There is much more to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area than just the namesake big body of water. This National Park covers a vast amount of ground surrounding both Lake Mead and Lake Mojave, so there are endless overland adventures awaiting that range from mild to wild. For those who wish to just get some fresh air, do a little hiking and relax in the shade, there are plenty of options that range from primitive lakeside settings to fully developed day use picnic areas. One of the best in this park definitely is the Redstone Picnic Area, simply because the majestic wind carved red rock setting is absolutely captivating to gaze upon!
The Redstone Picnic Area is located along Northshore Road a few miles south of Echo Bay, which is a fully developed marina campground that also has a large picnic area. Since these destinations are close to each other, neither is overwhelmed with big crowds when the afternoon siesta time rolls around. On any given day an empty picnic table can be found at Redstone, so there is no reason to arrive early to beat the crowd.
The parking is ample, there are facilities and most of the picnic spots are covered with sun shade canopies, which is a real plus in this arid desert environment. Better still, the picnic table sites are spread far apart and some are located in nooks between the red rock outcrops. Each picnic site offers fascinating views of the landscape and spotting wildlife while doing lunch can be done too. Coyotes and wild horses frequent this area, so be sure to keep a camera handy for a surprise wildlife show.
The eroded red rock outcrops that Redstone is famous for actially are a continuation of a massive upheaval in this region. The red rock strata runs from the west end of Grand Canyon Parashant and Gold Butte through the north end of the Lake Mead Recreation Area. The Valley Of Fire State Park is the epitome of the red rock geology in this area and this destination is located just a few miles north of Redstone. Touring both Redstone and Valley Of Fire in the same day will provide a better understanding of the geology and such a plan will also provide endless great photo opportunities.
Hiking the eroded red rock areas of the west is always done at a casual pace, since there are so many animated shapes to interpret along the way. This kind of hike is perfect for a family picnic outing and the weird looking red rocks are natural entertainment at its best. The Redstone landscape certainly is colorful and it is al to easy to fall into a stare crazy gaze when viewing the animated shapes. For this reason, be sure to pack some extra munchies for the picnic, because the visual experience at Redstone is all consuming!
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