is a must-see in the Las Vegas area. It's a one-way ride through some of the most spectacular red rocks in the southwest. There is a entrance fee for motorcycles that's well worth it.