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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 6, 2009
Ok. I confess that I have gone to Las Vegas on several occasions. There are some nice concerts and plays, great buffets, and it is a fun place to lose money. But Vegas also has some nice hiking opportunities close by and desert rat Bruce Grubbs details a few of these in his latest book, Best Easy Day Hikes: Las Vegas.

Grubbs is the author of several books on (mostly) desert hiking and these tend to offer trips on the long side (10-20 mile day hikes and 50 mile backpacks, all with little in the way of water.) His Nevada Hiking had very little to offer in the southern portion of the state, so this guide is a welcome supplement. Plus, it is nice to find some route descriptions that most people can enjoy.

All the hikes found in this book are in 3 areas: Valley of Fire State Park, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, and the Spring Mountains. Grubbs provides 20 route descriptions along with decent sketch maps, driving directions, and a fair amount of natural history. In all, it is a decent selection and judging from the routes I have hiked, these seem like worthwhile hikes.

I do, however, have some concerns about this book. First and foremost, it does not include any of the short but nice trails in the nearby Lake Mead National Recreational Area. These hikes are great in the middle of winter when even large portions of Red Rock Canyon can be muddy or even under snow. But even among the trails he does cover, I found a few flaws. Neither the Lost Creek nor Willow Spring loop in Red Rock mentioned the petroglyphs found in the canyons. The route description to the Lost Creek trail describes an extension to a (beautiful) seasonal waterfall, but the map does not show this extension, and the maps also do not show the overlap between the Willow Creek and Lost Creek loops. On a broader level, I note that many of the hikes seem to assume extended hiking times. Cathedral Rock, which provides a spectacular overlook in the Spring Mountains, is a 3.6 mile round trip. It features a steady uphill climb. But Grubbs suggests 5 hours to hike this route! Even granting that not all the readers of this book will be in top shape, that is a bit much. And such exaggerated hiking times are common throughout the book.

In the final analysis, Las Vegas does offer locals and visitors a fair amount of outdoor recreation. This little book describes more of it than the aforementioned Hiking Nevada. But it still could be improved in significant ways.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2012
The truth is, there aren't many places to go day hiking near Vegas, but the few that there are, are in this little book. We ended up just going to Red Rock Canyon where there are plenty of maps, lots of info in the visitor center and a nice variety of trails. The book wasn't necessary but as hiking books go, it was informative, well written but just a little short. It wasn't the writer's fault. He provided info on what was available.
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