Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Calico Basin & The Red Rock Overlook

A few weeks ago, I was out looking for desert wildflowers. I went to Calico Basin and the Red Rock Overlook, where visitors don't have to pay an entrance fee. The entry into Red Rock Canyon NCA is only $7.00 per vehicle, but not only was I on a budget, I didn't have enough time to drive the 13-mile, one-way loop through Red Rock.

When I was a kid, my family picnicked at Calico Basin. In those days, there was no boardwalk—no one knew how fragile the marshy meadow and springs were. That was also before about a million people moved to Las Vegas, increasing the visitation to Red Rock and the number of people tromping all over the meadow. Now there's a big picnic area and an elevated walkway around the meadow. The squirrels seem to be pretty happy with the changes. They've learned that picnic area = suckers people with food.
Only a few flowers were blooming at Calico Basin, so my son and I headed to the Overlook.

Surprisingly, the areas outside of the Red Rock Loop have the most picnic areas. The Overlook is right off Highway 159, and it's stocked with tables, a really big outhouse, and a roughly paved path that leads up a little hill.

The wind was acting up, but that didn't seem to deter the insects from doing their jobs. After all, even with so few wildflowers out, there was pollinating to be done.

Where's your favorite place at Red Rock?

Photographs by Terrisa Meeks