Seize the photo opportunities
NANPA encourages responsible photography in the wild, and the Las Vegas area—home of the 2019 Nature Photography Summit—provides exciting opportunities to shoot. Here are some recommendations from our members in the area.
About 70 miles north of Las Vegas, Arrow Canyon is great for desert landscapes. Sunrise and sunset are optimal times to photograph. Free admission. The eastern edge of the wilderness area runs through Arrow Canyon, which is confined for about 3 miles between sheer cliffs so tall and close together that sunlight rarely reaches the bottom. The Arrow Range is thick with bighorn sheep, and there are some interesting and unusual petroglyphs along Pahranagat Wash and in Arrow Canyon. More information: http://www.birdandhike.com/Wilderness/ArrowCyn/_Arrow.htm
Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
610 Spring Meadows Rd., Amargosa Valley, NV 89020. You’ll find: birds, flowers/plants, landscapes, water, wildlife including pupfish and 27 endemic species, and wetlands. Best time to shoot is in the morning. This has the largest remaining oasis in the Mojave Desert.
More information: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/ash_meadows/
Desert National Wildlife Refuge
16001 Corn Creek Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89124. You’ll find: birds, flowers/plants, landscapes, wildlife (in particular desert bighorn sheep). Watch for signs. Easy to miss. Spring wildflowers are beautiful. Great trails. More information: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/desert/
Mt. Charleston/Spring Mountains National Recreation Area
2525 Kyle Canyon Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89124. Approximately 45 minute drive from Las Vegas, the Spring Mountains are considered a “sky island” which creates an oasis environment for cooler weather, high elevation species to thrive in the middle of the Mojave Desert. Over 25 endemic plant and animal species are found here. More information: https://www.gomtcharleston.com/
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
601 Nevada Way, Boulder City, NV 89005. About 70 miles north of Las Vegas, Lake Mead is great for desert landscapes. Sunrise and sunset are optimal times to photograph. Free admission. More information: https://www.nps.gov/lake/learn/nature/index.htm
Red Rock Canyon
Just on the outskirts of Las Vegas. Drive away from the Las Vegas strip up Charleston Blvd, and you will pass I-215. The entrance to Red Rock Canyon is on the right a few miles further up the road. You’ll find: flowers/plants, landscapes, wildlife (in particular wild burros and other desert wildlife; desert tortoises; pygmy rabbits at the Visitor Center). There has also been a white sheep in the area. More information: http://www.redrockcanyonlv.org
Valley of Fire
29450 Valley of Fire Hwy, Overton, NV 89040. Valley of Fire is about an hour drive (approximately 70 miles) north of Las Vegas, but is well worth the visit. You’ll find: birds, flowers/plants, landscapes, wildlife (particularly desert species). Great for desert landscapes/bright red Aztec rock formations. Sunrise and sunset are optimal times to photograph. State park fee of $10 to enter. Exit east and follow Lake Mead for sheep sightings. More information: http://www.valley-of-fire.com/
Sites to Visit En Route to/from the Summit
Lake Tahoe is approximately 7 hours from Las Vegas in northern Nevada.
Elko, Nevada/Ruby Mountains is about 7 hours north of Las Vegas/northern Nevada. Outstanding for wildlife and landscapes. More information: http://www.exploreelko.com/ or https://travelnevada.com/discover/27111/ruby-mountains
Zion/other parts of Utah are in close proximity