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Desert hike


Mohican
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Planning trip to Joshua tree late February. Flying in to Vegas where we'll rent car.   Considering side trips to valley of fire, mojave and possibly Death Valley. Any suggestions regarding 'must see' areas and winter camping / hiking in desert appreciated 

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Red Rocks is a must-see even if you aren't a climber.  Bridge Mountain (approached from the west) is a nice hike/scramble, and camping is easier on that side of the mountains.  Valley of Fire is kind of cool, but a good hour or more drive in the wrong direction, and Death Valley is even further out of the way.  It really depends how much time you have and how much you like cacti.

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  • 1 month later...

If the road is open drive up Mt Charleston just outside of LV . GREAT night view in winter of LV . It gets cold and experiences winter up there. Lodge might be open too. From up there it becomes more obvious how LV is situated in the middle of a desert and how much energy it consumes and light it gives off.

If you get a chance and are a history and  Mojave Desert plant buff and would like to take in desert living from a more sustainable approach visit Springs Preserve which is where the old original  water source was that made LV a stop in the desert. This is where LV began. There's a short 2 mile flat walking trail around the old springs area great for a Feb romp before dashing off to the other destinations on your list. You can have a decent sit down lunch at the gardens. The gardens easily doable in an afternoon have received many awards for excellence. 

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Thanks for the info.  Will try to work in visit to Springs Preserve next trip.  We did check out Valley of fire which was awesome - especially the petroglyphs.  Also checked out Alabama Hills, west of DV which was well worth the trip.

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  • 1 month later...

I agree that Red Rocks is a special place and easy to get to. You can do a short backpacking trip or day hikes and then have a great dinner in Las Vegas. It has great restaurants.

I just returned from Death Valley.  With the big flower bloom the Valley is crowded according to some people. Just find a dirt road and go where the other people aren't.  All of these places have great opportunities for solitude.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Overnight hiking in those deserts is tough because you have to bring all of your water most of the time.   It adds about 7 pounds to the weight of your pack per day. Most people do day hikes and then have the relative comfort of the vehicle at night. An overnight is easy to put together, but longer hikes are tough.

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