Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Calico Hills.

Calico Hills at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area | Las Vegas, Nevada.

In mid-August I traveled to Las Vegas with several hundred of my colleagues for week-long, organization-wide meetings. As would be expected, the itinerary was full with little time for diversions, but management was kind enough to call time out on Wednesday afternoon and offer up a choice of activities for us to choose from. Golf, a tour of Hoover Dam, and a massage at the spa were popular choices, but for me and a few other more adventurous sorts the natural choice was a jeep tour of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. I’ll be honest—I hadn’t heard of RRCNCA before then (but then I’d never been nor even had the desire to visit Las Vegas, either), and I’m also not really a guided-tour-sort-of-guy. All I knew was that I was going to have a chance to get outside, at least for short stints, in rugged, natural terrain (something I need a regular dose of in normal circumstances, much less when I’m in the midst of week-long meetings). What I found, however, was an incredible landscape of rock, sky, color and texture that ranks among the most interesting landscapes I’ve ever seen. While I questioned it at the time, I’m really glad I brought my big camera. Not only did the landscape shots turn out so much better than they would have had I decided to settle for iPhone shots, but my long lens (100mm macro) proved to be essential for shots of some petroglyphs that visitors are kept a good distance from. I’ll not go too much into the geology of RRCNCA, as such information can easily be gleaned from Wikipedia (or for more detailed information see this excellent PDF by Tom Battista).

Some of my favorite photos from the afternoon are shown in the following slide show. The photos here are notably free of people (with two very slight exceptions)—more people-based photos featuring the colleagues I was with can be found in my “Red Rock Canyon – Aug 2013” album at my Facebook page.

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Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2013

About Ted C. MacRae

Ted C. MacRae is a research entomologist by vocation and beetle taxonomist by avocation. Areas of expertise in the latter include worldwide jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and North American longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae). More recent work has focused on North American tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) and their distribution, ecology, and conservation.
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3 Responses to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

  1. Jeff Weber says:

    Red Rock Canyon is truly a special place. I shot some of the very same landscapes you did when I was out there in March 2012. I was pleased to see that chuckwallas were still numerous in the Calico Hills. In many areas, these lizards have been exterpated because of wild capture for the pet trade.

  2. Simon Toussifar says:

    Great rock formations!

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