It seems like a crazy idea to go running in a desert that’s also an area with a focus purely revenue related. You’d be forgiven in thinking that Vegas is only about the vast hotels, cavernous casinos, live shows, shopping and unique dining experiences. It doesn’t quite marry up to going trail running. But that’s where you’re wrong. Drive a few miles away from ‘The Strip’ and a whole new world appears.
I was fortunate enough to be in Las Vegas in February of this year before the pandemic really took hold, little did I know it’d be the last opportunity I’d have for some time to trail run in another country and I’m so glad I did.
My time in Vegas was brief, 4 days in fact, so I wanted to make use of them wisely. Additionally, I only had the mornings before work started at 8am so this really focussed my mind on what I could reasonably achieve. I knew I’d need a car to get about which was easily collected from the airport. I opened up the Alltrails App on my smartphone (previous blog post here about this App) and began exploring the area, adding trails to favourites then switching to Google Maps to check the driving distance from my hotel to the trailhead. My planning was coming together and I had many trails to choose from. I spoke with a colleague that lives in the area to sense check the ‘safety’ and with a little guidance, he helped narrow down my final list.
Where did I go?
I focused my runs south-west of Vegas driving out along interstate 160 to various trailheads. Fortunately, they’re marked on Google Maps and accessible by a few metres from the road.
|Trailhead Name on Google||Google Maps Plus Code|
|1||Late Night Trails||2H69+G7 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|2||Mountain Springs Trailhead||2G72+H4 Mountain Springs, Nevada, United States|
|3||Southwest Ridge Mountain Bike Trail||2MGM+6H Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
I should mention that the 3rd trail parking is off-road by around 100m, I didn’t have any problems in my hire car. Use the satellite view on Google Maps to see how this looks.
These are the routes that I followed from the app on my phone.
|Trail Name||Link to AllTrails|
|1||Mustang & Landmine Loop||https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/nevada/mustang-and-landmine-loop?u=m|
|2||Mountain Springs Trail||https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/nevada/mountain-springs-trail|
|3||Good Call and Southwest Ridge Loop||https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/nevada/good-call-to-southwest-ridge-loop?u=m|
Every day was a 5am start which meant that I could get going at first light and be ready at the peaks for sunrise. It was certainly worth doing and I have to say the most enjoyable trail running I’ve completed to date, even compared to running in the Alps – and that’s saying something.
A handful of my early morning and sunrise pictures.