Getting Around In the City
As you can see from the maps attached, the two main highways running to and through Las Vegas, Highway 95 and I-15, meet at an “X” in the center of the city – known as the Spaghetti Bowl. During ordinary circumstances that intersection allows for convenient travel to the various areas served by those two highways. However, that part of the city is subject to a large construction project which does constrict traffic flows; that project will still be ongoing in April, 2018. Use of the 215 beltway is recommended for travel across the
north, west and south sides of the city. Access to downtown and strip areas from east/west roads would be preferred to using the Spaghetti Bowl and sections of Highway 95 and I-15 leading to it, particularly during morning and evening busy times.
Some Interesting Places In The Area
Ash Meadows: (which we might see on Field Trip 4) about 1½ hours from Las Vegas at the edge of Death Valley. Interesting ecologically, with a good Visitor Center. The home of the endangered Devil’s Hole pupfish.
Valley of Fire State Park: also about 1½ hours from Las Vegas. The park (with entrance fee) is in an area of interesting landforms. Petroglyphs may be seen here. It has many hiking trails and a visitor center.
The Springs Preserve: a private attraction with entrance fee in the downtown Las Vegas area. It has an excellent array of penstemons in
the display garden including, at last count P. baccharifolius (not in bloom in late April), P. bicolor subsp. bicolor, P. bicolor subsp. roseus, P. eatonii var. eatonii, P. fendleri, P. fruticiformis var. amargosae (grown out from collected seed by Doyle Wayman), P. palmeri, P. parryi, and P. superbus. Lunch is available in the Divine Café at Springs Preserve.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area: (which we will see on Field Trip 2) has a scenic loop drive through the lower part of the
area and some excellent hikes ranging from short and easy to longer and more challenging. This is also a fee area. Charleston Peak: (referred to locally as Mt. Charleston) offers road access to elevations of about 8,000 feet, many hiking trails, and a restaurant/lodge at the end of Highway 157 (Kyle Canyon Road).
Hoover Dam: a popular destination for visitors to our area, both to see the dam and the Mike O’Callahan and Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. Desert Mountain sheep may often be seen in the vicinity of the dam. Tours of the dam are available for a fee.
Death Valley: it is a good time of year to seecDeath Valley and its many interesting views and attractions.
China Ranch Date Farm: near Tecopa (along the Old Spanish Trail road, called Tecopa Highway on the NV side, which leads to Death
Valley) is a worthwhile stop on the way to or from Death Valley.