There are some who critique Seven Magic Mountains as being too commercial and that the sole purpose is for social media. It is that for sure but it's so much more. Seeing those bright totems as you race down a largely deserted stretch of desert creates a bright, happy swash of color in a largely desolate stretch of highway. Yes, it is full of people trying to get their 'gram but it is also bringing together visitors of different cultures, ages and socio-economic backgrounds. Everyone has a smile on their face and it's just plain fun. The world needs more happy places and reminders to smile and interact with each other not fewer of them!
Smile it's contagious! Janna Conner Ruby Oval Hoop Earrings, Thierry Lasry Sexy Sunglasses
Photo by Sabin Orr.
Over the past 15 years, Vegas has become synonymous with fine dining. So much so, that pretty much every celebrity chef counts Vegas among their locations. There is no shortage of fine dining options, it's really just how much time and money you have. In the spirit of our non Vegas, Vegas trip we were curious to go a little more local and see where the chefs eat when they're off duty. That led us to Other Mama, a newish seafood restaurant specializing in a raw bar but with plenty of cooked options as well. Small and intimate, it's casual ambience is welcoming with a friendly staff. After starting with a round of oysters, highlights included: spicy tuna tartare with waffle fries, shishito peppers with cauliflower and pistachios (the best I've ever had), and the whole fish with potatoes and rosemary.
We woke up bright and early the next morning to head out for our hike in Red Rock. About a 30 minutes drive outside of Summerlin, we wanted to get an early start to avoid some of the afternoon's heat and have some spa time when we returned. There are many hikes to choose from, ranging from easy to strenuous. We chose Calico Hills which is rated moderate and took about 3.5 hours.
Time for a brief geology lesson: Red Rock Canyon was once at the bottom of a deep ocean. Over time the sea receded and the earth's crust pushed upward to form the mountains. In the Jurassic period (about 180 million years ago) the region dried out and plants and wildlife became scarce. Water and winds shifted sands back and forth, vast fields of sand dunes accumulated, similar to the Sahara desert in Africa. Over time, the layers of sand compressed together forming hard Aztec sandstone. The iron in the sand is oxidized and this process results in the swirls of color. The high concentration of iron results in the deep red color of the rocks seen at Calico Hills. There are short developed trails which offer closer looks at the Aztec sandstone, rated easy to moderate with a 400 foot elevation gain and vary two to six miles. Click to learn more about the geology
Rock climbing in the slot canyons at Red Rock, Nevada
Some of the stair formations on the way to the overlook.
Taking a little time to enjoy the view
It took us a few hours to get up to the summit. We had accidentally parked at Calico 1 when we had intended to park at Calico 2. Very nice hike, just had to rush back for lunch and our spa appointments!
After our 6.5 mile hike, we needed some pampering. The Spa at Red Rock was really lovely, well designed and relaxing. The spa treatments were thoroughly enjoyable as well. I opted for a Hydra facial while my friends got massages. We were all thrilled with our experiences and then capped it off with a glass of rosé, poolside.
Yoga room, poolside the spa. We didn't have time to take a class, but I definitely will make time to on my next visit!
Rosé and Skinny Palomas were the drink of the weekend. I had an Italian Dragon at Masso Osteria, Scott Conant's new restaurant at Red Rock. Divine! I wasn't familiar with Luxardo but I think that was the key to taking this Italian version of a Paloma to the next level.
This trip was just what I needed to recharge and re-connect with old friends. I loved experiencing the natural beauty that Las Vegas has to offer. Since returning, I've heard that the Valley of Fire, north of Vegas has some amazing panoramas and hiking possibilities, next girl's trip?!