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Hiking Las Vegas Blog
I received a pair of Samsox Merino Wool Hiking socks to test. For my test I hiked to the summit of Northshore Peak in the Lake Mead area. This is a relatively easy hike: four miles with about 1,300 feet of elevation gain. It's a cross country hike mainly on rock.
I purposely wore an old pair of approach shoes with thinning soles. I wanted to see if the socks cushioned my feet as I hiked on the rock. They did!
Are socks important? Damn right they are important. It's your feet that get you to your destination and back to your car. Good hiking shoes and socks are a must.
First thing you will notice as you put on these socks is they have an amazing feel. They feel supportive and they fit great. The supportive feel comes from the material they are made from: 68% Merino Wool, 30% Nylon, and 2% Lycra Spandex.
The great fit comes from the socks being seamless which reduces bulk so the socks do not bunch up under your toes. The bottom of the sock is cushioned so you don't feel the rock as you hike or scramble.
Even though the main fabric is Merino Wool, the socks do not itch and again they are extremely comfortable.
One of the best features of the socks are they really wick moisture away from your feet. Your feet will feel better and when you take off your socks there's no bad odor! My socks and feet were dry after my hike!
Also, these socks are made in the USA! That means more jobs for Americans.
Bottom line: These are the best socks I have ever worn. I have been hiking for 25 years and gone through dozens of different socks.
How to Care for Your Socks
Machine or hand wash inside out in cold or warm water (not hot) and air dry for best results.
Cost: $29.99 for two pair of socks
To purchase: Click here
The sock come in black, grey, and oatmeal
In, twenty, or thirty years from now, we will have moments in our life’s stories that include the phrase, “2020 happened”. We will all nod our heads with a collective agreement about the events of this historic year. When 2020 happened we quarantined, one of my former fifth grade students took his life, my 13 year career as a classroom teacher morphed into distance learning, my husband lost employment when the CEO of the company was arrested for fraud*, and my father passed away a month before my visit for a birthday/end of chemotherapy celebration.
The challenges of the past year forced me to rediscover myself and evaluate my life’s purpose. I had conversations that were strikingly intimate, forgiving, and vulnerable. I didn’t want to become defined by circumstances but made stronger from them. My relationships with colleagues, friends, students, parents, and family were deepened. I learned who to lean on and who to let go because we couldn’t get past a surface-level connection. I rediscovered a confidence and determination I never realized had dwindled over the years.
I cannot say any of these realizations would have happened for me without (1) the help of an amazing, qualified therapist and (2) The 52 Peak Club. When 2020 happened, we recognized the need for trained mental health professionals during the mad rush for toilet paper, the volatile political climate, and The Tiger King. I want to show appreciation for the dark horse of my story...The 52 Peak Club.
I was recommended to The 52 Peak Club by a close friend because I loved to hike. Nature is my happy place. We agreed to join together, but my friend backed out. I would tease him a bit more about here, but his decision allowed me to develop new relationships with other club members.
I thought I was a competent hiker before the club. I quickly realized, near the top of Kraft Mountain in Red Rock, climbing peaks in Vegas was more challenging than I laughably assumed. I wore the wrong shoes for scrambling rocks (rookie mistake), huffed and puffed over boulders, was drenched in sweat, and became completely hooked after earning my first card that day. Scrambling encourages the use of physical and mental strength to problem solve while practicing mindfulness of yourself and surroundings at the same time. Unlike the gym, conquering a peak rewards you with an amazing sense of accomplishment and spectacular view.
I was more capable than I had been giving myself credit, and it took marching off into the wilderness with strangers to realize that. The 52 Peak Club is as much about the members and leaders as the goal to finish a deck. It still amazes that this encouraging and validating support system helped me recover my internal strength and confidence when I needed it most. I listened to other remarkable stories, laughed at jokes, posed for peak and ledge pics, and discovered the best buffets in Vegas are at the top. We were all at different levels, but we were a team and everyone’s accomplishment mattered.
