These are not my photos! But here are some gorgeous photos that popped up on WordPress today, of a gorgeous spot that was the third day of our western adventure:
Red Rock Canyon is a conservation area managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management. The site itself is a series of iron-rich sandstone rocks in the Mojave Desert home to some 600 species:
The conservation area is one of the easternmost parts of the Mojave Desert; the lowest elevation of the area, from 3,600 to 4,500 feet (1,100 to 1,400 m), is in the Lower Sonoran Zone, while the area from 4,500 feet (1,400 m) up is in the Upper Sonoran Zone. The character of the sandstone layers is such that a number of year-round springs may be found in the recesses of the side canyons.
Some 600 species of plants are known in the area. Common types in the valley floor include the Joshua tree, Mojave yucca, banana yucca, creosote, andblackbrush. Higher up the Utah juniper and Sonoran scrub oak . . . come to dominate. Agave is easy to spot in red rock niches, with its thick low leaves and flowering stem that reaches twice the height of a man. The Calico Tanks trail has a plaque about prehistoric agave roasting pits.Ponderosa pines may be found at the top of the valley, where it connects to the Spring Mountains.
The Conservation Area is protected habitat for the Desert Tortoise. A mascot tortoise, named Mojave Max, was kept at the Visitors Center. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on July 2, 2008 that Max had died of natural causes at the age of 65. A successor has not been named.
More exemplary canyon photos from Nicole Norris’s excellent Red Rock photostream after the jump.