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Las Vegas

Stories, pictures, and information about a variety of attractions around Las Vegas that lie outside of the main gambling entertainment industry.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are miniQuest adventures?

MiniQuest adventures are short driving trips to explore interesting places characteristic of the area within reasonable driving distance of Las Vegas. 

What are some places to visit?

There are plenty of places to visit around Las Vegas. These include rock formations, state parks, Indian petroglyphs, mines, ghost towns, historical sites, hidden valleys, state parks, wildlife refuges, and more. 

Do you explore mines?

Technically no -- most mines are dangerous. However, we do visit nearby mine entrances and the abandoned mining towns that are located there. We do explore some caves and only those mines declared safe. 

What about photo opportunities?

There are plenty of photo opportunities. This is the great Nevada outdoors after all. Some photos of the Nevada outdoors are displayed in these pages. 

What about desert wildlife?

The desert is not completely without life. There are tarantulas, desert horned lizards, insects, coyotes, rattlesnakes, free range cattle, bighorn sheep, burros, and herds of wild horses. 

Who is involved in this?

A group of people who work (mostly) at the same company (Westwood Studios) and who have 4-wheel drive vehicles decided to put their weekends to good use by exploring the area around Las Vegas. 

What is Westwood Studios?

Westwood Studios was a computer game company located in Las Vegas. They created games such as Command & Conquer, Lands of Lore, and Monopoly. They closed their doors in 2003.

Is there a formal MiniQuest Adventure Club?

No, there is no formal organization. The only organization we have is that some week someone will say, "hey, let's go off-roading this weekend", "OK, sounds great!" We then let the word out and whoever shows goes on the trip. 

How difficult are these miniQuests?

Surprisingly easy. Although these quests can be referred to as off-road adventures, they really never leave the road. The roads traveled might not be paved, but they are roads none the less. 

How long do the quests last?

Typically the better part of the daylight hours of a single day. Sometimes a two day trip occurs, but not often. 

Is it dangerous?

Nope. If you get out of the car, then you run the risk anyone would have when they walk around in the desert; you could walk off the edge of a cliff, you could walk into an abandoned mine, you could walk into a cactus, etc. Generally, if you are smart enough to avoid running out into traffic, you are smart enough to be safe on the miniQuest trips. 

Is there hiking involved?

Very little to practically none at all. Sometimes the dirt road ends before we reach the destination we are heading for. In that case a slight hike is required. Even these hikes are very short. The longest hike required was about one or two hundred yards. 

Do I need a 4-wheel drive vehicle?

Probably yes. There were some trips that traveled on roads even a sports car could handle, but typically, we try to find roads that are a bit rougher or steeper than this. We have 4-wheel drive vehicles and it would be a shame to underutilize them. A 2-wheel drive with high ground clearance also might be sufficient depending on the destination. 

What personal equipment would I need?

When traveling in the desert you should have comfortable shoes, plenty of water, snacks, a camera, and a map. If you want to be cool, add in a G.P.S., radio, compass, metal detector, and an ultralight vehicle. 

These places sound interesting, how do I get there?

The best directions are from a map of the area -- see the map to get a rough idea of where the adventure took place. There are often many roads that can be misleading and frequently, the correct road is unmarked. However, I can generally find my way back to any of these places, so you can email me for rough directions.