Don’t believe Hollywood! Los Angeles to Las Vegas can be a very boring road trip, until you decide to make it interesting.
While films such as ‘The Hangover’ have romanticised the I-15 interstate highway that is the fastest route from LA to Vegas, it’s nothing but a straight endless stretch, with dry mountains both sides.
But once you cross into Nevada from California and just before the lights of Las Vegas start to blind you, keep an eye to the left, on the Red Rock Canyon road and onwards to Scenic Loop drive.
A 30-minute drive will open up millennia-old America to you.
Forget Grand Canyon, this is Red Rock Canyon—home to Native American history (rock art and pottery), wildlife (desert tortoise and wild donkeys), and the sheer beauty of colours. Most rocks are red in colour (presence of iron) and there are plenty of Aztec Sandstones—it’s a feast for the eyes.
While the Red Rock Canyon isn’t even half as grand as the Grand Canyon, it’s a place where you can spend days—there are plenty of trails and campsites. And it’s not touristy. Most people who head to Vegas from anywhere get immersed in Vegas, leaving this canyon untouched, clean, silent, and beautiful as ever.
While the guys in ‘The Hangover’ destroyed a beautiful 1965 Mercedes-Benz 220SE Convertible, we discovered a new star in the GLC.
The model we drove was the GLC 300, picked it up from Los Angeles airport, and took a relaxed seven hours to Las Vegas.
Later this year, the all-new GLC—already launched in Europe—will be launched in India also (the car in these photos is the previous generation model), in the likely price range of Rs 60 lakh and above.
More around Vegas
While the guys in ‘The Hangover’ got lost in Vegas, we would suggest you move further around. A one-hour drive will take you to Hoover Dam (the forever dam) and further to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. A five-hour further drive to the east will take you to Grand Canyon.
Driving around in the US also makes you realise how much the country is dependent on a car. In fact, the saying goes that ‘America was built around a car’. It’s both a blessing and a shortcoming. If you don’t have a car, chances are you may not be able to fully explore the hinterland (because public transport is usually from city centre to city centre).
But thanks to a car, you can discover that there is so much more to America than their big cities and bright lights.