Red Rock Canyon: A Grand day-trip

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LAS VEGAS -- After having a late dinner and checking out casino life the night before, the last thing I wanted to do was get up early and marvel at nature's handiwork in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

The Regent Grand Spa offers activities such as hiking at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Yet, there it was 8 a.m. and, yes, there I was in the lobby of the Regent Grand Spa, waiting to meet the guide who would accompany me on my trek.

As it turned out, the hike was the highlight of my stay at the property, and I would recommend it to anyone who is remotely interested in getting a closer look at a view that most of the hotel's guests would only experience from their windows or on a golf course.

Red Rock Canyon is a 20-minute drive from the Resort at Summerlin, so even those who do not want to hike can experience the beauty of the terrain via a scenic drive that winds through the canyon.

I am glad, however, I got the opportunity to walk the Pine Creek and Fire Ecology trails, deviating from the manmade path at times and following a nearly dried-up creek bed strewn with large rocks and inhabited by various wildlife. The two-hour hike included a boxed breakfast from Ceres, the hotel's signature restaurant.

Difficulty and length of hikes, which can be arranged through the Aquae Sulis Spa, can be tailored to fit the ability of an individual or a group of individuals.

Prices average $25 per hour and include transportation, a guide and a boxed snack.

In the near future, according to a resort spokeswoman, the property will offer a hike on Saturday mornings that is complimentary for resort guests. Reservations for hiking, biking and other activities can be made through the spa, once it officially opens on Dec. 1. Until then, these activities can be booked through the concierge desk.

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