Monday, October 2, 2023

Guided Outdoor Adventure in Las Vegas

Las Vegas is known primarily for its casinos, its nightlife, its shows, its food, its glitz and its glamour. But hiding in plain sight is something that people just don't talk about enough. Las Vegas is an outdoor adventurer's dream.

On the periphery of the city there are several places that those looking for wilderness adventure can go to experience some truly amazing things. And the American Alpine Institute can help you get there.

Founded initially as a climbing school and guide service, the American Alpine Institute has since expanded its services to include not just rock climbing and mountaineering, but hiking, backpacking, snowshoeing, Leave No Trace wilderness programs and canyoneering.

With a mission to provide world class mountain education, exceptional guided experiences and to inspire natural preservation, AAI has a program for every adventure motivated Las Vegas visitor.

We understand that adventure is a spectrum, and while some want to climb to the top of a mountain, others want to explore, hike or snowshoe. Following is a short tiered breakdown of AAI's programs in and around Las Vegas, from non-technical to technical.

Click to enlarge.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area boasts beautiful craggy peaks, red sandstone hills, and peaceful wilderness solitude. AAI's Guided Hiking Program in Red Rock allows hikers to explore this alluring area and learn about the local natural history, geologic features, plants, and animals.

There are hundreds of hiking trails woven throughout Red Rock, so we offer a wide variety of hiking options for all ability levels. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing, sightseeing walk, or a challenging scramble, we can ensure that there is a hike for everyone. 

Bighorn Sheep in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Photo: David Anderson

The Paiute people populated Red Rock Canyon for thousands of years.
 They left their marks on the landscape in petroglyphs throughout the area. 
Many have faded, some have been vandalized, but you can still find 
a surprise in the desert every now and then. 

Just over an hour from the hustle and bustle of the Las Vegas Strip lies the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, home to the magnificent Mt. Charleston. Mt. Charleston boasts endless hiking and snowshoeing opportunities during the wintertime. 

Most people don’t realize that the high mountainous desert gets that cold, but winter storms blanket the range in snow, and temperatures are often in the 20s in the shade, and in the 30s in the sun.

Snowshoeing and winter hiking are the perfect ways for entry-level winter wilderness travelers to access some of the most wild and scenic backcountry during the cold months. We offer private guided snowshoeing and winter hiking trips to the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area and Mt Charleston throughout the winter season for all fitness levels and ages. We choose our objectives based on your needs and desires.

Moving through freshly fallen snow. Photo: Jamie Dantas

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area -- often referred to as Red Rocks -- is unique in North American climbing. No other area offers such extensive climbing in a beautiful desert environment while at the same time enjoying the ease of access and amenities of a nearby metropolitan area. Red Rock rises in a 3000-foot wall of red, pink, and cream colored Aztec sandstone. The cliffs form a north-south trending barrier over ten miles long and are cut perpendicularly with many major canyons and innumerable smaller ones. When you are climbing, the only sign of human impact is an occasional glimpse of the narrow access road, so while you are close to civilization, it feels like you are deep in a desert wilderness area.

AAI offers private guided programs for climbers of all ages and skill levels every day. We also offer a variety of group courses in Red Rocks. Check them out:

Multi-Pitch Skills Course (4-days)

Other Program Options

AAI has the ability to provide summer hiking and backpacking programs in the Spring Mountains, approximately one-hour from Las Vegas.  These are provided on a private basis.

In some years, the Spring Mountains hold enough snow to explore the area on backcountry skis. Additionally, there is occasionally ice climbing up there. AAI can provide either of these options to interested parties on a private basis when the weather and conditions cooperate.

And finally, AAI can provide Leave No Trace programs to those that are interested in both Red Rock Canyon and in the Spring Mountains, any time throughout the year. Contact us for more information.

No comments: