Roaring ATVs charge up Southwest Desert sand dunes in a storm of golden particles. Miles away, intrepid explorers rappel down the sheer cliffs of the Valley of Fire. Elsewhere, kayakers drift across the placid surface of Lake Mead in the sunset, and passengers inside a helicopter witness the majesty of the Grand Canyon from the breathtaking angle normally reserved for sightseeing birds. These seemingly disparate adventures have one thing in common: the people who imagined them. Each trek was dreamed up by the founders and guides of Awesome Adventures, who see the landscape of Nevada and Utah not as harsh and wild, but as a source of endless entertainment and education. The enthusiastic staffers?who specialize in recreations ranging from rock climbing to whitewater rafting?encourage visitors and locals alike to step outside the bounds of the city and explore exciting new vistas.
The soaring peaks and red-rock lava flows of the River Mountains. The snaking gravel paths that form a ghostly memorial to a Hoover Dam railroad. The rippling waters of Lake Mead. At All Mountain Cyclery, these local sights headline daylong bike and kayak tours of the wilderness surrounding Boulder City. Located only a 30-minute drive from the famed Las Vegas strip and 10 minutes from Lake Mead, the cyclery rents out Specialized bikes and sells two-wheelers by big other big names, including KHS and Redline. With a fresh set of pedals beneath their feet, cyclists can confidently cruise down the manmade Bootleg Canyon single track. Gravity tows bikes down the steep path at full throttle, leaving riders free to focus on navigating the challenging terrain and throwing their sneakers at distracting birds.
Framed by the amber peaks of distant mountains, Wildhorse Golf Club's 18-hole course winds through rugged desert wilderness for 6,525 yards of challenging tee-to-green terrain. Eight ponds loom at the edges of seven holes, including the majestic ninth, where water hazards occupy both sides of the fairway as it draws nearer to the green, luring wayward approaches and contributing to the hole's rating as the course's most difficult. Sands, rocks, and tumbleweeds with dreams of becoming golf balls await misguided orbs in the unsown desert that flanks each pristine fairway, offsetting the course's lack of imposing tree lines.
Imbued with more history than Gene Sarazen's divot-tool time portal, the course counts Howard Hughes among its past owners and was once a regular stop on the PGA Tour, where players enjoyed its beautiful scenery and the compassionate waterfowl that helped earn the course honors as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par-70 course
Length of 6,525 yards from the farthest tees
Course rating of 71.4 from the farthest tees
Slope rating of 136 from the farthest tees
Four tee options
Over her more than 20-year teaching career, LPGA Class A Member Kristin Sunderhaft has used golf lessons as a way to teach her students a better way of life. She's even written a book about her experiences, titled Swinging For Success, Life Lessons I?ve Learned on the Golf Course. She passes on her time-earned expertise, which ranges from sinking high-pressure putts to eating well, during private and group lessons.
When it comes to golf instruction, she starts all students?men, women, and children alike?by asking them to take some practice swings while video analysis software captures each backswing hitch, premature head lift, and celebratory club spike. With the information gleaned from these videos, she can prescribe a cocktail of swing drills and training aids that will help students improve their grip, alignment, posture, and, most importantly, results. She also follows her pupils out onto the course for 9- and 18-hole playing lessons, wherein she can hold court on the finer points of course management and shot selection?skills that can prove elusive for beginner and intermediate golfers.
Studio One's Summerlin, Southwest, and Henderson establishments house an armada of instructors boasting experience ranging from Olympic opening ceremony performances, star spots in Broadway productions, and choreography positions with entertainment companies. Within the combined 15,000 square feet of studio space, left-footed frolickers are transformed into smooth-stepping dancers with a variety of dance disciplines. From the grace of traditional ballet sessions to hip-hop classes inspired by popular street dances, the movement mavens instill their mastery onto dancers of all ages and levels, regardless of how many legs or fins they have. The Summerlin location boasts five studio rooms equipped with viewing windows and a waiting room with a flat-screen TV that broadcasts video from each dance room, so guardians can watch their pupil evolve into a dancer and forgo walking forever.
A lush oasis in the Mojave Desert, Black Mountain Golf & Country Club has challenged golfers for more than half a century. Today, players send balls hurtling against the backdrop of the Black Mountains, taking care to avoid hitting the water or slicing their ball into the Las Vegas strip 25 miles away. Since each course features its own unique style, players must adjust their games accordingly. Whereas one course tempts sharpshooters with several birdie opportunities, the other features the most water, requiring golfers to select their clubs carefully and shake off the mirages of caddies appearing as khaki-wearing cacti.
Course at a Glance:
* Two nine-hole courses, each with a par of 36
* Four sets of tees per hole
* Maximum 18-hole length of just under 6,600 yards from the back tees
* Course rating of 71.1 from the back tees
* Course slope of 129 from the back tees