Base Camp Las Vegas, 2nd ed., by Deborah Wall (2017)

Nonfiction
Adult
Base Camp Las Vegas by Deborah WallI cheerfully admit that I really like going to Las Vegas. I love exploring the streets to check out the architecture and decor, from the miniature Brooklyn Bridge at New York New York to the stunning Dale Chihuly glass sculptures and the water fountain performance at the Bellagio. But after a day or so of dodging fellow tourists while exploring the Strip and the even-better Freemont Street, I am ready for some day hiking in Valley of Fire or Red Rock Canyon. This is just the book to make sure you have a great time exploring local wild spaces while enjoying evenings in the City that Never Sleeps. This is a revised edition of the 2010 publication, adding 40 more hikes all within a reasonable drive of Vegas. The book opens with a nice introduction to hiking in the southwest, offering tips on hydration and heat, flash floods, hypothermia, rattlesnakes, hiking with kids, and more. Wall is an experienced hiker and recommends carrying about 5 litres of water when hiking around Vegas, to ensure you don’t fall short and allowing for leaks, unexpected delays, and helping poorly prepared hikers. Good advice. The book then turns to the hikes. She groups them by area, starting with the oh-so-close and spectacular Red Rock Canyon. I’ve hiked the Icebox Canyon trail there, and this book recommends that and another dozen trails in this national conservation area. Each hike includes a photo or two, basic facts about difficulty, when to hike, length and elevation gain, and a lengthy description that explains how to get to the trail head, why you should hike this trail, and what to look for on the hike itself. As a new dog owner, I would have liked to know if leashed dogs are welcome on trails – an easy amendment for a future edition! Oddly, there is no table of contents, and I deeply lament the lack of a proper index. However, there is a helpful appendix called Choose Your Perfect Hike, in which Wall lists the top five hikes by a number of options from the best for kids and hikers with limited mobility to those most appealing to teens to hikes for those interested in geology, wildflowers or waterfalls. Plan a trip to Vegas and make it an extended stay with a car rental, pick up this book, and enjoy the extraordinary landscape of the southwest. My thanks to publisher Imbrifex Books for the advance reading copy provided through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
More discussion and reviews of this book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33199514
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