Saturday, September 24, 2016

US Summer Travel: Tale of the Three Red Rocks, a Canyon, a Park & Amphitheater, and a Country!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

I am not sure if my being married to a guy nicknamed “Red” and he “rocks” (lol) has something to do with my fascination with red rock formations in the United States, but let me tell you about the three Red Rocks  - a  canyon, a park and a country,  we visited in Nevada, Colorado, and Arizona from January 1 until July 30, 2016!

Red Rock Canyon is Nevada's first National Conservation Area and only about 17-mile away from the Las Vegas Strip. It is part of the Mojave Desert which also stretches out to the corners of California, Utah, and Arizona. Within its 195,000 acres of recreational area, Red Rock offers desert beauty, splendid crimson colored - canyontowering red cliffs and abundant wildlife. As one drive along the 13-mile scenic loop, there are photo opportunities at various locations including Calico Hills' colorful sandstone, limestone Indian roasting pits, Indian "hand prints" and pictographs at Willow Springs. Red Rock Canyon is open year - round, with lots of activities for tourists, sightseers, joggers, rock climbers and even horseback riders.

Red Rocks Park is a mountain park in Jefferson County, Colorado. The park is known for its very large red sandstone outcrops formed about 290-296 million years ago. Many of these red rock formations within the park have names, from the mushroom-shaped Seat of Pluto to the inclined Cave of the Seven Ladders. Within the park boundaries is the Red Rocks Amphitheater, a world-famous venue used since 1941, which was designed within the area between two massive slabs of Red stone (Ship Rock and Creation Rock). The amphitheater is an award winning venue for concerts and was the site of the Start and Finish line of The Amazing Race 9 which aired in the spring of 2006. In 2015, Red Rock Parkalong with Mount Morrison Civilian Conservation Corps Camp, were added to the National Historic Landmarks.

Red Rock Country is Arizona’s little secret under the care of Red Rock Ranger District, based at Sedona, Arizona. Once nicknamed “Arizona’s Little Holywood”, Sedona was very popular among filmmakers in golden era of western movies, and an amazing natural wonder enjoying mild climate than its neighboring very hot Phoenix and very cold Flagstaff. Home to some most photographed natural formations, like Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock, Red Rock Country is part of the Coconino National Forest and is one of the designated Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness. Red Rock Country offers incredibly diverse scenery, ranging from ponderosa pine forests to red desert rock formation and numerous buttes and mesas with Oak Creek Canyon as its centerpiece.

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