Scenic USA - Nevada

Red Rock Canyon

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Red Rock Canyon - Las Vegas, Nevada

Photos by Meri Cheatham

   Those drawn to the Vegas sparkle, with its mega-resorts and casinos, decadent spas, and the grand Strip, will come to realize the town is surrounded by mountains. Las Vegas, built on the plains of the Mojave Desert, lies flanked by the Sunrise Mountains to the east, and the Spring Mountains to the west. Welcome Sign - Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Nevada These western peaks, formed along a fault line, were pushed skyward by the Keystone Thrust, reaching altitudes of 8000 feet.
   The Red Rock area, just west of Las Vegas, is managed and protected by the BLM. Having a lot to do with its location, the 200,000 acre Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area has become quite popular, playing host to over a million visitors every year. Covering much of the Southwest, this immense red dune was one of the largest sand fields ever to exist on earth. Nevada's Aztec sandstone, made up of ancient lithified dunes, measures over 9000 feet thick. A 13 mile scenic drive winds through this geological wonderland, thought to have been created 180 million years ago.

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