Do Vegas like a playa, explore a new slot canyon, and rediscover the ancients

Road Trip

   Photo: Tavis Coburn

Rules of the Road

Google Maps is the best. True That. Double True.

The surf almost matches the people watching (

TWENTYNINE PALMS Only early arrivals get to camp at J-Tree's Hidden Valley and Ryan campgrounds, with bouldering just beyond the tent flap ( Walk a mile and you can camp anywhere.

LAS VEGAS Red Rock Resort opened last spring, with guided horseback riding, climbing, and biking ( And don't get all sanctimonious about sin: Hit the Palms' new club, Moon, which has a retractable roof that doubles as a giant video screen (

GRAND CANYON Einstein and Teddy Roosevelt both stayed at El Tovar, a classic lodge 60 feet from the south rim (

LEES FERRY Raft the Canyon (

ESCALANTE The new Slot Canyons Inn overlooks the Escalante River, and the innkeepers arrange horseback rides and hikes in Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument (

MOAB Desert Highlights' new one-day canyoneering trip through Pleiades Canyon, in the La Sals, descends seven waterfalls ( With prime access to the Slickrock and Porcupine Rim trails, Moab's Sand Flats Recreation Area resembles a (mountain) biker bar come evening (

BLANDING The Southwest is covered with ancient ruins, but few people visit the petroglyphs and multistory dwellings of Hovenweep National Monument (

FLAGSTAFF Chris Sharma's hijinks in Rampage popularized Priest Draw, a bouldering area in the Coconino National Forest ( Saturn's rings are just beyond the 24-inch telescope at Lowell Observatory (

IMPERIAL SAND DUNES RECREATION AREA Embrace the interminable desert between Flagstaff and San Diego (

SAN DIEGO La Jolla Shores attracts swimmers, snorkelers, and kayakers with its clear, calm waters (

CORONA DEL MAR Bonfires still go at Corona Del Mar State Beach (

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