Las Vegas Nevada and Utah
Part 1 of our  Utah trip April 3rd until June 17th 2018
Las Vegas

This trip we decided to see some of Las Vegas strip before collecting our RV from storage.

Las Vegas – New York.

Arrived just before midnight local time or 8 in the morning UK time. Walked around some of the strip. They have created walkways above the roads to connect tha casinos.

Excalibur Hotel (Camelot!) where we stayed Las Vegas for one night. To check in yoiu had to walk through all the one armed bandits with people staring athe screens feeding the machines. Everywhere stank of cigarrette smoke and definitly not our scene. We also found the hotels expensive having thought they were cheap to drag people in.

Interesting hotel “do not disturb” signs for your door!

Well it did say Damsel in Distress!

Footloose our RV as found in our undercover storage on Lake Mead Bulevard. Wheel covers still on and blackout curtain still on the dashboard with 2 solar chargers. Engine battery down to 10V and we needed a jump start.

Rowdy our bike still had a full charge.

Breakfast from the 7 Eleven next door

First night in Lake Mead  National Park at Las Vegas Bay campsite – $20. Only facilities are  water, dump station and toilet block.Part filled up water tank on arrival as tired and then filled up fully the next morning including about 8 gallons extra drinking water in containers.

Wi fi available for $5 a day or $15 a week. Also free 30 minutes a day – ha, could not get this to work as you had to sign in with Facebook and they wanted to send you a text first – so no joy with that and a UK phone.

Before arriving we did a big Walmart shop!

Stewart Point Lake Mead FREE camping. No facilities so just what we look for. Beautiful place and we arrived on a Thursday expecting lots of people at the weekend. Hardly anyone there all the time.

Unfortunately locals who go fishing and swimming etc leave a mess and expect their campfire to burn everything including aluminium cans! Plenty of clean  places though, but such a shame some people do not think of others. There is on the main road turn off, a lay-by within 50m with a large rubbish wheelie bin.

Such views Stewart Point in the sunset.

Oh this direction is the sunrise slightly to the left, so it reminds us so much of Cencerrita that the red sunset could be in the opposite direction in the clouds.

BBQ and fire pit.

Collecting firewood and being protected from the sun.  It was cold when we got up this morning down to 23 C still at 09.30.

Evening light at Stewart Point on Lake Mead from our sitting area next to our RV. The water was calm enough to get this great reflection.

Flat Eric enjoying his holiday 🙂

Leaving Lake Mead Recreation Area – such a beautiful place and warm! It has been up to 35 C dry heat which is perfect with a gentle breeze. We’ve had more sunshine here in the ten days than the whole year in the UK …

Valley of Fire State Park. Look carefully for the walkway up the rock face on the right to the ancient drawings (pictographs)  on the rock face

Valley of Fire State Park Map.

There was a$10 dollar entrance fee as State Parks are not included in our America the Beautiful annual pass (only National Parks, National Forests etc)

 

Part of the loop walk Valley of Fire’s Dome Hike. Deep sand in places!

Boondocking view where we stayed for 5 nights.

Just north of Sand Mine Road and Snowbird Mesa and a little south of Overton NV.

First night was very windy – 45- 55 mph! Temperatures here are lower than Lake Mead to a cool 25 C. (Alan is already whinging at the lower temperatures!)

 

Yet again the light picks out the landscape with incredible clarity.

Flat Eric made friends in Walmart, Mesquite and asked if they could stay. He said he was sure that Lui would like them. This is what happens when 2 people go off shopping on their own and come up with the same idea at the same time!

Camping at Virgin River BLM site just north of Mesquite – relaxing in the evening.. We were hit by a very sudden quick high gust of wind going through the Interstate 15  just north of Mesquite. There was a howling scream and we were blown into the next lane part way – frightening. Paid 8$ a night and then discovered free boondocking was available the other side of the interstate in the Beaver Dam Wilderness Area as we left. Ah well, our paid for site had drinking water hso were able to stocked up in the morning. We left Nevada, crossed over into Arizona for camping as the interstate cuts the corner, before entering Utah.

Lots of Joshua trees here. This area was on the old Spanish trail – the interstate was only completed in 1973 – this bit in Arizona being the most costly at the time. It is the main route between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles so very important for Mormon trade. The old road added a further 40 miles between the 2 places and even more to the East … where we are heading (Zion)

We took two walks down the river to canyons but washed out and required the continual crossing of the very cold water. River is still quite low and apparently the snow melt at Zion National Park where it comes from is in May.

The river from our morning break place. Having told Colleen she could not climb up there from the river, she charged off … and these are the views from up on the top.

Coming down was not so easy! Mountain goats with walking sticks seem to make it though 🙂

This is where we climbed to.

Moved on to BLM land just South of St George Utah – when you leave the main road you enter Arizona.

Did not quite make it to the Petroglyph site as track so bad – so camped 1.5 miles before it (see the last photo). Went the rest of the way one day on Rowdy our bike.

We spent 4 days here and whilst there a road car smashed its oil sump and needed tow truck. We helped the guy get one as very difficult. We had to climb 2 steep bad track hills to get out again and we were concerned about the damage the tow truck would do before we use the track back out. Hmm probably should not have gone that far but we were away from others!

Petroglphs or at least one of them in the photo

After St George we went north on the interstate and stayed 2 nights free in Dixie Forest South. They were in the process of machining the track further up whilst we were there. Lovely views and free dispersed camping.

Sunset from our site in Dixie Forest

We went on then to Kolob Canyon which is the North West of Zion National Park. Not so many people come here so nice and quiet.

Getting short of water at this stage as we did not find anywhere in St George to get any (only a free  dump place) So we filled up all our gallon bottles at the visitor centre which had a tap but no fitting … to stop people filling RV tanks, no doubt

Ha, after the  bike ride through the canyon we filled up the RV (at the place we had stopped to get the bike off) and then went back to the visitor centre to fill our bottles again – 17 gallons! Never had to do this before.

The path to the overview  at Kolob Canyons had an interestingly designed “boardwalk!. Made of wood squares from the trees and filled with mud and gaps between the squares to allow rain/snow run off without destroying the boardwalk

Flat Eric checking out the view behind him down over the East of Zion park where the main canyon is.

Yes we made it to the top.

Next onto Kolob Terrace road which is just East of Virgin and goes up through 2 parts of Zion and then out onto the Kolob reservoir/lake.

Still snow around. The road only opened up again in April.

 

Alan off on a bike ride on his 64th birthday from our campsite at the lake. The trees were all in bud and the aspen had catkins like silver birch trees.

Camping at the lake at 8667 ft (2450m). Fabulous views front, left and right onto the lake.

We stayed from Thursday to Monday – free camping again:)

Lots of locals trout fishing all around the lake. There was a big organised rally at the very back of the site away from everyone and when they went on Saturday, there were only 3 of us left.

 

Bike trip from the reservoir down to Lava Point lookout in Zion NP  on Kolob Terrace road. The Zion campsite there was still closed from winter. Some people were there though in tents and whilst its said max 24 ft Rv here there was plenty of room for 30 ft in the sites. Not free though as we were just up the road at the lake!

64th Birthday party at the lake 🙂

With Flat Eric, Mr Nosey, Beaky and of course Colleen came as well.

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