Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Las Vegas Running Routes

As a former Las Vegas resident, I know that the city is rich with routes for runners.  No matter where you may live in the city itself, there are accessible paths and lovely residential city sidewalks for all runners and walkers!

However, as a traveler to Las Vegas, a runner is usually sidelined in a hotel in the area known as the Strip, and rarely will venture far from there for some exercise.  Instead of subjecting oneself to the dreaded treadmill in the hotel gym, a runner or walk need only walk out to enjoy the outdoors.

Here are just a couple of options you might keep in mind when visiting Las Vegas on your travels.

While some might consider Las Vegas to be exactly known as being a runner friendly city as there are no real parks or calm streets in the center of the city. In addition, many of the streets on the southern end of the strip lack pedestrian crossing. As such, runners have had to become creative in their run and today we take a look at a couple of Vegas' more popular running routes.

Las Vegas Strip Run

Many runners start their Strip run on the corner of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. Several strip hotels are located here, including Excalibur, New York New York, and the Tropicana. Many of Las Vegas casinos are going green so you may see some improvements being made at various times to accommodate those changes.

Runners simply run up on side of the strip and then back down. Many start at the MGM at the giant lion entranceway on the east side of the road and take off from there. Head down past the "Brooklyn Bridge" and continue past the Harley cafe and City Center.

After passing by the Eifel Tower at the Paris Casino, you will see the Bally Hotel with its landscaped courtyard. You will make your look there until your reach your first pedestrian bridge. Here you will cross over top of Flamingo to continue your run.

Continue past Caesars Palace, the Venetian, and finally Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville before hitting up Circus Circus Drive. You will then cross the street and continue your run back south towards the MGM Grand. Some of you may want to continue your run through the Northern part of the Vegas Strip and check out some of the old school style of Las Vegas.

Keep in mind that if you choose to run this route during the summer, you will be wise to only run this in the morning as the Vegas heat can reach in excess of 110 in the shade on an average day. (This is reality and not a cliché.)

Red Rock Canyon

If you are willing to do a little bit of driving to get to your running destination, about 17 miles from the Vegas strip is over 30 miles of running trails in the over 195,000 acre park.

White Rock Loop and the 11-mile Grand Circle Loop are among the more popular runs in Red Rock Canyon.

For the White Rock Loop, you can start either at the Willow Springs Trailhead or at White Rock Springs and run in either direction as you pass pine trees, pinon, and other forms of high-desert flora.

When running here, you will be in remote terrain, so make sure that you bring plenty of water and supplies for your run. Again, the temps do get quite high during the summer, so plan accordingly. There is a $7 fee for parking, so factor this into your budget but in exchange you do get a totally different terrain and an escape from the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas.

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