Located about 20 miles west of Las Vegas, the 200,000-acre Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is a beautiful destination if you’re looking to leave the city for a few hours.
Red Rock’s higher elevation and sandstone formations offer the allure of cooler temperatures, as well as hiking trails, a new visitor center (opened in 2010), occasional sightings of wild burros (usually from September to November), and a gorgeous 13-mile scenic loop.
Even if you’ve visited Red Rock before, you may not have seen it from behind the handlebars of a three-wheeled scooter or other customized vehicle. In the past 10 years, three companies have started offering guided tours of Red Rock in customized or exotic vehicles.
Licensed. This company is one of few in Nevada to receive a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) permit. The permit allows travel on rugged, unpaved roads, such as Rocky Gap Road.
Custom-built for “bumpy.” Due to the risk of flooding and washouts—as well as a bumpy ride—four-wheel, high-clearance vehicles are strongly recommended. Chrysler has custom-designed and built 30 Tour Trekker Jeeps for Pink Jeep Tours.
Small, intimate tour groups. No more than 10 people travel per group. Bottled water is provided to help prevent dehydration.
Cute, open-air, small. This company’s primary-colored scooters—two-seater, three-wheeled—have continuously variable automatic transmissions (CVT), similar to hybrid cars. A recent visitor from California, who rode in a seven-scooter caravan with her nephew, said the scooters drive like a Jet Ski or moped.
Safety-conscious. Passengers must be at least 8 years old, and drivers must be at least 21 years old. Bottled water is provided to help prevent dehydration.
Guided half-day adventure. Guided caravan tours take about three and a half hours.
Offers the thrill of driving a car that is both lithe and powerful. Explore picturesque Nevada State Route 159 near Blue Diamond.
Choice of experiences. “We really don’t rent out the cars,” says Darren Strahl, director of operations. “It’s a guided experience, complete with a lead and a chase car.” Experiences can include three “muscle cars,” three “exotic cars,” or four “exotic cars.”
Have a high-end car to yourself. After a quick tutorial, you can drive a Porsche or other high-end car without having a guide in the vehicle with you.
Guided tours in customized vehicles can add another layer of adventure to the spectacular vistas of Red Rock. Also, these tour companies offer the freedom of having someone else do the insuring, licensing, and maintaining of the vehicle.
By exploring Red Rock in a guided tour, rather than asking yourself, “Will this vehicle need to go to the shop after the rough use it’s gotten today?” you can focus on being in the moment.
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