We are fully into the spring season now in Las Vegas and have all the crazy weather to go with it. Sometimes it rains in the valley while it snows on top the mountain, and sometimes we have lovely, hot, 80- and 90-degree days. Thanks to a visit from my parents, we’ve been able to try out all the fun, touristy activities that go along with spring and spring break in Las Vegas.
So how can we tell it’s spring here in Las Vegas? All the turtles and lizards and snakes came out of hiding! Turtles are my husband’s absolute favorite animal, so it was about time we finally found a tortoise in the wild. Rather than wake up a groundhog for a weather report, in Vegas we wait for a special tortoise named Mojave Max to emerge from hibernation and announce the official start of spring. We found this unnamed turtle on the same weekend Mojave Max signaled our end to winter. Pro tip- never pick up a tortoise for fun! Handling wild tortoises is illegal, they’re likely to pee on you and subsequently become dehydrated, and the only reason to move one is if it’s in imminent danger of getting struck by a vehicle.
Though they missed the tortoise sighting by a few days, thankfully my parents are also rather outdoorsy and were definitely up for doing all kinds of activities in our beautiful sunshine. After all, they were escaping some yucky Indiana snow! We made sure to eat on the patio at Downtown Summerlin’s California Pizza Kitchen, tackle some morning hikes, and make my first visit to Valley of Fire State Park. Among my favorite finds at Valley of Fire- tons of petroglyphs, a few big-horn sheep, some of the charter school students I work with, and a bona fide desert dust storm on the way home.
Unfortunately, I can’t do all fun-in-the-sun all the time. My pale skin just won’t allow it, lol. My favorite indoor activity this spring has definitely been our trip to Brad Garret’s Comedy Club. My husband has had to frequent the new club to finish some electrical work, and lucky for us that meant a trip over on a Friday night to check out another lighting job. We enjoyed some drinks, laughed wildly at three amazing comedians, and were treated to a tiny backstage tour. Thank you, Brad!
Apart from the Strip, we enjoyed a different type of night life at rail Explorers Las Vegas. On my very first run at the River Mountains Loop Trail, I found these red adirondack chairs and fire pits in the desert and instantly knew I’d love this excursion. These two- or four-person bikes allowed us to take an actual, working railroad for a trip through a landscape full of mountains, desert plants, and stars. Assistance from an electric motor made each leg of our journey a breeze. I wish the real breeze had died down a bit, as a big gust of wind completely blew out the campfire we were enjoying. I still maintain that the best time to enjoy this excursion would probably be on the sunset tour, where you can see all the gorgeous colors of the sky as the sun sets over the mountains. Unfortunately, that’s the tour that booked up first, so the nighttime trip under the stars was the next best choice.
My parents didn’t have the perfect timing for their trip, and they missed the blooming of all the wildflowers by just a few days. On the other hand, I’m quite sure my mom does not regret missing seeing this snake at Calico Basin with us on a hike after they went home. I had to laugh recently when Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf doubled down at calling Las Vegas “gross” and “tacky,” as she’s clearly never found any of the delightful desert attributes we’ve come to know and love.
So there you have it- Las Vegas absolutely has different seasons, and I’ve got the photos and spring allergies to prove it. I even have a pup that’s about ready to publicly denounce all indoor dog beds, in favor of living outside of course.
Happy adventuring everyone ❤