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Old Feb 20, 2011, 10:07 PM   #1
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Default Places to shoot landscapes near Vegas?

Hey everybody,

I'm going to Vegas for work, and I arrive a day before meetings start. I've been doing some research on places to shoot around Vegas, but I haven't seen anything that simply states what places are good in the immediate area for a day trip. I have a compact rental (not an off road vehicle).

For those familiar with the area, where should I go? Bryce Canyon? Valley of Fire? Red Rock Canyon?

It's supposed to be partly sunny and about sixty. I will have from 10am onward to get to the location and scout.

I know it's not optimal to have such a short time, but I will have a little time on Friday as well before my flight out.

Thanks for any help!
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Old Feb 21, 2011, 6:54 PM   #2
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How much driving do you want to do?

If you want to stay pretty close to Vegas, Red Rock and Valley of Fire are both good choices. Red Rock is about a half hour from the strip, Valley of Fire maybe 90 minutes as I recall though it's been years since I've been there. Mt. Charleston is nice if you want mountain scenery but it's not the place to go if you are looking for grand desert views. Another place that's interesting that's close to Vegas is Lake Mead and the new bridge that avoids Hoover Dam. I still haven't seen it since it was completed and I really want to as it's incredibly high over the dam and Lake Mead, you can walk over it but from what I understand you can't see anything when you drive it.

Bryce is too far for a day-trip so I wouldn't recommend it at all.

Zion is a possibility, it's a couple hour drive and inspiring scenery. The drive from Mesquite to St. George through the Virgin River Gorge is very nice, too. There's a couple of nice state parks near St. George that are interesting but if you are going to go that far, you'll want to spend your time in Zion.

When are you going? If in summer then the north rim of the Grand Canyon is a possibility, though it would be a long day (it's further than Zion, I think another hour or two or something like that). It's closed in winter.

Another long day would be Death Valley, though it's a place that really requires more time. I've driven through a couple of times and wasn't very impressed, but loved it when we spent a couple of days there and had time to hike and drive some of the back-roads. It seems to me that it takes a couple of hours to drive there from Vegas, more if you add a stop at Dante's View (highly recommended if you are in the area).

While we did Antelope Canyon as a day-trip from St. George, I don't think it would be practical from Vegas unless you were going to spend the night in Page, especially if you can't leave before 10.
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Old Feb 21, 2011, 10:23 PM   #3
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Outstanding! Thanks so much! I might have to check the new bridge over the dam and Lake Mead and Valley of Fire or Red Rock. I will try the others later. It's not often that I get to go without a tag-along that does not allow me the freedom to have the car out in the desert for much of the time. So, I want to make the most of this trip, while being realistic that 2 half days will give me limited opportunity.

Thanks again!
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Old Feb 22, 2011, 5:41 AM   #4
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There are many sponsored tours that go to all the areas that have been named. You can google "Vegas tours" to get an idea. Some are fairly cheap, some are a couple of hundred $. Last time I went to Vegas, my wife and I took a tour to the west rim of the Grand Canyon. It leaves about 6 am and gets back around 7pm. It's about 8 hours of total bus time and a few hours at the canyon. This is where the skywalk is located. The bus also makes stops in the Joshua Tree Forrest. Lots of photo ops, and not as crowded as other areas of the canyon. This may have changed in the two years since I have been there though.
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