America's City of Lights isn't known for its nature photography, but nearby areas make it worth considering for scenics and more
By Rob Sheppard
You'll find outstanding views of the mountains to the east, north and west, with great opportunities for interesting foregrounds to contrast with the distant mountains. A range of focal lengths from wide to telephoto will benefit you, plus a polarizer. Sturdy boots also help because of all the rocks, though you don't have to walk far to find exceptional photos. This is a great location at almost any time, but afternoon and sunset light is wonderful here.
Unfortunately, the visitor center for the Lake Mead area is way down by Hoover Dam. While it's interesting, it doesn't give you any information you can't get at the visitor centers in Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire, unless you want to learn the history of Lake Mead and Hoover Dam. You can get a map at the entry points.
Essential Gear... Hopping around all the rocks in the Mojave Desert means you need a good pair of boots. Low hiking boots won't do. Higher boots help align your foot better so you're less likely to have a twisted ankle, plus they guard against the hard knocks that always happen to your feet as you climb over and on rocky places. A stiff sole can be an additional benefit. All-leather boots work well in colder seasons, but you'll find the lightweight, mesh and leather boots better for the hot conditions of this area during most of the year.