Viva Las Vegas

From the lights of Las Vegas to the wonders in Yosemite, you'll be on a winning streak during this ... town murals and see its artsy side in downtown galleries.
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PROOF ON THE ROAD

Viva Las Vegas LAS VEGAS TO YOSEMITE AND BACK 1,175 Miles

ISOSCELES PEAK IN KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARK

Viva Las Vegas

From the lights of Las Vegas to the wonders in Yosemite, you'll be on a winning streak during this 1,175-mile adventure.

PHOTO BY GRANT RODELHEIDE, MAP BY PETER SUCHESKI

PHOTOS BY COURTESY

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hile the glittering lights and entertainment in Las Vegas can be intoxicating, there is much to be discovered beyond The Strip. After catching a show and lounging by your hotel pool, load up your car and head to the Springs Preserve for a whirlwind primer on area history, geology and critters. A hidden gem, this 180-acre nature preserve features indoor interactive exhibits on living sustainably in the desert, the humble beginnings of Sin City and the habits of its ancient and modern inhabitants. From there, head to Death Valley National Park. Then drive north through what’s known as “the other side of California,” a startlingly beautiful high desert with sparsely populated towns full of character. Enter Yosemite through the East Entrance, taking Tioga Road past alpine meadows before dropping into Yosemite Valley. On your

return route to Vegas, exit the park through the South Entrance and visit Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks. MYYOSEMITEPARK.COM

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Despite its intimidating name, this remarkable landscape has inspired people for centuries.

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he largest national park in the contiguous United States, Death Valley National Park is just 142 miles from Las Vegas, but you might as well have landed on the moon. Stretching 3.4 million acres, the park is made up of a patchwork of salt flats, badlands, artfully colored hills and ruins from those who dared to settle in this unforgiving landscape. You'll also find the lowest point in North America in Badwater Basin, which sits 282 feet below sea

VIEW FROM ZABRISKIE POINT

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level and is home to nearly 200 square miles of salt flats. Stop by the Furnace Creek Visitor Center to get tips on how best to spend your time. Popular choices include watching the sun rise or set from Zabriskie Point and driving to Dante’s View to look 5,000 feet down at Death Valley. For a dose of culture, enjoy a cold drink on the Stargazers Deck at the elegant Inn at Furnace Creek built in 1927. Learn more at nps.gov/deva.

The flash flood at Springs Preserve in Las Vegas started with a crack of thunder, sending a torrent of 5,000 gallons of water rushing down the slick, narrow canyon walls. But the five people standing on the metal platform just several feet above the deafening rush of water weren’t in harm’s way. Consisting of recycled water, the flash flood happens every 20 minutes at Springs Preserve, a stunning 180acre natural oasis with three miles of footpaths, botanical gardens and a state-ofthe-art indoor interpretive center just minutes from Las Vegas’ legendary Strip. Learn about the native peoples who inhabited the area and see live Mojave Desert inhabitants like a Gila monster, desert tortoise and gray fox. Tour the outdoor shadedappled paths, climb aboard an early 20th-century replica train and watch original news coverage of the Hoover Dam construction. Visit Springs Preserve at 333 S. Valley View Blvd.; 702-822-7700; springspreserve .org.

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PHOTO BY CHAO YEN

Death Valley

HIT NATURE’S JACKPOT

PHOTO BY ADOBE STOCK

ON THE ROAD

Viva Las Vegas LAS VEGAS TO DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK 142 miles, 2 hours and 25 minutes

METHUSELAH TREE

THE OTHER SIDE

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There’s a reason why locals call Bishop a small town with a big backyard.

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