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Just 15 miles from the bright lights and casinos of Las Vegas lies the magnificent Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (NCA). With its expansive sandstone rock formations, hiking trails, rock climbing and picnic areas. Red Rock provides a dramatic contrast to nearby Las Vegas. Follow the loop off SR 159 to view the 39-mile state byway, which returns to SR 159. The highway winds through the 197,000-acre NCA under the rocky eye of the Spring Mountain Range. The road provides easy access to area sites and attractions, In addition to multicolored rock formations and unique desert flora and fauna, you might spot desert bighorn sheep, bobcats, gray foxes and wild burros. There are numerous scenic and trailhead parking areas along the drive, The visitors center, operated by Bureau of Land Management, has information on NCA trails and recreation opportunities as well as displays on geology, history, and plant and animal life. Stop by the bookstore to see the excellent selection of books and interpretive materials on southern Nevada. There are numerous hiking trails along SR 159. The most popular are First Creek, Oak Creek, Lost Creek and Pine Creek. When SR 159 is heading almost straight south, you are on Red Rock Canyon Road. If you remain on this road and don’t take the loop, you eventually get to Spring Mountain Ranch and Bonnie Spring/Old Nevada. Spring Mountain Ranch, once owned by Howard Hughes, is now a state park and offers historic ranch tours and excellent picnicking facilities. The Park also has a large outdoor theater and features concerts, plays and various productions. Bonnie Springs/Old Nevada offers a taste of the Old West including cowboys and cowgirls, a petting zoo and weekend activities in which kids can help find the bad guy.
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