A NEW WAY TO VEGAS – COLORADO OVERLANDER EDITION
The name ‘Las Vegas’ conjures up classic images of rolling roulette tables, poker-faced card players, big stage shows, neon lights and the fountains of the Bellagio. Countless movies and stories have been told around the fast-pace life on the Vegas strip, and the romance of the line ‘what happens in Vegas…’
But just outside the glare of downtown, there are hundreds of opportunities to explore remote roads, towering red cliffs and beautiful desert backcountry with a vehicle from Colorado Overlander.
THE SECRET TRICK IS…
Bear with us, because this will double down on the Vegas trip of a lifetime for you.
First, plan your trip out to the Rocky Mountains, flying into Denver, or perhaps Grand Junction airport. Then, take advantage of the rock-bottom rates to add one more short hop to Las Vegas. Colorado Overlander will meet you in Las Vegas with a vehicle of your choice: the family-friendly Toyota 4Runner, beefy Toyota Tundra, or nimble Toyota Tacoma to drive back to Colorado. Along the way you will pass nearby four different National Parks and many more beautiful Jeep Trails and backcountry adventure opportunities.
The trick is to understand that hotels and casinos in Vegas encourage cheap flights to bring more customers through their doors, so flights to Las Vegas can be added to almost any travel plan for a nominal fee per person. Fly into Denver, but hop one-way to Vegas.
You can choose to stay and enjoy the nightlife on the strip, or watch a headlining show or concert, or you can start your journey right away. Within just an hour’s drive of Las Vegas are several incredible natural attractions that invite visitors to explore the unique ecosystem and rugged 4×4 roads of this basin and range desert.
Remember that summer temperatures reach the triple digits almost every day, while winter can provide bitter winds and snowstorms in the high passes of this area.
Barely a half an hour west of Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon offers views, hikes, a scenic drive and even some world class rock-climbing routes. As a National Conservation Area located on Bureau of Land Management land, Red Rock Canyon is a favorite of locals and tourists alike, and provides a welcome relief from the pace of the nearby city. Red Rocky Canyon Campground is a primitive campground in the Area, although in a Colorado Overlander vehicle, comfort is never a problem when camping primitive. Water is available on site and reservations are recommended.
Take a walk back through the Ice Age as you visit the ‘Big Dig’ in Tule Springs Fossil Beds. First excavated in 1933, Tule Springs became a treasure trove for Ice Age mammal fossils. In 1962, the excavation expanded, creating trenches up to a mile long and discovering mammoths, camels, bison, ground sloth and even the Giant North American Lion. Camping is not available on site, but if you take a stroll during daylight hours, you may spot a piece of the past yourself, but be sure to preserve the joy of discovery for others by leaving what you find.
While Arches and Canyonlands are known for their deep red sandstone formations, the Valley of Fire State Park near Las Vegas will give them a run for their money. Drive the Valley of First Highway for beautiful views and scenic overlooks of the crimson Aztec Sandstone spires, fins and of course, the Balancing Rock. There are also several incredible Jeep Trails in the area, including Bitter Springs Jeep Trail. This 26-mile long track winds through the Muddy Mountains, and is considered a moderate skills trail with views of broad canyons, box canyons and flintstone formations. About six miles from the western end of the trail, Buffington Pockets is a well-known petroglyph site. Be prepared for remote desert travel if you choose to explore this route.