December 2017 – We try to avoid interstate highways and big cities in our RV lifestyle, and when we began our trek south from southern Utah towards Arizona a few weeks ago, we wanted to limit our time on I-15 and avoid the congestion and traffic of Las Vegas.
We took a jog south off of I-15 onto Nevada Route 169 and followed the contours of Lake Mead all the way around to the southeastern side of Las Vegas. What a beautiful and delightful RV trip!
The road rose and dipped and swerved left and right, revealing gorgeous scenery all along the way.
Even though we didn’t have a great day weather-wise, the scenery was fantastic!
As we drove along, happily chatting away about this and that, we passed the turn-off for Valley of Fire State Park. We LOVE this stunning park and have visited it several times (blog posts here and here), but with a bit of regret we passed it up this time.
Suddenly, we saw a sign for the Redstone Picnic Area. We needed to take a break and get a little lunch, so we pulled in.
What a wonderful surprise this little jewel was! It’s like a little mini taste of Valley of Fire! There were pretty picnic ramadas scattered about the edges of the parking lot.
Never mind lunch, we had photos to take!
We jumped out of our truck and began snapping away. The red rock formations were so cool we both even took photos of the rocks framing the vault toilets. It’s gotta be a pretty spot when two photographers both feel inspired to take pics of a vault toilet building!!
The Redstone Picnic Area has a short hiking trail that leaves the picnic tables behind and ventures out into the red rocks on a lovely loop around a huge red rock mound. I headed out on the trail for pics there while Mark moved in close to the red rock hill and got some great shots of the formations.
One of the things that always baffles me about the big rock and mountain formations in the west is the various “uplifts” that have occurred where wide flat expanses of rock have been upended by natural forces long ago.
We also loved the various hollows and rounded alcoves and windows we found in the rocks.
A car or two pulled up during our stay but they moved right along after using the facilities. We were having so much fun crawling around on these beautiful red rocks. We didn’t want to rush our visit!
The hiking trail revealed some wonderful views on the far side.
And the gods painted the skies with fantastic patterns of sun and clouds just for our photos.
When we finally got back to our trailer, we got out our lunch goodies and sat down to yummy sandwiches.
Back out on the road we saw more wide open expanses and lovely views.
The colors in the distant rocks and hills were wonderful earth tones — real earth tones — that reminded us of our trip to Death Valley years ago.
At times we saw pockets of red rocks poking through.
And then we finally arrived at the shores of Lake Mead. We stopped at a big parking area and wandered out to the edge of the overlook. Beautiful!
If you are headed south on I-15 with your RV to get to Arizona and other parts of the southwest for the winter, or if you plan to take your RV back up north via that route in the spring, plan a detour around Las Vegas and check out this lovely scenic drive on the back side of Lake Mead!
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More info about this Lake Mead Scenic Drive:
Other blog posts from nearby Northwestern Arizona:
- Waterfront Dining in Arizona – Scorpion Bay & River’s Edge Cantina 03/30/18
- Wild Burros of the Colorado River – A Puppy’s View! 03/16/18
- VW Microbus Mania in Lake Havasu Arizona! 02/01/15
- Balloons and VW Buses in Lake Havasu AZ 01/17/15
- Havasu Springs Resort, AZ – Lucky Break! 11/03/09
A few posts from Nevada too!
- A Back Roads RV Trip – AZ to NV to UT – Colorado River & Spanish Trail 04/13/18
- A Las Vegas Light Show — WOW!! 10/06/17
- Into the Great Wide Open – Nevada to Oregon 06/11/14
- From Salt to Snow in Nevada – Bonneville to Lamoille Canyon 06/06/14
Our most recent posts:
- Black Hills Back Country Byway – Spring Flowers in Arizona! 04/12/19
- Mexican Hat, Utah – A Special Hoodoo in the Red Rocks 04/05/19
- Traces of Antiquity and the Not-So-Ancient in Utah! 03/29/19
- SE Utah – A Mars Colony, Wide-Angle Photography & Snowy Mountains! 03/22/19
- Monument Valley & Hite Scenic Overlook – Stone Towers from Below & Above! 03/15/19