I am halfway through my deck and holding each card brings memories and feelings of every accomplishment. They remind me how important it is to challenge the thoughts and assumptions I make out of fear or doubt. As I started to challenge myself, my life’s new purpose opened up and fell rather naturally into place. This month, I was accepted to the Educational Psychology Ph.D. program at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. A peak that I might not have wanted to conquer before this club.
So now, my 52 Peak Club goal has a time-based goal attached. My hope is to finish my deck before my first semester. However, I know that I will still keep climbing peaks, challenging my thoughts and beliefs, and never forget the determination my father saw as inherently...
This is a quicker and more efficient way to White Pinnacle Gully. Follow First Creek Trail passing the turnoff for First Creek Waterfall. Continue on the trail as it turns into a path and spiderwebs. Stay near the wash, but do not cross it.
Soon the path ducks under the branches of a large tree: Landmark 1
Shortly you will see a ~3 foot high tree stump to the left of the trail: Landmark 2
Finally, you will see the reddish boulder in the photo below: Landmark 3
Cross the wash here. See the photo below.
You will ascend a very small hill after crossing the wash. Head NW about 50 yards where you will pick up a faint path. Follow this path the best you can. Although there are numerous paths, the direction of travel is now obvious: head for the slope that lies below White Pinnacle Gully
Being a renter rarely allows you to truly make your home nice and cozy and of all the things new homeowners can look forward to, making their home uniquely theirs is the most exciting! After all, isn’t that part of having a space of your own to do with as you’d like?
If you’re struggling with design ideas because you’ve never owned your own home and don’t know where to start, fear not! We asked some of the top real estate agents in Las Vegas what are the hottest current interior design trends they’re seeing in Sin City. Here are a few of their top picks.
1. Making the home scream, “I have personality!”
Perhaps the biggest trend homeowners are embracing is adding as much personality and charm they possibly can. Well, without going overboard of course! People are displaying their collections and favorite pieces of art throughout the home. They’re accessorizing with items that show off their personality - no matter how eclectic that may be.
A good rule of thumb to follow when doing this is to pick and choose your items so the space doesn’t look overwhelming and like there’s no thought put into it.
2. Bye-bye boring neutrals - hello broody and bold colors
We can’t count how many times home improvement shows proudly give homeowners a boring neutral palette. Sure, they may think it looks nice (and it does, don’t get us wrong), but there’s something about an all grey, white, and off white home that just feels so… Sterile and lacking personality.
Homeowners are embracing bold (and dark) colors. Deep shades of blue, grey, and even wallpaper with darker patterns are popping up everywhere - the walls, cabinets, floor tiles, furniture and the like.
If you’re worried about the dark colors going to make your space feel like a cave, you can always brighten things up with light colored furniture, drapes, accessories, and fixtures. Oh, and open up all of the windows for plenty of natural sunlight!
3. Different takes on the kitchen island
The kitchen island has been a big ticket item for homeowners across the country, but Las Vegans are especially into islands that go beyond the usual. For example, some folks love the look of a waterfall island where the sides are the same as the countertop. Others like the two-tiered island or the double island to add some entertaining space as well as visual interest.
4. Appliance hideaways for a sleek and uncluttered look
If you look in your kitchen, how many small appliances are taking up valuable space on your kitchen counters? We aren’t just talking about the toaster and coffee maker! The number of small appliances we have in our kitchens increased exponentially and the clutter is real.
Homeowners are vying for custom cabinets with plugs in the back so you can pull the device out whenever you need to without worrying about searching for a plug. Then once you’re done using it, you can hide it away until the next time.
5. Supporting local small businesses
The global pandemic that continues to ravage the country has put millions of small businesses out of business across the country. In an effort to help keep as many artisans and black-owned businesses operating, many homeowners are skipping the big box stores in favor of shopping locally. Although this isn’t necessarily a design trend, it is a socially conscious trend that affects everyone to some degree.
So, instead of buying that overpriced, poorly made bookshelf from a discount store, consider looking for a handmade piece from someone nearby. You could even look for items from small businesses online, on Etsy and even social media.
Trends tend to come and go, but if there’s anything you should keep in mind when decorating your home, it’s to do whatever makes you happy. So what if you want a neon green bathroom? Who cares if you want a leopard area rug in a white bedroom? This is your home and trends are just meant to give you inspiration!
