Rafael Riviera left his Santa Fe scouting party on Christmas Day in 1829. He traveled west, getting lost before discovering a lush valley with native grasses, tall cottonwoods and cool, clear spring water. He called the oasis Las Vegas, Spanish for “ the meadows”.
Pristine riparian areas are not what comes to mind when traveling to a city even people in the quiet corners of the world know about. But a scan of the horizon beyond the strip finds snow covered mountains, forest wilderness and red rock geology on all sides of the valley. For anyone wanting more than a “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” experience, there’s plenty of outdoor excitement to lure you away from the gaming tables.