The day before Keller Williams Family Reunion (our annual conference) began in Las Vegas, Ashlee and I went to hike around Red Rock Canyon. The canyon is roughly 20-25 minutes from the Las Vegas strip and we conned an Uber into taking us there. Note: You do NOT have cell service once you arrive at the canyon so schedule your return with a driver BEFORE you get there. I was so thankful for having done a bit of research or it’s quite possible that we would have been stranded.
Red Rock Canyon is part of the Mojave Desert and I’ve never been hiking in the desert before. The terrain was very different from what I’m used to and so magnificent. You can’t really tell how large these rocks/mountains are in the photos. There are a few of Ashlee and I standing near them that helps give you an idea of scale. What I found to be most fascinating is that the mountains would look one way from afar and as you got closer, their looks would change entirely! It was certainly a lesson in perspective because we would have missed most of the beautiful detail if we had not walked closer. I was also amazed at how the colors and textures changed from one mountain to the next.
Neither of us packed for a hiking trip so we made do with what we had with us. We had to be careful because both of our shoes were a little slick for rock climbing. Midway through the hike the temperature had warmed a bit and was quite comfortable. As we neared the end of our hike, a storm began rolling in and the temp dropped FAST. We had to wait on our driver outside in the one and only spot where cell service would come in and out. The wind whipped through and felt like ice, chilling us to the bone. I would have paid top dollar for a warm coat at that point. That KW sweatshirt wasn’t cutting it. Which, if you want to feel a new level of nervousness, be out in the middle of a canyon with no cell service as the wind becomes strong enough to blow you over and the skies go dark. Being in an area you’re unfamiliar with and watching this storm creep closer and closer will certainly get your heart rate up! I should also mention that our “lunch” for the day was a collection of chips and such from the vending machine. Basically, you don’t want to follow our lead on how to prepare for a hiking trip in the desert.
We didn’t get to explore quite as much as we would have liked. Remember, there was that storm? Plus, we’d already scheduled our pick up and we were afraid of getting too deep in the canyon and not making it back in time to be picked up. There were trails going up to the top of the mountains and we would have loved to have trekked those. We did learn that Ashlee and I hike at a pace much quicker than the suggested times on the map. I would have guessed that we’d move a little quicker than most. However, we cut the suggested times in half! We probably could have done some of the longer trails had we known what our pace was. After completing the suggested trails without enough time to hop on to another, we sort of made our own way back to the Visitors Center.
At one point, we were standing at the base of a steep incline. We could see the top where we needed to be in order to continue on this path. I led the way and we took off with that peak in our sights. The path wound up the side of the incline, back and forth through the brush. We stepped over rocks and dodged thorny bushes. About ¾ of the way up, I realized it was growing harder to breathe. I was sort of panting and in turn feeling so very out of shape. I pushed on because I could see the “finish line” and I wasn’t stopping until I got there. (Read: I wasn’t going to look weak in front of Ashlee.) At the top, we both gasped for air and worked to slow our breathing (panting). It wasn’t until after several deep breaths that we turned around and looked at where we had come from. I’ll say this – from the top, you realize just how high and steep the incline really is. It certainly doesn’t look that challenging from the bottom. We continued to work on regrouping and then we realized – we did the entire incline without stopping in THREE MINUTES! Three minutes!! I immediately felt 1,000x better about my fitness level. And life in general.
After our monumental feat, we kept going and made our way back to the visitor’s center. Unfortunately, the toughest incline was still ahead of us and was the only way to make it back. I huffed and I puffed (and took several breaks) and we eventually made it to the peak and continued on our journey, only to arrive over an hour early and be forced to wait in freezing temperatures.
Looking back, this day at the canyon was one of my favorite parts our #vegaswithppnash trip. We had a lot of fun moving our bodies after a day of flying, being outdoors, and exploring new terrains. I’d certainly recommend a visit to anyone who is in the area. My advice: plan ahead for a ride home, wear the right shoes, pack a sandwich, and dress in layers (one of which, being a true jacket).
Are you a fan of hiking? If so, tell me where the best places to go are. Hiking is truly one of my favorite activities and I’m always looking for cool places to visit!