Grapevine Canyon

We decided to take a trip to Laughlin since I’ve never been there and we thought we would explore some areas around there. One place we chose to stop was Grapevine Canyon to see the petroglyphs and I’m really glad we did.

Grapevine Canyon is in Lake Mead National Recreation Area. It is in the Bridge Canyon and Spirit Mountain Wilderness areas. If you are traveling from Las Vegas, you would take Highway 163 toward Laughlin. Take the left at Christmas Tree Pass Rd., make sure you are taking the second road for Christmas Tree Pass. The one you want is about 15 miles from Laughlin. Once you turn on Christmas Tree Pass Rd. go about 1.8 miles and turn left onto Grapevine Canyon Road. This leads to parking and the trailhead for the canyon. You may think you are lost on the dirt roads, but if you just follow the signs you’ll get there.

The trail for the canyon descends into a wash. Be prepared to walk in sand and soft dirt. It is an easy trail to walk, just not the normal hard earth, rock paths in other hiking trails. There are some plants in the wash, so make sure you keep your eyes out for critters and snakes. We didn’t happen upon any snakes, but we did see lots of lizards. They were really small and pretty cute! Some of the bushes were flowering when we were there, and it was really pretty. It is only about .3 miles to the beginning of the canyon, and this is where the majority of the petroglyphs are located. I love to explore ancient Native American art and the land where they were, so this was a wonderful place for me to see!

The Petroglyphs are believed to be some of the oldest in North America, ranging from 1900 & 1100 BC. The origins of the petroglyphs haven’t been determined, but this area was inhabited by the Mojave in later times.

As I’ve said before, we are not hikers, but if you do enjoy hiking, you can walk about 1.4 miles into the canyon where you will come to a fork. If you are there when there has been some rain, you can see some springs and a small stream. If you want a longer hike, you can take Grapevine Canyon Waterfall trail. In season, you can see the waterfall. This is about 17 miles into the canyon.

Avi Kwa Ame National Monument

You can also hike to Spirit Mountain. If you stay on Christmas Tree Pass Rd. for about 2.5 miles past the turnoff for Grapevine Canyon, make a right turn and there is a parking lot to hike to the mountain. This is about a 5-mile roundtrip hike. It is rated as a rigorous hike.

This area is sacred to the Mohave, Chemehuevi, Hopi, & Southern Paiute people among others and has recently been named Avi Kwa Ame National Monument. It is more than just Spirit Mountain. It is over 500,000 acres. It is home to Joshua trees, Big Horn Sheep, Desert Tortoise, Gila Monsters and many other animals and plants. This is on BLM land, so please be sure to follow all of their rules.

Anytime you are out in the wilderness and national parks, monuments, etc. Please follow the practice of leaving it as you found it. Don’t touch any of the art, leave litter, only make fires where permitted, etc.

Laughlin, NV

After exploring Grapevine Canyon, we made our way to Laughlin, another place in Nevada on my bucket list. For those of you new to our travel blog, we also love to play slot machines. We have another blog on that subject, which I’ll link below. So, Laughlin looked like a fun place to go for us. Although Laughlin is known for it’s casinos, there are plenty of other things to do here. It is located right on the Colorado River. It is across the river from Bullhead City, AZ.

Water Activities

First, let’s talk about the water recreational activities you can choose to do. You can go to Big Bend of the Colorado State Recreation Area to swim, hike, camp or birdwatch. It will cost you $10 to enter this area. You can also rent jet skis for the day, at several locations. For a nice, relaxing tour, walk along the river on the Riverwalk or take a two-hour river dinner cruise.

Other entertainment

Some of the other things to do in Laughlin are visiting Don Laughlin’s Classic Car Collection, walk among the Labyrinths, these are eight maze-like paths you can explore. If you enjoy hiking, you can go to Colorado River Heritage Greenway Park & Trails where you can see the Davis Dam. The Colorado River Museum is worth checking out if you enjoy history.


Then there are the casinos. Caesar’s Entertainment has two casinos here, Harrah’s and Tropicana. Golden Entertainment, which would be the True rewards player’s card, has Edgewater and Aquarius casinos. Golden Nugget also has a casino here. There are two small casinos, Laughlin River Lodge Hotel and Casino has a 5 separate casinos and Pioneer Gambling Hall, with an Old West feel. Last but not least is Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort. This is run by Don Laughlin and his family. Don Laughlin purchased the southern tip of Nevada in 1964 and the town became Laughlin because a postal inspector said it had to have a name in order to receive mail there. Before he developed the town it was called Tri-state. All of these casinos have hotels with various amenities. The Colorado Belle casino unfortunately is no longer open, but the ship is still in the water. We stayed at the Tropicana and really enjoyed it. It is central to all the casinos, so it made getting around easy.


We only spent a couple of days here, so we didn’t experience all there was to do, but it is definitely on my list to go back and explore even more. Laughlin pretty much has something for everybody from water activities to gambling. There are also places to visit near Laughlin, like Oatman, AZ where you can see the burros that come into town. We hope we can inspire you to do more exploring and have more adventures even close to home. Please see more of our blogs to learn about other places. Hopefully they will inspire you to find new places to explore whether on vacation or a day trip close to home. If you are interested in learning about our casino adventures, here is our site: – Our Slot play in Las Vegas and across the country

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By Greg and Peggy

We are two people who love to travel, thrift and play slot machines. We love going to new places, especially if there is a casino! We just want to share our adventures with people and hope to inspire them to explore and have fun!

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