I am coming off of a weekend of writing with the Murphy Writing of Stockton UniversityWinter Poetry & Prose Getaway and it has been such a blessing to spend four intense days surrounding myself with a supportive community of writers, crafting language and navigating new stories, during a time when history is being written, and everything in our world seems bleak.
We celebrated Sunday night with a delightful reading and Q&A by featured speaker Ross Gay, whose humor and gracious spirit lit up our Zoom rooms.
Every day brought on the challenge of a unique writing prompt, and I left the Getaway armed with four new solid drafts, new friends, and a notebook penned with inspiration.
I couldn’t have attended without the financial help of the Toni Brown Memorial Scholarship, so again- thank you to the entire Murphy Writing crew and committee for choosing my work so that I could have this opportunity!
And then we got to witness the incredible force that is Amanda Gorman move the world with her words on Inauguration Day?! It is a good week for poetry, indeed.
In the time I’ve spent helping my family move to Vegas, (read more about our cross country move here) I have been so fortunate to visit some beautiful places in Nevada and beyond!
Las Vegas is so much more than luxury hotels on the strip, bright lights on Fremont Street, and clubbing or gambling. It is the perfect distance for so many incredible escapes into nature with national and state parks nearby.
Check out some of my adventures below- all doable in a day trip from Sin City!
Red Rock Canyon
-one way drive, 13 miles -reservation required through May (available online)
This is a scenic loop that is easily doable in a half day from Vegas, as it is less than 30 minutes away.
*High Point Overlook *Petroglyph Wall *White Rock *Calico Hills
**The Lost Canyon- Children’s Discovery Trail was one we took the girls on, but enjoyed ourselves!
***Look out for all the white-tailed antelope ground squirrels 🙂
Valley of Fire State Park
Nevada’s first state park really lives up to its name!
About an hour drive from Las Vegas.
Mouse’s Tank Road winds through the park, and there’s a Instagram-worthy opportunity around every bend.
*Rainbow Vista *Pastel Canyon *The Wave (always exposed to sun here, bring lots of water!) *White Domes (my favorite hike!)
** $10 per vehicle gets you in
***If you’re lucky, you’ll see desert bighorn sheep like we did!
Hoover Dam & Seven Magic Mountains
*The Hoover Dam is truly astounding. It is free to walk or drive across, and located just 30 minutes or so from Las Vegas.
*Seven Magic Mountains was created by Ugo Rondinone, a Swiss-born artist, and it is only open to the public until the end of this year! Also about a 30 minute drive from Vegas.
Death Valley National Park
This is about a 2 hour drive from Vegas, and I simply CANNOT recommend it enough!
**One of the hottest places on Earth! I am so glad we went in the winter- I don’t know that I would’ve enjoyed it at 100+ degrees
***Be prepared before you come- that means fuel up (it’s like $6/gallon otherwise) and make sure you have plenty of water and snacks. The park is vast, and shops are few & far between, and can be pricey.
And there you have it– so many options for day trips! Bryce and Zion in Utah are other options, too, but we only had so many free weekends! Hope this gives you inspiration for future travels. If you have others, please drop them below in the comments!