Las Vegas has long been heralded as one of the most thrilling cities in the world. While gaming may be the main draw, there are countless other attractions to keep you entertained. Massive casinos may get all the attention, but here are some other great additions to your itinerary for when you're planning your next vacation to Las Vegas.
Attend a Home Game
For a long time, Las Vegas had to go without any major sports teams. The recently added ice hockey team, the Las Vegas Golden Knights, was a major turning point. However, the addition of the Las Vegas Raiders has really put this city on the map.
After many lackluster seasons in Oakland, CA, the decision to move the team to this new market was met with both criticism and optimism. Now more settled, the Raiders are clearly turning it around. As the team gets acquainted with their new home and accustomed to their hopeful fanbase, their NFL betting odds are steadily increasing and they have started to build their offensive scheme.
Things are certainly looking up for the once bottom-tier team, and the community here is thrilled to have them. If you are planning a vacation to Las Vegas, a trip to the Raider's home stadium for a game should definitely be on your to-do list.
Take a Food Tour
One thing that may shock your average traveler is just how great of a food city Las Vegas really is. Sure, you may have heard all about the prime rib buffets that are a staple on the Strip, but there is a lot more to dig into in this city.
To start off, there is Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen, a restaurant made famous by the television show and Ramsey’s signature outbursts. Luckily, all you will have to endure here is fantastic 5-star cuisine and amazing plating that is perfect for your Instagram pictures. Their beef wellington is highly recommended.
Next is the Eiffel Tower Restaurant, known for its breathtaking view of the city that you can enjoy as you get started tucked in to their three courses dinners. This is an intimate and romantic venue, perfect for a date, and the menu is divine. With roasted racks of lamb, foie gras, caviar and more, this is a dinner you will certainly remember.
Las Vegas is absolutely full of great dining experiences like this. Regardless of your budget, you can certainly find something that is perfect for you. Don’t forget about their food tours that will take you through many different streets to sample a wide array of treats and beverages.
Dive Into Vegas History
For those who are less interested in gaming and more interested in the lore and history of Las Vegas, there are many different attractions and tours that would suit you better. Las Vegas is a marvelous city with a rich story to tell, and the details are everywhere waiting to be explored. From the iconic buildings to the well known landmarks, you can make an entire day trip centered around visiting these great locations.
Aside from the Las Vegas Strip and the iconic Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign, there are some more landmarks that you must see. The Mirage Volcano is a great free attraction for everyone in the area. A few times every evening you will see this volcano erupt, with accompanying music. The Fountains of Bellagio is another must-see for visitors to the city, and also has elaborate light and water shows every night for tourists. Another well known spot, the Stratosphere Tower, is a popular fixture on the Las Vegas skyline that provides a 360 degree view of the magnificent strip and nightlife.
Of course, for those who want a real trip down memory lane, there are some places that cater more to history buffs. The Neon Museum is dedicated to preserving the remnants of old Las Vegas among an ever-changing landscape. Here you will find an assortment of signs and promotions that were present in the older days of this city. There is also the interesting Mob Museum, a provocative collection of exhibits that pay tribute to and honors the infamous founding history of this city and mafia activity across the US. In addition, it’s always worth taking a visit to some of the oldest casinos in the city like The Flamingo, to really get a sense of the classic Las Vegas appeal.
Helicopter Rides Around the Area
One popular attraction that goes right over the head of most tourists, and often gets overlooked by residents too, is the Las Vegas helicopter tours. They are very enjoyable and definitely within your budget. What better way to see the strip lit up at night than by a helicopter tour that circles the city? In addition to this, you can book a day trip that will take you to the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam, to the gorgeous hot springs around Lake Mead and more. This is truly the adventure of a lifetime and something far different than the norm.
The Incredible Live Entertainment
Of course, what would this city be without the world renowned live entertainment? The amazing thing is that regardless of what you are interested in, there are plenty of different shows to satisfy you. There is something for every price range and most shows have more than one performance per night!
