Friday, October 24, 2014

On the Road: Mesquite, NV, to Las Vegas, NV

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Las Vegas is just over an hour from Mesquite via Interstate 15. But I had a different route in mind. We've been on that road before, so we wanted something different.

Our trip today is short, about 125 miles. It takes a short detour through Valley of the Fire State Park, then continues on to Vegas through a large portion of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
We started towards Las Vegas on I-15. This entire area had been blanketed by heavy rains prior to our visit. As a result, part of I-15 had suffered erosion and some pretty extensive repairs were underway. We passed that area on our way south, continuing on until the Highway 169 exit south to the communities of Logandale and Overton in the Moapa Valley.

This two-lane highway wove through the desert hills. I was surprised by the amount of greenery we saw. There are numerous trees, alfalfa fields, and other plant life, all of it appearing out of place in this arid corner of the world. The Muddy River runs through the area, and I suppose that waterway helps with irrigation.

A short distance south of Overton, we turned west for a short tour of Valley of Fire State Park; I’ll describe that trip in detail in a separate entry.

After our tour of the park, we came back to Highway 169, which immediately entered the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. For the next 40 or 50 miles, we had an excellent roadway. Although only two lanes with a sliver of a shoulder, the surface was smooth. The speed limit was set at 50 mph, but I didn’t mind at all since there was so much to see. Frequent pull outs are available so that you can stop and take in the view as well as allow faster cars to pass.

We caught several glimpses of Lake Mead along the route. There were also two springs, and we stopped at one for pictures (see below). Several turn offs to the east go to lake access points for camping and boating access, but we did not check any of them out.

Palms at Blue Point Springs. The actual spring is probably at least 100 yards upstream from these trees.
 
The actual source of the spring is somewhere in here, but I could not see it.

About 15 yards or so downstream from the spring, water is flowing rather well. We could hear it as we walked along the bed.

View of Lake Mead
The route ends in Henderson, just south of Las Vegas. We came to the Boulder Highway, turned right, then made our way to Sam’s Town, our home for the next 4 days.

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