Spent a couple of days driving from Driggs down to Las Vegas. Did wonder why we had decided to end our holiday in this city which is definitely on steroids! It has developed massively since we visited in the late 90s with Mum and Dad. Much more glitz and many more upmarket flash hotels on the Strip.

There were a couple of things I wanted to do, one was to watch the fountain show at Belagio and so in the evening we walked into town. Had a very nice cocktail in Hugo bar overlooking the fountains and lake. I enjoyed the show and we had an ace to base spot to watch it. Headed back via some sushi to our hotel and collapsed.

Researching what to do in the area, I had come across Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area as a top destination. We found a great place for breakfast, a French patisserie en route, and then headed out to the Canyon for some hiking. First trail was La Madre Spring trail. We parked at the Willow Springs picnic site and hiked up a jeep track for about a mile before heading off on a track up to the junction with the stream. 

There were some lovely sections through ponderosa pine and we had wide ranging views of the White Rock (sandstone) cliffs on one side and grey limestone mountains on the other. We walked up the stream bed of the La Madre Spring which runs all year we followed a rough path for about half a mile before deciding to turn around as we wanted to have time to hike Ice Block Canyon. See link for more info on Red Rock Canyon https://www.redrockcanyonlv.org/lasvegas/hikes-trails/ as well as a link for a good description of our trail https://friendsredrock.org/take-a-hike-le-madre-springs-trail/

Must admit that although our first hike was pleasant and the views of the surrounding mountains were extensive, the hike itself did not really catch my imagination. Ice Block Canyon by contrast was very special. We walked in about a mile across what in the summer would be desert,  but at this time of year was a sea of green. Fresh new shoots and growth everywhere, although too early for spring flowers given the cold winter this year. 

Once we dropped into the Canyon we scrambled and boulder hopped up the river valley, full of water due to the snow storm last week. It was delightful and we lucked out as when we got to the pools at the top of the Canyon fed by a waterfall, there were hardly any other people there and we could enjoy the majesty in peace. Surprising how many people were taking their (largely small) dogs up the Canyon, carrying them in many parts! As it was a fairly warm afternoon we were glad the Canyon lived up to its name and was cool to hike through. Click on play below to see a video of our hike

The day continued to get better as we had booked the Cirque de Soleil Beatles ‘LOVE’ show at the Mirage. Really outstanding performance. Quite different to other Cirque shows we have been to. The acts and acrobatics tended to be in support of the music and story, there was great use of holographs, the music was outstanding and there was a lot of humour as well as political nuance woven through. Best of all it was a fun spectacle where I recognised the songs and felt thoroughly immersed. Glad we bought top tickets and had grandstand seats.

After a day like today may even decide to come back to LV next year. PS We did try but Covid got in our way and we had to abort our plans to visit LV for an end of ski season treat and instead reroute to Los Angles and fly back with quite a lot of stress involved in reorganising our travel plans at very short notice

See below for a compilation of photos from our day