First off is the classic magic shows. Penn & Teller have been performing here for years, and they still regularly bring sold out crowds. David Copperfield is one of the most famous and certainly among the wealthiest magicians alive. His Las Vegas show has run nonstop for 13 years and counting. For the more modern crowd, Criss Angel is another popular magic show here that is always worth checking out.
One name that you have undoubtedly heard many times in your life is the world famous Cirque du Soleil. This entertainment company has been thrilling crowds for decades and regularly has massive performances in Las Vegas. The best thing about this group is they are constantly changing up their performances, bringing in fresh new acts and taking the entire evening in an entirely new direction.
From music, to comedy, performing arts and more, Las Vegas has plenty of live events that will keep you coming back time and time again.
I was an abused child. My father, a drug addict and alcoholic with bipolar disorder, hurt me physically, verbally, and mentally. Growing up in this environment impacted me deeply. As a teenager and young adult, I found I had adopted my father's pattern of violence, and I struggled to free myself from his legacy.
I remember the first time I held my newborn son and looked into his innocent eyes. That was the moment my life changed. The realization that I didn't know how to be a father or a husband terrified me. In that instant, I made a promise that violence would not define me, nor would it destroy my family. I immediately embarked on a journey of counseling, reading, and personal development, committed to becoming the best father and husband I could be.
If not for that defining moment, I can’t imagine what my life would be like today. It has been the driving force motivating me to break the chain of violence that dominated my family tree for generations.
SafeNest, Nevada’s largest, most comprehensive nonprofit dedicated to ending domestic violence, has created programs designed to intentionally guide children down the path that I accidently stumbled upon.
We need these programs now more than ever. Since the onset of the pandemic, domestic violence rates have surged in Clark County. Requests for SafeNest services have increased by 150%, and the level of abuse has escalated as individuals and families struggle to stay afloat in this new world made worse by isolation, stress, economic anxiety, lack of resources, and substance abuse.
SafeNest is meeting the challenge, increasing the number of shelter beds; moving education, counseling and case work to an online platform; providing public service announcements in English and Spanish to support victims and family members; and working with courts and Southern Nevada Legal Aid to get Temporary Protection Orders (TPOs) completed by phone.
None of this is easy. Or inexpensive. Satisfying the growing demand for services and support takes life-saving contributions from caring individuals like you, as well as families and corporations.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. When you now "Invest in the Nest", your generous donation will be matched up to $10,000!
The deadline is the end of the day on Thursday, October 15. Please join me in supporting SafeNest as we work diligently to navigate a very different funding landscape. Let’s use our passion to change the world starting right here, right now!
Thank you from all of us at SafeNest and, more importantly, thank you from those we serve.
Donations are tax deductible. Please forward this email to family, friends, colleagues, and businesses who may want to join in supporting this great cause.
Chief Executive Officer
Network Security Associates, Inc.
Fly fishing is an exciting way of catching fish using artificial baits to practice as a hobby or use when refining your fishing skills. If you want to learn how to fly fish, then there are a few basics that you must understand. However, keep in mind that the techniques are a little bit complex compared to other fishing methods, but once you master it, nothing will stop you from luring bait and immersing yourself in nature during your free time. Here are four easy steps that will help you master the art of fly fishing.
You can get several physical and mental benefits from hiking, such as getting stronger bones to prevent osteoporosis, as well as relieving you from the stress that can cause anxiety. Perhaps this can be attributed to the fact that you need to exert a physical effort in the trek while enjoying nature and the outdoors. If you are embarking on your first hike, below are some tips to make it successful.
1. Start Easy
One of the primary things that you can do to ensure that you will have a successful first hike is to start easy. This entails the need for you to find a trail that is appropriate for your fitness level, neither too easy nor too challenging. A trail that proves to be too easy may be quite boring, while a trail that is too challenging may discourage you from hiking in the future. In parallel to this, also pick a pace that you can stick to for you to save your energy. In choosing where you will hike, make sure to check the weather too because the weather forecast can serve as your guide on what you need to bring, as well as what type of clothes you need to wear.
