Lucky Laughlin and Las Vegas on One Tank of Fuel!

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April 8, 2009

Here’s a great route from the folks at Woodall’s to help you plan an entertaining excursion in southern Nevada on one tank of fuel. Our trip starts in Laughlin, a city that has retained the laid-back atmosphere that Vegas used to have back in the Bugsy Siegel days. For example, you can still get a steak-and-eggs breakfast for less than five bucks in several Laughlin casinos. Try finding that on the Vegas Strip! (If by chance you visit Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood, Arizona, this is an easy side trip: Laughlin is only 2 hours and 45 minutes from Flagstaff.)

When we think of Laughlin, naturally our first impulse runs toward gambling. But there’s so much more to see and do in and around this city than tempt Lady Luck to clean us out. For example, January routinely sees the Desert Challenge, where desert race cars and trucks compete in a desert road race that runs from sunrise to sunset. Spring in Laughlin is the time to catch the bone-jarring Stampede Rodeo, and there are always river cruises and off-road experiences to be had year-round. Boats and houseboats can be rented to further enjoy the river experience. Directly across the Colorado River is Bullhead City, Arizona, which offers miles of hiking trails and thousands of acres of public land.

We get back on the road to Primm, near Nevada’s state line. This leg of our trip runs about eighty miles, starting on the NV-163 W. Head north on the US-95, then merge with the westbound Hwy N-164 (Joshua Tree Highway), which briefly brings us through California before we merge with the I-15 N that takes us straight into Primm. Primm has two challenging Tom Fazio-designed golf courses, several thrill rides, and the opportunity to check out Bonnie and Clyde’s last-owned vehicle – which has more than a few bullet holes in it. The Star of the Desert Arena here plays host to famous entertainers and special events such as concerts, rodeos, and boxing matches.

Las Vegas
Forty minutes away is the final stop on our trip: Vegas. It’s a straight shot up the I-15 N, and once we get there it’s not a question of “what will we do,” but a question of “how can we do it all?” It’ll be tough, but let’s give it our best shot.

saddle bronc riderThe Strip is the likely choice, with all-star entertainment, round-the-clock food and gambling, and no shortage of Elvis impersonators or wedding chapels (some places have even been known to combine the two!). The Liberace Museum is a fitting tribute to this talented pianist and one-of-a-kind entertainer. In addition to his wildly flamboyant costumes, several rare pianos are on display, including a rhinestone-encrusted Baldwin grand, and Liberace’s personal favorite, a concert grand completely covered in mirror squares. Definitely eye-catching!

Let’s get away from those smoky casinos for a while and enjoy the fresh desert air. The area around Vegas is a perfect place to go horseback riding, or hire an Old West-style horse-drawn wagon and experience desert travel like the pioneers did. Or, if you’re the adventurous type, there are race tracks where you can drive NASCAR-type cars at ridiculous speeds under perfectly safe, controlled conditions. If 200+ mph speeds aren’t enough to get your blood pumping, there’s always skydiving or bungee jumping!

hooverdamLake Mead is too close by not to visit, and is an excellent place to go boating or jet skiing. Hoover Dam, an incredible display of engineering, offers daily tours, and gives us a breathtaking panoramic view of the area. It’s a favorite return spot for travelers from all over the world.

Red Rock Canyon is a choice spot for the biking and hiking enthusiast, or even the naturalist who wants to see various forms of plant and animal life in a protected setting. For those who prefer to see the desert from the air-conditioned comfort of their vehicle, Red Rock Canyon provides a scenic drive that’s open from 6 a.m. to dusk, so there’s no excuse not to see this picturesque panorama of natural beauty!

Where to Stay: The Nevada Treasure RV Resort & Spa (formerly the Seibt Desert Retreat-KOA) has all the first-rate amenities you could want in a more relaxed setting 60 miles northwest of Las Vegas in Pahrump. The resort features a two-level pool, waterfalls and Jacuzzis for unwinding after a long day of sight-seeing. Get your blood pumping in the fitness room, or soothe your aching muscles at the Health Spa (complete with steam room and massage). If games of skill are more your style, try the 9-hole golf course or bowling center. When your stomach starts to growl there’s no need to search for a restaurant; the resort has it’s own full bar and grill, and there’s also a bar and restaurant in the bowling center to satisfy your hunger.

The resort hosts 220 RV sites with full hookups (30/50 amp service) and free WIFI Internet. The resort offers picnic tables, patios and grills for your convenience. Laundry facilities and RV storage are available, as are RV supplies and LP gas by meter. Pets and big rigs are welcome, and 24-hour security is provided for your peace of mind. For more detailed information, contact the Nevada Treasure RV Resort office at 800-429-6665, or email them at [email protected].

Other Area Sponsors in Nevada:
AVI Resort & Casino
Hitchin’ Post RV Park
Lake Mead RV Village
Las Vegas RV Resort
Monaco Las Vegas – Sales & Service
Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort
Riverside Resort Hotel & Casino
Sam’s Town Hotel & Gaming Hall
Sam’s Town Nellis RV Park
Sam’s Town RV Park
Signature Las Vegas Motorcoach Resort
Terrible’s Lakeside Casino & RV Resort

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  1. Rick

    Don’t forget Preferred RV Resort in Pahrump. Located directly behind Terribles Town Casino. Preferred offers woodworking, stained glass and crafts in addition to pool (inclosed in winter) hot tub, pool tables and a club house with pot lucks and other activities weekly. I drove between Pahrump and Laughlin 3 times this winter and I thoroughly enjoy both areas. Camped at AVI casino resort while in Laughlin/Bullhead City area and a short side trip to Oatman on old 66 is a must while in that area. Pahrump is only an hour away from the heart of death valley. I enjoyed a round of golf at the lowest course on the planet (219 feet below sea level) and it is tucked in an oasis setting at Furnace Creek. You can bet I will be back to Laughlin and Pahrump next winter.