The stark beauty of the Nevada desert
All around Las Vegas you can find vast areas of beautiful and untouched desert terrain. This is the landscape a mere 15 minute drive from the Vegas strip, in Spring Mountain Ranch State Park within the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. When I'm in Vegas, I really enjoy going out into the desert once in a while for a day after all the craziness, crowds and hustle and bustle of the wonderfully wild city, and just enjoy the total quiet and the remarkably alien landscape. It feels to me like going to another planet. The rough and red-striped mountains look like they belong on Mars rather than on Earth, and the joshua trees (the trees with green pointy leaves in this picture) are so strange-looking as well that they have never seemed quite terrestrian to me either. It is very refreshing to spend some time walking in such other-worldly environment with its stark beauty before returning to the urban madness of the city.