Evans Outdoor Adventures

Adventure Log: Christmas In Vegas

We’ve spotted several roadrunners since we’ve been in Nevada. All but this guy have moved too fast for photos. With top speeds of 15 mph, the roadrunner can survive its entire life without drinking water. Moisture is acquired from prey that includes small birds, rodents, insects, and lizards.

December 23-29, 2019

In September, as we were starting this journey, I expected that we would be in Arizona by the end of the year. But we also agreed early on that we’d remain flexible on dates and locations and see “where the wind blew us”. I never would have imagined that Christmas Day would find us in the most unholy of locations, Sin City.

Christmas Day

During our introductory visit to the Las Vegas Strip with our nephew Max, I was impressed with all the Christmas decorations in the hotels and casinos. The crowds were overwhelming, but we decided to go back for the holiday to enjoy the decorations and a nice meal out.

The Venetian

We spent some time wandering through the Venetian, Bellagio, Caesar’s Palace, Mirage, and Flamingo casinos before deciding to find a place for a special Christmas meal. We had planned to try one of the casino buffets, but the lines were all unreasonably long. We wandered around and finally discovered Carmines in Caesar’s Forum Shops. They had immediate seating, pleasant ambiance, and good food and service. We had one of our best meals ever and were so happy we didn’t wait in those long buffet lines!

Wetlands Trail

The weather over Christmas week was rather unsettled. Locals told us it was unseasonably cold and wet for Vegas. We spent quite a bit of our time indoors, but we did find a few adventures in between rain and wind storms.

We ventured out in howling winds to hike the short Wetlands Trail where Las Vegas Creek flows out of Lake Las Vegas on its course to Lake Mead. This is a 1.0 mile loop trail that is nice for a quick stretch of the legs. We had some pretty creek views and saw quite a few varieties of ducks. The highlight of the hike was spotting our first ever egret (unfortunately he was too far away for a photo)!

Bootleg Canyon Park, Boulder City

On a trip to Boulder City for some shopping, we walked part of the River Mountain Loop Trail. We didn’t really know where we were going, we just followed the paved path for a little exercise. We were surprised when we stumbled upon a beautifully landscaped area with huge statues of desert wildlife and a desert garden known as Bootleg Canyon Park.

We even got to see a little snow on the mountains above Lake Mead!

Owl Canyon Trail

Our only real hike of the week was along the Owl Canyon Trail. Owl is located in Lake Mead National Recreation Area a short ways north of Hoover Dam. Here, hikers are treated to a nice section of narrows that have been exposed as the levels of Lake Mead have receded after two decades of drought.

entering Owl Canyon narrows

The trail begins at 3 Island Overlook off Lakeshore Road. Most people do this as a 2.0 mile out and back hike. Once again, the AllTrails app tipped me off to an unofficial route that made this a 5.0 mile loop. Once at the end of the narrows, we caught a short segment of the River Mountains Loop Trail to an unmarked wash that lead us down through another set of narrows.

Out of the narrows, we found ourselves on a clearly maintained trail that is not on any of the Lake Mead maps we’ve seen. The rock lined path follows Las Vegas Creek along flats that were once submerged under Lake Mead. Now, fresh water shells liter the trail. We saw another egret and enjoyed some nice views. This trail appears to start somewhere around Las Vegas Bay Campground and ends at 3 Island Overlook where the Jeep was awaiting our return.

River Mountain Loop Trail
Las Vegas Creek as it nears Lake Mead

Lake Mead RV Village

After spending five nights at beautiful Boulder Beach Campground where we had a large site with views of Lake Mead, we moved next door to Lake Mead RV Village so that we could have hookups for Christmas week. I’ll describe both locations in more detail in a future blog post covering Lake Mead RV options, but I will say that Lake Mead RV Village was a relative disappointment after Boulder Beach Campground. It was ok for the week, but we were happy when our week was up and we could move back to one of the National Park Service campgrounds.

Lake Mead RV Village

The Adventure Continues

Stay tuned next week as the weather improves and we continue to explore trails in the Lake Mead/Las Vegas area!

Jake wishes you sweet dreams

6 thoughts on “Adventure Log: Christmas In Vegas

  1. Patty Switzer

    Thank you so much for maintaining this blog. Your doing a fantastic job with all the details and once we set out on our adventure (whenever that may be!) I’ll be referring back to your posts often! Happy New Year.

    1. Lusha Post author

      Thank you Patty! And thank you for being one of our biggest fans! The blog is a TON of work, but comments like yours keep me going 🙂
      Happy New Year and happy trails!
      Lusha

  2. Mrs Laura Evans

    VERY IN-ter-est-ing! The pictures were so GREAT! The Venitian actually looked like Venice and the waterways. Loved ALL the pictures!

    1. Lusha Post author

      Thanks Mom! They do an amazing job with the hotels and casinos. The Venitian even has a gondola you can ride through the waterways! Caesar’s has Roman sculptures everywhere you look. It is really quite something to see and has been more enjoyable than I imagined (although the people really are quite rude and horrible!) We’re looking forward to going back another day or two while we’re here.
      Lusha

  3. Diane Bennett

    I think that retirement is looking pretty good on you two! Seems to agree with Jake as well lol. Seeing it snowing this afternoon in the mountains across the river, I am so happy that you are not faced with a horrendous drive to Pullman in the morning! 🙂 As always, wonderful pictures and commentary!

    1. Lusha Post author

      Looking at the Pullman forecast for the next 10 days, we are soooo glad those commuting days are behind us!! Glad it isn’t snowing at your place!
      Love you momma!

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