The Desert Around Las Vegas – A Guidebook To Amazing Day Trips In The Mojave Desert

When I moved to Las Vegas a little more than a year ago, I started a project for the sake of my sanity. (I’m not a city girl!) I decided to make the most out of my time in this area by learning about, and exploring The Mojave Desert as much as I could. The Mojave Desert is HUGE, it covers 47,877 square miles, primarily within southeastern California and southern Nevada, but it is still the smallest of the deserts on the North American continent. The Mojave Desert is nestled between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, two of the most frequented tourist capitals in the country. Small areas extend into Utah, and Arizona.

I started to take notes, and my photo library soon took gigantic proportions. It didn’t take me long to find new favorite places. Mostly day trip destinations that I could visit when I had a few hours after work, or a free weekend. I carefully selected my top five areas; Red Rock Canyon, Spring Mountain National Recreation Area, Valley of Fire State Park, Death Valley National Park, and Mojave National Preserve. Each area have several day trip ideas within its boundaries in my guidebook for people visiting Las Vegas, or locals that want ideas and more information before heading out. My book doesn’t aim to cover everything one can do in these areas, but it does give concrete ideas of many amazing day trips, including what to bring, when to go, what to expect, what to avoid, what type of wild life that lives in the area, amenities (or luck thereof,) etc etc. The reader can see high resolution photos of the destination and exact descriptions of how to get there. It answers questions like; If I only have a few hours, where do I go? How do I stay safe while I experience the deserts intense beauty? Can I bring my children? Is it dog friendly? Are there restrooms available? What time of the day should I visit? I want to see wild horses, where can I go? 

These Top 5 Destinations are within a 2 hours drive from Las Vegas (Death Valley, and Mojave National preserve, can be further depending on where you go,) and are perfect for a day trip to change the scenery. Or they can be experienced for a weekend, or longer as well. They all have campgrounds. Some are first come first serve, others needs to be reserved months ahead of time, and then there is the alternative of dispersed camping for the more adventurous among us. I do talk more about the different camping alternatives for each place in the book. My colorful guide book will get the reader there well prepared, knowing what to expect. Imagination being the only limit to the experience!

A picture says more than a 1000 words. That’s what makes this guide book The Desert Around Las Vegas – A Guidebook To Amazing Day Trips In The Mojave Desert stand out. The colorful high-resolution photos of the top five day trip destinations close to Las Vegas, are taken with a full frame camera, to capture the essence of these remarkable places. 

I am super excited that this project is coming together. I’ve dedicated thousands of hours exploring, reading about the destinations, taking field notes, taking photos, editing photos, and enjoying these places. The Desert Around Las Vegas – A Guidebook To Amazing Day Trips In The Mojave Desert is going to be available on Amazon mid November. I am super excited about that!


Lines in Valley of Fire.

This post is part of Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #66: Filling the Frame.


A square window at The Cabins, Valley of Fire State Park.

This post is a part of lines&squaresand Sunday Stills: All #Lined Up.


How is your week so far? We’re having a fabulous week here busy with our homeschooling projects, and preparations for some camping this weekend. I do believe we have some baking on the schedule today. I’m making an experiment with our sourdough starter. I’ve been feeding it hearts of hemp. My theory is that it’s going to make the bread very soft, and more elastic, and perhaps add a slightly nutty taste. I haven’t actually made any bread with it yet, so today will be a first. Something else I’ve been thinking about for a while now is that not would be fun to start a Sourdough Bakery. Some day. (It’s quite possible that the thought was born when I ordered a 50lbs bag of flour from a whole sale dealer last week.) LOL. I believe it would be relatively easy to find an audience for a venture like that.

I hope YOU are having a fabulous week!



Published by Sagittarius Viking

It’s all about experiences, and the healing power of nature. Life is about choosing happiness. I entered the magic world of photography when I was five years old. My gypsy soul have taken me to many different countries, and definitely taught me to be more humble. I believe that you are what you eat, body and soul. I enjoy growing my own food, and spending time outdoors. A Sagittarius loves to travel, have an open mind and, and a philosophical view. It motivates them to wander around the world in search of the meaning of life. Sagittarius is extrovert, optimistic and enthusiastic, and likes changes. A lot of that perfectly describes me. The fact that my ancestors, on both parents sides, were vikings, doesn’t exactly lessen my desire to explore. Maybe a slightly more mindful exploring, compared to the average viking. My blog, and my art prints is a results of my (inner and outer) explorations. Love, Maria

46 thoughts on “The Desert Around Las Vegas – A Guidebook To Amazing Day Trips In The Mojave Desert

  1. You have done amazing work with your book. Oh my, I can’t imagine all the hours you’ve put into it and it is really looking GREAT!! You made me giggle with the flour you bought, you should open a bakery, hmm… Maybe someday? Lol 😀 ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! The book project is fun, but I have put a lot into it. It feels good seeing the progress. Thank you for your kind words 🙂 I might open a bakery some day. It is possible. I have been the manager of a couple bakeries, during my time as a baker. Not any sourdough bakery though 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations – I’m so happy for you! I’ve been enjoying seeing your photos on Instagram. I’ve never been to the Las Vegas area, so it is fun for me to see the beauty through the eyes of a fellow ‘non-city gal’. I still need to try your sourdough bread recipe. I look forward to hearing how your new experiments turn out. Thank you for sharing your news and updates, and for all your amazing efforts to share a different side of the Las Vegas area!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Shelley! I’m so happy to hear that you enjoy my photos, makes it so much more fun to take them and share them 🙂
      I love seeing the green in your photos!
      I liked how the hemp sourdough bread turned out. I’m having some right now 🙂 My daughter did not appreciate the nutty taste, said it was OK, but she would prefer plain (she’s not a big fan of mixing things.)

      Have a fabulous day!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, I’m happy to encourage people following their passions!
        We adore the green time of year here too. All too soon it’ll be white everywhere ;-(.
        I bet I’d enjoy the nutty taste of that bread – my kids were like that when they were young too, not wanting to mix things, now they’re both very creative in their cooking and experimenting with foods.
        Hope you’re having a great day too!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations about the publication of your new book. I admire your creativity, Maria. And thanks too for joining the challenge this week. Your shots of the desert are fabulous and fill the frame beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats on getting the book closer and closer to completion – it seems
    Like a very needed book ((and like that title you decided on))
    Hope then read
    Comes out well and the hemp hearts might add some protein ?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. PS

    Regarding this part:
    “are taken with a full frame camera, to capture the essence of these remarkable places”

    The are should be “were” because it is past tense
    And is places the right word?
    Isn’t it all one place – the desert?
    Should it be remarkable parts of the desert?
    Or remarkable areas ?

    And not sure about this- maybe you could have others comment or ask fb friends –
    But you might need a comma and a dash –

    The colorful, high-resolution (add comma
    After colorful?)

    top-five day trip (does top five get a dash because it is describing day trips)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It often feels like there’s no end to the desert.
      Exploring a new area is exciting I don’t think I could live anywhere without doing that. I definitely helps to feel more connected to a new place. I like to read some history as well. Enjoy your weekend!


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