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  1. #1

    Default Las Vegas and around in December

    Hey guys, I am flying into LV on Dec 22, and flying out on Jan 3. That gives me roughly two weeks to see the sights around that area.
    This is my initial plan.
    - After landing on Sunday, the 22nd, spend a few nights camping in the Valley of Fire State park. I am hoping I will be able to find sites, given that I will be going there Sunday evening.
    - Head over the Mojave National preserve. Camp for a few nights. How is this area compared to Joshua tree? Is the landscape etc pretty similar?
    - Was thinking of heading over to the Havasupai village for a couple of nights, but very worried after reading about the crime in that village. I will be traveling solo and that might make me more vulnerable.
    - alternately, head over to Zion and camp for a few nights. It should be a fairly mild winter there and I should be able to handle it.
    - Maybe spend a few nights in Bryce Canyon, but the bone chilling temps are giving me a pause :). I am still a tropical beast!
    - My gf will fly in and join me for the second half of the week. So with her I plan to see Monument valley, Page (slot canyons etc) and maybe something else (not sure yet)
    how does this plan look? I have also put in the vermilion wilderness in the list. Please let me know if there are other scenic areas where I can camp and do landscape photography. Thanks so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    8,329

    Default Death valley.

    Looks good !

    Death valley is most noticeable by it's absence, a wonderful landscape and many photo opportunities. Zion is a wonderful place with lots of easy walks, hikes and again great landscape. Although not as cold as Bryce canyon, you should still expect temperatures to drop below 0c at night. Havasupai village can be tough to get to and expensive from what I understand and again you could be seeing below 0 temps here.

    Here's some info on Mojave preserve.

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks Dave. I purposefully left out Death Valley, as I flew into Vegas in Spring, and spent the entire week camping in that national park :). Wanted to see something different this time!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    9,472

    Default The Grand Canyon of the Mojave and some others

    What are you going to be driving? (I know it will be rental car -- but if you get one with a 4-WD, and ignore the warnings about going off-highway) there is a place you ought to consider....

    The campground isn't all that fabulous, but a short drive down the Mojave Road just beyond the campground will take you to the approach to the Grand Canyon of the Mojave. Exit I-15 at Afton Road and head SSE. Just before you reach the river you will see a campground on your left. Just past the railroad trestle is a spur that crosses the river and then you can make your way down the canyon. Fabulous early morning and late afternoon light really brings the reds, greens, blues and tans alive in the surrounding rock. Now.... this road can be treacherous -- deep sand and quick-sand like mud sections. So travel prepared. You can make the loop by continuing NNE on the Mojave Road and return to I-15 at Basin Road. You will also cross near Cave Mountain -- at the base of the mountain was a cave that was used as a stagecoach stop. For many years, there was a natural pool -- deep enough to go swimming in.

    A couple of links:
    This one of the better Mojave Road sites -- check it for conditions
    SandDiegoReader
    Pretty good video of the area
    NPS page about the Mojave Road

    Dave gave you the link for my article about the Mojave Preserve -- Seriously, you've got to walk to the top of Kelso Dunes for sunset shots.. I have a couple of favorite campgrounds -- The Rings Trail at Hole-in-the-Wall is pretty fun -- but I really like the relative remoteness of the Mid-Hills Campground -- Here's a good site about trails in the area

    Two other places that are off-the-beaten track -- but offer nearly unparelled photo ops...

    Knob Hill south of Las Vegas on US-95. Dispersed camping available -- I have some favorite places -- but I'm sure you can find them. On the road in -- it can be done in 2-WD -- but high-clearance is must in places. You will find evidence of the old wagon trains that used to ply the area in a few places. Knob Hill is marked on the Benchmark Maps for Nevada. Great opps for light play on the boulders.

    Rainbow Canyon just south of Caliente, Nevada. It could get chilly and snowy -- but that's some of the appeal. It's like being the only person at Zion -- when you visit this place. Same rock formations -- nearly no one there. Again -- marked on the Benchmark Maps. Post-911 you can't drive very far south on Meadow Valley Road past the paved section -- because it closely follows the UP RR -- but still very, very cool.

    That's a start. But I need to know equipped you will be for weather and off-highway road conditions...

    Oh.... Don't forget the mysterious sliding stones at Racetrack Playa! No serious landscape photographer should miss seeing this at least once!

    Mark

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