One of the things I love most about living in Las Vegas is that it’s easy to escape to other desert destinations. Arizona, California, and Utah are all within reach, which is not only convenient, but also budget friendly. In fact, over the last few months, I’ve been able to travel to all three of those states for brief 1-3 day adventures.
Death Valley National Park
This is one of my favorite national parks thanks to its minimalist desert landscape. During my recent visit, I stayed at the hotel at Stovepipe Wells, an ideal location for exploring the sand dunes and Mosaic Canyon. The highlight of that visit was a ranger-led outing to the sand dunes for stargazing. I also enjoyed checking out the cute little pupfish who live in Salt Creek.
Sedona is surrounded by dramatic rock formations, buttes, and spires. One of my favorite experiences there was my visit to the town’s Chapel of the Holy Cross. This Modern (yes, with a capital M) structure, built in the 1950’s, sits amid the bright red buttes and has truly been integrated into the landscape. In addition to appreciating the unique architecture, the views are spectacular.
After an overnight stop in Sedona, I continued down to Phoenix with my family for some spring training baseball. Although we didn’t run into any Cubs players like we did last year, we did catch a few batting practice home run balls and watched the Cubs win at their new Cactus League ballpark.
Snow Canyon State Park
Since Utah has so many national parks, it seems as though its lovely state parks are sometimes an afterthought for travelers. However, I recommend a stop at Snow Canyon State Park, located just north of St. George in Ivins, UT. I did a little rock scrambling and took some photos along the way. I also hiked the Pioneer Names trail. This half-moon shaped trail will take you to a spot where pioneers wrote their names on the side of a cliff. Since the park is more or less on the way to Zion National Park (for Las Vegans, at least), it is a convenient and fun stop for road trippers.
Where have your travels taken you this spring?