Outside Las Vegas
Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011 | 3:59 p.m.
Beyond the Sun
Trails around the Las Vegas Valley can be a nature-lover’s playground, and the nonprofit Outside Las Vegas Foundation hopes that their proposed Vegas Valley Rim Trail will connect many of these routes.
The group has envisioned a 113-mile loop encircling the valley that will connect natural attractions like Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Red Rock Canyon and the Desert National Wildlife Refuge. About 20 to 30 percent of the new trail system will come from existing trails in the valley. Currently the valley has 291 miles of backcountry trails and 280 miles of bike lanes.
The name and plan for the complete trail system was announced Saturday at the Henderson Pavilion.
“We have these fabulous (trail) systems, one of our best kept secrets,” said Mauricia Baca, the executive director of the Outside Las Vegas Foundation.
“It will literally and figuratively link our communities together and the federal lands that surround our community,” said Baca, who hopes people will not only think of Las Vegas as the neon in the middle, but see the natural destinations the desert has to offer. “It’s a great opportunity to get out into the world that the Las Vegas Valley is a premiere ecotourism center.”
The foundation hopes to build the trail system with the help of the community. Some early funding for the project, a little over $200,000, came from the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition, and one of its corporate sponsors, Wells Fargo, put up $25,000.
Baca said the trail’s name came from a survey of more than 850 people, and that public input is still sought.
“We want to bring it to the community for input and feedback on how to lay out the trail,” said Baca.
Depending on what trail features the foundation and community members incorporate, the Vegas Valley Rim Trail could cost up to $100 million. It would take at least two years before any construction will be underway. She imagines the trail system be complete in 10 to 15 years.
The complete trail system will include land in Henderson, Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Boulder City, as well as Clark County.