Southwest

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

    Photo: Tavis Coburn

Rules of the Road

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

FROM L.A.:
MALIBU
The surf almost matches the people watching (malibusurfshack.com).

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

LAS VEGAS Red Rock Resort opened last spring, with guided horseback riding, climbing, and biking (redrocklasvegas.com). 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 (palms.com).

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

LEES FERRY Raft the Canyon (oars.com).

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

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

BLANDING The Southwest is covered with ancient ruins, but few people visit the petroglyphs and multistory dwellings of Hovenweep National Monument (nps.gov/hove).

FLAGSTAFF Chris Sharma's hijinks in Rampage popularized Priest Draw, a bouldering area in the Coconino National Forest (fs.fed.us/r3/coconino). Saturn's rings are just beyond the 24-inch telescope at Lowell Observatory (lowell.edu).

IMPERIAL SAND DUNES RECREATION AREA Embrace the interminable desert between Flagstaff and San Diego (blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/elcentro.html).

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

CORONA DEL MAR Bonfires still go at Corona Del Mar State Beach (parks.ca.gov).

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