Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Flowers, Snow and More

First up are the flowers in Death Valley. Flowers in Death Valley. Sounds like a weird movie title. But no, due to the above average rain and snowfall, Death Valley is on fire with flowers. This is a semi rare event. If you are into flowers or photography, it's well worth the drive. I have not been there lately, but here's a web site that keeps you up to date. There are some easy hikes in Death Valley, so you can kill two stones with one bird (old trick I learned while on the big hill!). For more information about Death Valley and hiking click here. Here are driving directions to Death Valley:
From Las Vegas Boulevard turn west on State Route 160 (Blue Diamond Highway). When you pass Rainbow Boulevard set your odometer to zero. Drive 53 miles passing through the heart of Pahrump and turn left (west) on Bell Vista Road. (This is known as the shortcut to Death Valley.) Drive 26 miles on Bell Vista Road. At the stop sign turn right and make a quick left (west) onto the prominently marked State Route 190. Drive 30 miles to the start of Death Valley.

Let's visit Mt. Charleston. There's a 62 inch snow base at 8,500 feet. Great for skiing or snowshoeing , but not for hiking. All trails are buried in snow and can't be followed. I would guess it will be until late April before the lower trails are doable, if Charleston does not get any additional snow.

Red Rock Canyon. I have been there a few times :) Now is a great time to hike the seasonal waterfalls in Red Rock. Lost Creek, First Creek, Ice Box, and Mud Springs are all flowing. Lost Creek and First Creek Waterfalls are very easy hikes, perfect for kids.