The other day we wanted to do some light off-roading and grab some great shots of our 1995 Range Rover Classic LWB within a two-hour drive of the Las Vegas Strip, so we got up before sunrise and headed out. Our first stop was at an old gypsum mine in the Southwest part of Las Vegas at the crack of dawn. (36° 25’ 59” N, 115° 18’ 01” W) on Ft Apache Street, one mile North of the 160 highway. This is the photo with the Strip in the background. The neighborhood is now called Mountain's Edge. This mine used to be considered "the middle of nowhere", yet it now butts up against the city!
After about an hour of shooting the vehicle we headed back South on Ft Apache to the 160, which is also called Blue Diamond Road. From that intersection we turned West on the 160 to where it intersects with highway 159 (36° 02’ 06” N, 115° 21’ 31” W). From there we forked right to the 159 heading northwest.
About three miles down we very briefly stopped in the charming old mining town of Blue Diamond (36° 02’ 54”N, 115° 25’ 25 w), population 282, where on any given day you will be greeted by wild burros walking down the street that will approach your vehicle looking for a treat. Unfortunately it is illegal to feed them.
From the town of Blue Diamond to the entrance to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (36° 07’ 54” N, 115° 25’ 17” W) is an 8 mile highway drive with breathtaking views of the bright rust colored mountains to your left. At this point we entered the park and drove the “Scenic Loop” which literally loops through the park, surrounding you with incredibly majestic views. Seven miles in you will turn into a parking turn off called La Madre Spring (36° 09’ 22” N, 115° 29’ 24” W). It shortly became a dirt road and becomes Rock Gap Road. We took it for about three miles but with time constraints, we had to turn back around. Unfortunately a lot of it was graded but we still did manage to get some decent rock crawling in.
Once we left the trail, we exited Red Rock and headed back to the 159/160 intersection (36° 02’ 06”N, 115° 21 ’31” W). From there we turned west on to the 160 highway and went approximately 6 miles to a dirt road that only goes South (39° 59’ 51” N, 115° 26’ 45” W). This is an entrance to Sandy Valley. Sandy Valley is bordered on the East by the southern extension of the Spring Mountains and on the west by the California state line. We drove the trail 12 miles to the old mining town of Goodsprings (35° 46’ 55” N, 115° 19’ 50” W), population 229. Goodsprings is known for the town nearest to where Carol Lombard died in a plane crash in 1942 in the nearby Potosi Mountains. Upon arrival we had a delicious Angus burger at the Pioneer Saloon with some of the friendly locals. The Pioneer Saloon is on Spring Street and is among the oldest continuously operating bar in Nevada (over 90 years!).
After that delicious lunch we headed south on Spring Street seven miles to Interstate 15 (35° 45’ 55” N, 115° 19’ 50” W) where the town of Jean is. We then headed back to the dealer ship and were back by 2pm.