2. Pack the Essentials
To ensure that your first hike will be successful, you need to keep in mind to pack the essentials that you need for the trek. Some of the things that you need to bring include your navigation such as your map or compass, illumination such as a headlamp or a flashlight, fire sources like matches or lighters, as well as first aid supplies and repair tools. As much as possible, go for lightweight hiking gear to ease yourself from needing to carry a heavy load throughout the trek. Remember to pack some food and water to get you fueled up for your hike as well.
3. Function Over Fashion
Another thing that you can do for a successful first hike is to prioritize function over fashion. This means that you need to wear the right shoes and socks, as well as the appropriate clothes for the hike. In this case, wear clothes made from synthetic materials rather than cotton because the latter tends to stay damp as soon as you start to sweat. It is also a good idea to wear layers of clothing that you can add or remove as necessary. Thinking about how you look should just come after.
4. Follow Trail Etiquette
Even if you are a beginner in hiking, make sure that you already follow one of the most important trail etiquette, which is leaving no trace. This means that you need to pack your trash as you go. It also means that you need to respect wildlife and be considerate of other hikers.
In conclusion, the tips mentioned above are geared to ensure that you will have the ultimate experience on your first hike. Aside from this, make sure to let someone know of your hiking plans for your safety. Soon you will find that hiking can indeed do wonders, not only for your mind and body but for your soul as well.
Allison McNickle (53er) and Bruce Small (Triple 53er) started their “Epic” Hike in the Charleston Wilderness Area on Aug 27th and finished on Sept 1, 2020.
50+ miles, 26,000 feet of elevation climbed and 21 peaks tagged...4 nights, 5 days
Two plus years of talking, several months of planning, and over 60 liters of water cached on the route to ensure they had a successful hike.
After being dropped off, Bruce and Alison started their Epic hike at Bonanza trailhead. Their first of 21 peaks was Bonanza Peak (10,400 feet).
They continued on the Bonanza Trail losing almost 1,800 feet of elevation and then regaining most of it to the McFarland turnoff. They hiked up to McFarland Peak (10,742 feet) and then over to Baby McFarland (10,436 feet), sub-peak on the mountain.
From there they descended to the Bonanza Trail hiking about 6 miles to the Old Bristlecone Trail. Just before the junction of Old Bristlecone and Upper Bristlecone they turned off to the west and gained the northern ridge line below Lee Peak and camped in the forest that night.
Three peaks this day.
Up bright and early Allison and Bruce ascended nearly 1700 ft in less than ¾ of a mile to summit Lee Peak (11,312 feet). From there they hiked over to the recently named Rocketship Peak (11,140 feet).
Their next peak was Charleston Peak, the highest peak in southern NV. They descended to the North Loop Trail and followed it roughly two miles to Charleston Peak (11,918 feet). Next up was Griffith Peak. They followed the South Loop Trail to Griffith Peak (11,056 feet). Allison and Bruce descended Griffith Peak via South Loop Trail and hiked over to and up Trail Canyon a 1/2 mile to their camp for the night.
Four peaks this day.
Another early start had Allison and Bruce hiking up Trail Canyon to the junction with North Loop Trail. They scrambled over to Cockscomb Peak (9,650 feet) and back to the junction. They hiked North Loop Trail to Raintree, a 3,000 year old Bristlecone Pine.
From Raintree they hiked out to Fletcher Peak (10,319 feet). After a short break at that summit, they retraced their steps to Raintree and hiked the Mummy Springs route to Mummy's Toe (10,319 feet).
They camped at the base of Mummy's Toe.
Three peaks this day.
As the sun rose Allison and Bruce traversed the legs/shin of Mummy Mt. over to the east route to summit Mummy Mt (11,529 feet), the second highest peak in southern Nevada.
On the way, they went up to a peak that they thought was MJ, but later found out it wasn't...so they counted this unnamed peak since it was 11,300 feet.
Leaving Mummy Mtn. they did the route to Chin (11,040 feet), Forehead (11,043 feet) and Nose (10,748 feet), a popular hardcore route often done by members of the 52 Peak Club.
