"Sin City" to Death Valley
Updated: Mar 27, 2022
We arrived at the Oasis RV Resort in Las Vegas on February 13th for a 9-night stay. The resort is conveniently located a few miles from the Las Vegas Strip. This park has great amenities, including 2 resort-style pools, jacuzzi, gym and is also nicely maintained. Besides being close to the Strip, it is also an ideal location to a couple of awesome parks!
We took Myah for a walk on the Strip a couple of times during our stay. As usual, she attracted attraction from several admirers. We enjoyed walking around and bringing her into some of the dog-friendly hotels. We especially liked the Bellagio with their amazing garden exhibit and koi pond.
On February 16th we drove an hour from the RV park to Valley of Fire State Park in Overton, NV. This is a truly stunning park with dramatic red Aztec sandstone rock formations set in a remarkable Mars-like environment. We spent several hours hiking a couple of the many trails in what is now ranked as one of our most favorite state parks. I was even fortunate enough to catch a great shot of 3 bighorn sheep on our way out of the park!
Vegas is known for its shows, gambling and world-class entertainment; however, we decided to try something a little different. We signed up for Slotzilla , where you are shot out of a huge "slot machine" and soar 10 stories high over a few blocks on Fremont Street superman style! I wish it could have been longer, but it was a good time.
We walked around the strip at night and treated ourselves to a decadent vegan CrazyShake milkshake from the Venetian. We tried our luck with the Roulette wheel, but pretty much broke even before calling it a night.
On February 21st, we visited another nearby state park within the Mohave Desert, called Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. This is another spectacular park, about a 20 minute drive from the RV park, that includes a 13-mile scenic drive through the canyon. We also hiked a few of the amazing trails. The dark-red boulders are truly striking against the sapphire blue sky.
Las Vegas can be a great destination. There is always something to do, and our time here was over before we knew it. We discovered that Nevada is a beautiful state, and has some great parks to explore. We really enjoyed the RV park with it's nice amenities and ideal location and hope to return again at some point in the future.
We stopped at Shoshone Inn RV Park in Shoshone, CA on February 22nd for a 7-night stay. I chose this park due to its close proximity to Death Valley National Park. The RV park is known for its unique, natural mineral hot-spring, swimming pool. The water temperature is always perfectly warm. Pat really enjoyed swimming in the pool on a daily basis.
According to Wikipedia, the small village of Shoshone had a population of 31 in 2010. The Crowbar Cafe and Saloon, Post Office, and Visitors Center/Museum line the small main street. We felt as if we had stepped back in time during our visit here.
There are some historic walking trails near the RV park, most notably the Dublin Gulch trail. We came upon several unique dwellings carved out of the volcanic ash cliffs that were used to house former miners back in the 1920's. The miners worked at the nearby borax mines. People actually lived in these cave-like adobes until the early 70's.
Death Valley National Park, the largest national park in the contiguous United States, is a massive 3,422,024 acres. It is also a land of extremes garnering the title as the hottest, driest and lowest national park. Because of its size, we needed to make a couple of trips to the park while we were there. Even though we only saw a small fraction of this park, we found it to be an extremely interesting place to explore.
We thought it was pretty cool to walk on the salt flats of Badwater Basin. At 282 feet below sea level, it is the lowest point in North America.
We stopped for a quick 18 holes of golf at the Devils Golf Course. According to the NP website, this is "an immense area of rock salt eroded by wind and rain into jagged spires". The landscape certainly didn't look like anything we had ever seen before and was almost impossible to walk on let alone play golf!
My favorite place we visited was an amazing area of pastel colors called the Artists Palette. What a surprise it was to see the muted hues of blue, green, orange, red, and pink sprinkled on the hills as if brushed by the hand of a talented artist. Apparently the colors were created from volcanic deposits consisting of iron oxides and chlorite. It was truly surreal to see the rainbow of colors as we walked around this area. Unfortunately, the pictures aren't able to capture the true beauty of this breathtaking place.
Our last stop before leaving the park was a quick climb up to Zebriskie Point which overlooks the badlands and salt flats.
We visited Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Amargosa Valley, about a 40 minute drive from the RV park. We spent a few hours exploring and learning about the unique desert oasis and its fragile ecosystem. It is actually the last remaining oasis in the Mohave Desert. There are almost 30 species of plants and animals that only exist here, including the elusive Amargosa Pupfish. There are hot spring fed pools and streams throughout the park where we caught a glimpse of this ancient fish, which is considered to be one of the world's rarest fish species. The crystal clear water in the park is known as "fossil water" because it comes from melted ice from the last ice age.
Our stay in the Shoshone/Death Valley area was full of interesting hikes and beautiful scenery. It led us to understand the diverse and strikingly amazing country we have the privilege to explore. To think that we have only been traveling for 9 months and have only seen a small fraction of what is left to explore, is mind-boggling!