LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Hundreds of people started the New Year by getting outdoors and enjoying the hiking trails around the Las Vegas valley. According to a Forbes survey, fitness is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions.
Red Rock National Conservation Area welcomed visitors on the first day of the year. The desert oasis, about 25 miles from the Strip, attracts more than 2 million people every year who bike, hike and rock climb their way through some of the most beautiful local scenery.
“Something nice and healthy to start off the year,” said hiker Kaalil Price.
His hiking buddy, Tyrone Gipson, didn’t want to miss the opportunity to get out in nature.
“I didn’t drink last night. I thought let’s get up and do a nice hike.”
They weren’t the only ones who decided to hit some of the 26 different trails. Parking lots were packed with cars. Even so, Gipson said their arrival went smoothly.
“We were able to drive right in, we didn’t have to wait in a line long to get our ticket scanned.”
Visitors James Armario and Justin Jenk traded in Strip views for the 13-mile scenic loop drive.
“As spectacular as the Strip is, this is an amazing testament to the beauty of this country,” Jenk remarked. Armario agreed. “It’s important we all understand and know our surroundings and the Earth we live on and how we got here.”
While the sunny sky provided perfect conditions, and a little warmth, the American Hiking Society has tips for cold-weather hiking: Dress in layers, wear a hat, keep your water bottle warm, and use sunscreen. Water isn’t available along the loop.
If you’re heading to hike, or just visit, keep in mind reservations are required in the park through May.