They descended Mummy’s Nose via the typical route out to SR 156 and hiked it up to the Sister's exit route. From there they hiked in about a 1/2 mile to their camp in the forest.
Five peaks this day.
After a quick breakfast, Allison and Bruce headed up the scenic, tree lined ridge on the east side of the Sisters exit route until they gained the main Sister's ridge and went east to Black Sister (9,650 feet).
Then they did the Sister's route in reverse, climbing North Sister (10,175) and then South Sister (10,040 feet). They descended South Sister to the Sister's ridge line following it west to the big, light-colored, gravel, high spot and turned north to follow a ridge that runs between the Sisters and Mack’s Peak.
As they crossed this ridge line they discovered another Peak...Rick's Peak (9295 feet)...newly named after Kevin Humes's father who passed away a week earlier.
They then connected with the route up to Mack’s Peak, just below the first climb up, and went up to Mack’s Peak (10,033 feet).
After this summit they traversed the top of the mountain (not the knife edge...they did that a couple weeks earlier) over to Mack's North Peak (9,820 feet).
The start of the descent route from Mack's North Peak was via a ledge that runs down the south side of the peak. The final descent was down the forested ridge that runs on the east side of the normal descent route. This took them back into Mack’s canyon where they ended the "Epic" Hike at the Upper Mack’s Group Campground.
Six peaks this day.
After the completion of the hike their comment was, “If it wasn’t for Hiking Las Vegas and the 52 Peak Club they may have never known how to link all these peaks together in one “Epic” Hike.”
Branch: In my 25 years of hiking in southern Nevada I have never heard of any hiker attempting a hike like this. Congrats!
The great outdoors! Hiking across vast areas of the countryside has a huge appeal to many of us. Fresh air, open spaces, away from the annoyances of modern life. But there are a few things you should always be aware of, to avoid making mistakes while hiking!
Why Go Hiking Anyway?
Listen, many of us hate to admit it, but we work long hours in cramped spaces feeling rather stressed. John Beye of Outdoorsr.com suggests the outdoors “may even begin to feel like home” which sounds like a magical escape from the cubicle office! The pull of the outdoors is getting away from it all.
Tips For Hiking Safety
But what mistakes are there which could cause issues while out hiking? The last thing you want is to get in any dangerous situations or cause yourselves any harm. Here are a few tips to make sure your hiking trip is a pleasant one and not a scary affair!
Wear The Right Shoes
A hugely common mistake when hiking is not wearing adequate shoes or boots for a long journey. Starting a hike in a standard sneaker will only get you so far! You will probably end up with blisters and soaking wet feet. Hugely unpleasant. Make sure you source some proper hiking boots for your trip - and break them in before you leave!
Pack For Every Eventuality
Underpacking is a huge mistake when hiking. Firstly you need to be prepared for all weather types. It may be sunny and mild when you leave, but in some areas temperatures can change rapidly - not to mention the constant threat of rain! Be prepared with waterproofs and warm clothes.
Also, make sure to pack everything you need for an emergency. If you get an injury you need to be able to apply a basic treatment. If you end up lost and out for far longer than planned, you may need supplies for the night!
Learn To Read Maps
Another common issue people may encounter is their inability to read maps. Even if you are an experienced user of maps, make sure you have the right ones for where you are heading. Also, check over the maps before you leave to familiarise yourself with your planned route, landmarks, and other important spots along your journey. Knowing these things ensures you know you are in the right area if lost.
Though there’s usually no need to fear wildlife, being completely unaware is certainly a mistake. Make sure you know which animals may be in the area you’re hiking in, and understand how they behave. Pay attention to smells and noises while you walk, helping you know where wild animals may be. Never wear headphones, or walk alone in particularly dangerous areas. These tips will keep you alert and aware of which animals may be nearby.
Hopefully, these tips are useful for you when it comes to staying safe while on a hike. A few simple steps can ensure you have a great time whilst out in nature, and not have any issues. Follow these and enjoy your walking!
Branch Whitney is the author of Hiking Las Vegas and creator of the 52 Peak Club where members hike to the best 52 Peaks around Las Vegas, NV