For the past 4 years, it has become a tradition to visit Las Vegas in December to get into the holiday spirit. Forget Jingle Bells, head to Vegas for some sensory overload! There are few places around the world that go as crazy for Christmas as Vegas. Even the showgirls on the strip don some red and green (and these ladies wear almost nothing)!
But as our friends know, we’re not your ‘typical’ Vegas kind of guys. Clearly! However, each year I’ve devised the perfect itinerary in Vegas (for those who think they hate Vegas!). Turns out, there is a lot more to Vegas than clubs and smoke-filled casinos.
We just got back from our latest trip. And we crammed in a lot! But Kevin and I were in complete agreement — our favorite activity was getting outside the city and joining the incredible 3-hour electric bike tour through Red Rock Canyon with Red E Bike Tours.
We think that bike tours are one of the best ways to explore. You can cover a lot of ground and burn off all those calories you just ate on the strip! But would we feel the burn on an electric bike? In short – yes. But the motor will help for those tougher uphill spots.
Red E Bike Tours is the only guided tour of its kind inside the gates of Red Rock Canyon National Park. The company offers transport to the park, but we decided to drive out there ourselves since we had our own car. It’s been a few years since we’ve visited Red Rock, but the drive up was even more spectacular than I remembered with its bright red rock formations contrasted against the muted brown desert.
We zipped through the front gate of the park (normally $15 per car, but included in the tour) and headed to the lower parking lot to meet our guide Allison, who owns the company with her husband John. They started the business 5 years ago after doing a few electric bike tours and falling in love with them.
The tour starts at 11 AM and goes for about 3 hours total. We were running, umm, fashionably late. Let’s just say, we weren’t exactly prepared for an outdoor biking tour and had to make a quick stop at Walgreens to buy a few layers. Red Rock is about 10 degrees cooler than the city of Las Vegas. And yes, it was December (and we clearly didn’t think it through!).
Our tour just had seven people total, who waited patiently as we changed into our new Walgreen’s clothes. After a brief safety talk, we were off and running!
It was clear that Allison put a lot of thought into the stops along the way. The entire route is around 17 miles, and broken down into four stops. The park can get very busy, but each of the places we stopped were selected to allow the perfect Instagram moment. Allison snapped a wonderful photo of me and Kevin just before hitting up the next stop.
It didn’t take long for me to realize just how well suited the e-bikes were for Red Rock. The e-bike can be adjusted from level zero (if you want to work your butt off) to level 4 (if you want some extra pep!). We soon discovered that the second stretch would be mostly uphill. Crank it up to 4! I felt only SLIGHTLY guilty as I passed all those poor schmucks who were huffing and puffing as I zipped past them (and in full conversation with Kevin). Clearly, I felt bad for them!
It felt like mere minutes passed as we reached our second stop. But in reality, it was much more. I guess time really does fly when you’re having so much fun. We reached the highest point along the tour, and it would be mostly downhill from this point. Allison shared great intel on the park and its geology. The iconic red color comes from iron deposits in the rock. She also explained that the dramatic cliffs and sandstone provides excellent climbing. The mineral rich rocks are solid and won’t fall like you might find in say, Sedona, Arizona. It made us almost feel like doing some rock climbing ourselves. Key word: ALMOST!
The ride to stop #3 was pretty much my favorite. I picked up some (crazy-level) speed and felt completely safe on the smooth road. Allison told us that it was recently re-paved by Las Vegas Paving, known for its work on creating smooth surfaces on NASCAR tracks. I pretty much was riding like a NASCAR driver so it made complete sense!
We got to stop #3 and my legs were burning! While I was using the motor to propel around the park, I also dropped the levels down to get a nice workout in. It was at this point in the tour that Allison gave us some background on the vegetation found inside the park including the Pinyon Pines and Joshua Trees. Native Americas were drawn to this area during the summer due to its rich source of food.
We had 15 minutes to explore on our own but basically spent most of the time chatting with the others and making a quick pit stop to use the port-a-potty bathroom, which is always an adventure! We were ready for the final stop, which would involve a ride through the chilliest part (known as Icebox Canyon). We were glad to have the extra layers!
There is nothing like riding through the park and getting to see spots like Rainbow Mountain Ridge and not having any obstruction from a car.
Our tour was coming to an end and we made our 4th stop, learning about one of the original homes that once existed inside the park and snapped a few more photos. After a brief ride along the highway, we made our way back to the parking lot where the tour all started. We said our goodbyes to Allison but before we left, she handed us a magnet with our photo on it. Turns out, she made it during our 15 minute break along the tour. It was like a magic trick!
After we got our magnet, we headed inside the visitor center to learn more about the park (plus, I can’t ever pass up a gift shop!). What a fantastic trip – and a great way to get outside and comfortably enjoy the park.
And if it’s winter, be sure to bring some layers. Let’s just say, Walgreens isn’t exactly known for its fashion! I can’t wait to put this magnet up on the fridge.
THE LOW DOWN
Red Electric Bike Tours
- 3 hour bike and sightseeing tour
- 17 miles on an electric bicycle with speeds up to 20 mph
- Bottled water, snack and safety equipment
- Transportation can be arranged from Strip & Downtown locations
- Tours cost $99 per person and can be booked directly here. Taxes and Park fees included