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The First Area Is The Red Rock Canyon National...

Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

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Run The Planet
Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
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Posted:  Monday, September 25
Runner:  Edwin J. Furtaw

The first area is the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, which is about ten miles (16 km) west of Las Vegas on State Highway 159. There is a Visitor Center near the entrance to Red Rock where visitors can get a free guide to the hiking trails. There are about 8-10 trails of varying lengths from 2-12 miles, mostly at altitudes about 3,500-5,500 feet above sea level. There is a lot of great scenery, including huge red and white sandstone cliffs which are world-famous for technical climbing (we did a "Fat Ass" 50km run at Red Rock in January 1996; there was a short article about it in the March 1996 "UltraRunning" magazine). The other area is the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. It is about 40 miles northwest of Las Vegas. It has about ten different trails ranging from 1-18 miles. Most of these trails are at very high elevations, about 8,000-12,000 feet above sea level. During the winter months (November-April) these trails are generally covered with deep snow and are frequently unpassable. However, during the summer, these are my preferred training trails, because the mountain air is much cooler (15-20 degree Celsius) than the desert heat of Las Vegas, and because the mountain scenery is spectacular. This area is managed by the National Forest Service, which maintains an office in Las Vegas where visitors can get trail brochures and maps (we have organized a low-key trail ultra of 36-40 miles in the Spring Mountains each of the past two summers; articles were published in "UltraRunning"). I don't do enough running on paved roads to recommend any special places for that, but visitors to the Las Vegas area would probably enjoy running on the "Las Vegas Strip", also known as Las Vegas Boulevard. This road is the major vehicle route throught the casino and resort corridor. It goes past many famous resorts, and the lights at night are spectacular. Of course, it also has very heavy vehicle traffic and the accompanying air pollution and risk of getting run over. Nevertheless, I'm sure many visiting runners would really enjoy see the sights while running along the Strip.

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