Within an hour of Las Vegas is Hoover Dam and Valley of Fire so we went for a little drive.
The Hoover Dam is very impressive, you can pay for a tour but we just walked across the top and took some photos. Turns out we were on the Nevada/Arizona border so I visited one more state than I realised, although we only visited about 20 metres of it! According to google it produces 4 billion kilowatt-hours of hydroelectric power each year, enough for 1.3 million people in Nevada, Arizona, and California. It was a really hot day and the water looked very tempting, but I decided jumping in probably wasn’t the best idea. In front of the Dam is some nice decoration with references to the Zodiac, to the States involved in the construction, and a display about the men who died building it (cheerful…).
From Hoover Dam we drove to the nearby Boulder City for a spot of lunch (at the Boulder City brewery I seem to recall, where I got root beer!). Then we drove to Valley of Fire which we were excited to see because part of a Star Trek film is shot there. When we got there however, we found very few maps or directions and most of the park seemed inaccessible (including the Star Trek part) so we just drove along the road and occasionally got out to look at things near the road. It was just a state park rather than a national park so the facilities were limited but we were a little disappointed at the lack of signage to direct us to things to see. See the landscape was undeniably impressive.
After leaving Vegas we drove to Los Angeles but first stopped off at Calico Ghost Town, a former mining town which has been recreated as a cute tourist attraction. I love this stuff!
It was expensive as there was a steampunk event on which I think bumped up the price to about $20 each! But I did get my picture taken with a snake which was cool!