“When it rains, it pours!” … Residents of the Desert Southwest are all too familiar with this old saying when the summer monsoon season rolls around. During late June through August the humid tropical storms generated in the Gulf Of Mexico push north into the Desert Southwest and the result is torrential monsoon rain storms. The arid desert takes on a lush green appearance, which is quite striking to see if the preconceived notion was along the lines of a desolate lifeless sand dune landscape. Where the monsoon storm clouds meet the mountains of the Southwest is where the heavy condensation occurs and the low altitude clouds literally paint white rings around the high peaks. Viewing these dramatic weather conditions in a majestic desert setting is an appealing thing to do this time of year and there are few better places to experience the effects of monsoon storm season than in Red Rock Canyon, Nevada!
Red Rock Canyon is located in the Spring Mountains a few miles uphill from Las Vegas. The Red Rock Canyon elevation is about one mile high, which is about the same altitude as the heavy monsoon storm clouds. Early in the morning during the monsoon season the dense clouds drape the mountain peaks in Red Rock Canyon and this is really quite an amazing sight to see at sunrise. Because this canyon is deep enough to block the early morning sunlight, the low altitude clouds take on an eerie glow. When combined with high humidity and the lush green desert flora from recent rain, the views of the colorful cloud draped Red Rock Canyon almost have a utopian appearance. By throwing a few wild burros and peacocks into the mix, what you will have is a monsoon season sunrise that will be fondly reflected upon for a lifetime!
Unfortunately, the Bonnie Springs Ranch recently closed, so saying good morning to the turtles, ducks, peacocks and the tiny little peacock chicks may not be possible anymore. However, the wild burros have made Red Rock Canyon their permanent home, so a friendly wild donkey just might walk up to say hi while stopping to take a closer look. The wild burros in Red Rock Canyon are notorious for stopping dead in their tracks just to stare endlessly into the distance and the strange sight of the monsoon clouds draping the peaks in this canyon certainly does capture their attention. Imagery like this is all the motivation that one needs to rise and shine before dawn, so a captivating Red Rock Canyon monsoon season sunrise can be experienced!
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