With the changing leaves comes the changing winds of winter and the inevitable slow decline into hibernation. Well, why not fight those urges right now? Here’s our list of some of the best places to visit to fight the fall and winter blues: desert edition.
Set in the Sonoran Desert, the city known as “The West’s Most Western Town” boasts such attractions as the Arizona Cowboy College, where visitors can catch up on the area’s cowboy lore and learn about wrangling, roping, and riding.
What happens in Vegas…just like any other place: the winter blues. But what you might not know is that the infamous city of sin is surrounded by a magnificent, sprawling desert landscape filled with exotic flora and fauna.
An hour’s drive outside of town you’ll find Nevada’s oldest and largest state park: the Valley of Fire State Park. It covers an area of roughly 42,000 acres and includes petrified wood collections, 3,000 year-old Indian petroglyphs, and a number of breathtaking hikes.
If you’re looking for more of an extreme nature experience, then check out the rock-climbing availability at the Red Rock Canyon. The best part? It’s only about a 15-minute drive away from the western Vegas valley.
Approximately 3 miles west of downtown and covering nearly 180 acres is the Springs Preserve. A nature preservation that allows visitors to explore the valley’s vibrant history through interactive science and nature exhibits, a botanical garden, hiking, trails, and live animal shows.
Near Colorado Springs, the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center is a must-see for outdoor enthusiasts. The 1,367-acre park is a designated National Natural Landmark, as well as acting as an intersection of Great Plains grasslands, American Southwest pinon-juniper woodlands, and Pikes Peak mountain forest. The area’s famous, near-vertical red rock formations add to the stunning atmosphere. And best of all: admission is free!