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Las Vegas, NV: Southern Highlands Radio Tower

An eclectic mix of trailside finds–from blooming cactus to abandoned cars and hot tubs to wandering coyotes–pepper this 7.5-mile hike to a summit overlooking Las Vegas.

Rating

Fifteen minutes from the Strip, this after-work or weekend-morning dayhike offers more than accessible relief from the busy Vegas streets. Views run the gamut from expansive desertscapes and sandy, washed-out basins to elfin cacti with lustrous flowers and long-forsaken, rusted vehicles.
This mostly flat route cuts through open valley between two 3,000-foot-high ridges. After a 2.5-mile warm-up, push up your sleeves for a quick, steep climb to a summit with little to obstruct your view. Enjoy the scenery, but don’t dawdle next to the summit’s fenced Southern Highlands Radio Tower (radio waves may exceed the FCC general public exposure limit beyond the fence). From this vantage point, the Strip looks like a 1960s architecture model. Sheep, Arrow Canyon and Muddy Mountain Ranges rise up out of the city’s haze, appearing to abut Vegas even though they are another 45 minutes north. Retrace your route back to the trailhead.
-Mapped by Chelisse Simmons

To Trailhead

Merge onto I-15 S, taking the ramp to Los Angeles. Continue for 11 miles. Take exit 33 and merge onto Blue Diamond Rd. Turn left at South Decatur Blvd. After about 2 miles, take a slight right onto Southern Highlands Pkwy. Turn right onto Starr Hills Ave. Continue on Chartan Ave.

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