Red Rock Canyon

Last weekend, Tim and I had a kid-free weekend in Vegas. It was fantastic. Tim needed to go to Vegas for an annual company meeting and I tagged along because my sister volunteered to babysit the kids and nothing is better to a mid-west-born-and-raised-girl than 112 degree heat.

Even though we were not on the strip, the resort, Red Rock Casino and Resort, felt like downtown Vegas. Both Tim and I enjoy cities. We love cityscapes and architecture. We like people watching, the excitement and the pulse that comes with being in a big city. Admittedly, I like it more than Tim. Tim reaches his threshold of crowds much faster than I do. However this time around we both hit that threshold at about the same time. After only 2 days of Tim being in either meetings or corporate events, we both needed a break. In fact, we left shortly after desert was served at the company’s formal event to change out of our formal dress/suit and into comfy clothes so we could catch the late showing of Jurassic World. For the record, we both were surprised how good it was.

Needless to say, that by the afternoon of the 3rd day, we had had enough smokey, slightly filtered casino air and were in desperate need of some fresh air.

That desperation lead us to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area which was just minutes from our resort. We rented a car with a few of our dear friends and braved the 112 degree heat.


It was worth it. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is incredible.


The dry heat was manageable. It isn’t like the humid heat here in MN that sucks the life out of you. Our main concern was keeping hydrated and reapplying sun block every hour to our pale mid-west skin.


The visitor center had really great modern sculptures and a little lizard. Plus we also found some fun little wooden 3D puzzles in the gift shop to give the kids as their, “Dad and Mom went on vacation without you” guilt gifts.

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The views were incredible and the red rocks were much larger than we anticipated. To put things in perspective below, when I took the top left photo I was where Tim was standing in the top right photo. If you look really hard at the top left photo you can see two people hiking. Also from the bottom left corner next to Tim, I took the bottom left photo. Find the hiker!


I don’t know if these Red Rocks are technically considered mountains, but to this MN girl, they are mountains and they are awesome.




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It blows my mind that this is minutes from Vegas. It was exactly what we needed.

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Because of the heat, and only having a 2.5 hour window between events at the resort we were only able to get one hike in. Tim chose the hike by how cool the name was. Ends up that the Icebox Hike probably wasn’t the best choice considering it was labeled as “hard” and the first half of the hike was in direct sunlight.


The hike was hard. It was hot. But man, the views were totally worth it.



And it must be noted that even though I was on high alert, I did not see a single snake.



And even though I am pretty sure that over half of our hiking group suffered a mild form of heat exhaustion, I can say hands down, that the 2.5 hours of Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area was the best part of our trip.


Tim and I left Red Rock Canyon exhausted, dehydrated, hungry and in serious need of a couple Alieve, but we were also excited. This is what we want to be doing. We want to travel. We want to see more of the incredible parks our country has to offer. We want to show our kids that mountains can have stripes and cactuses really do hurt when you touch them.

We need to get Alice done ASAP. The mountains are calling.


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