Spring is a time for flowers, plants and even trees to bloom to signal its beginning of a new time of growth as a beautiful season, even in Las Vegas surrounded by a dry environment. There is more than desert in Southern Nevada. There are mountains waiting to be explored, a lake to enjoy and small towns with history to discover. The Spring Equinox occurs on March 20 and a perfect excuse to take a day trip to one of these springtime destinations to celebrate.
Red Rock Canyon Loop
1000 Scenic Loop Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89161
(702) 515-5350
www.redrockcanyonlv.org

Red Rock Canyon, located 25 miles west of Las Vegas, is one of the most magnificent national parks in Southern Nevada. The 13-mile scenic loop; developed for cars, cyclists and joggers; encompasses the view of the mountains, the plateaus that drop to the valleys, rock formations and wildlife. This is the time of year to witness the blooms in the surrounding desert as well as on the mountains. Bobcats, foxes, deer, burros, big horn sheep, mountain lions and coyotes come out during this time of mating. Sunrise and sunset creates the most breathtaking views, especially during the Spring Equinox.

Tecopa, California

Tecopa, California is 82 miles west of Las Vegas and the drive encompasses a different landscape of the high desert close to Death Valley. This is the chance to see different plants, especially flowering cacti, and one can view the Kingston Mountain Range in bloom. The China Ranch Date Farm is located along the way and with its underground water; the date trees are blossoming and heavy with fruit. Tecopa is part of the valley with hot springs.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area
www.nps.gov/lake

Lake Mead is a man-made lake 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas as part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Scenic paved streets along Lakeshore and Northshore roads are the perfect way to enjoy its surrounding views by car. There are canyons and desert basins with vegetation growing at the shore. Trees grow on the side of the cutout rocks with a brief period of blooming flowers.

Related: Best Scenic Drives Within 60 Miles Of Las Vegas

Lee Canyon
6725 Lee Canyon Road
Las Vegas, NV 89124
(702) 385-2754
www.leecanyonlv.com

Lee Canyon is about a 45-minute drive north of Las Vegas for a day trip or staycation. The resort is surrounded by some of the most spectacular terrain of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, the largest national forest in the United States outside of Alaska. To really experience the view of springtime, take a scenic chair lift ride to the top of 8,000 feet to breathtaking views of Lee Canyon’s cathedral-like limestone cliffs, acres of ponderosa pine and aspen trees.

The Pioneer Saloon
310 NV-161
Goodsprings, NV 89019
(702) 874-9362
www.pioneersaloon.info

About 27 miles south of Las Vegas, the town of Goodsprings, Nevada is surrounded by some of the most beautiful views of Southern Nevada including the mountains, plants and the great expanse of the desert. The center of town is the Pioneer Saloon, the oldest saloon in the state of Nevada. With clear skies in the spring, The Pioneer Saloon offers Star Journey star gazing events including astronomy history, astronomical events, latest discoveries and scientific breakthroughs. The area is perfect to come to barbecue (available at The Pioneer Saloon) and then enjoy the changing fauna, whether outdoors at the saloon or walking around the small town.

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Debbie Hall is practically a Las Vegas native (37 years and counting) and loves experiencing everything in Southern Nevada from the Las Vegas Strip to the surrounding mountains and Lake Mead. She also teaches at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and loves sharing her knowledge. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.