Old West Meets the New
Viva Las Vegas & Historic Colorado Plateau
October 20-28, 2013
Historian Guide: Neil Mangum
LLas Vegas — dazzling lights, 24-hour casinos, and entertainers working the crowds for 75 years. Legendary stars such as Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and Sammy Davis Jr. brought glamour and notoriety here in the 1950s and 60s. Today's entertainers take the stage at new, unbelievably lavish venues.
Besides the glitz, Las Vegas is home to great museums. The Titanic Museum offers glimpses into the doomed ocean liner's first and last voyage. The story of nuclear energy and testing at the Nevada Test Site is told at the Atomic Testing Museum. Las Vegas has a long association with organized crime. Untold secrets are disclosed in the newly opened Mob Museum.
But Las Vegas itself is only part of the story. This region of the Colorado Plateau has seen Spanish explorers, Mormon pioneers, and Indian wars. As a testimony to human endurance, 49ers struggled to survive in Death Valley. Thousands set off during the Great Depression along Route 66 bound for a new beginning beyond Las Vegas. Recent history links Las Vegas to an impressive host of events such as the construction of Hoover Dam. In the desert to the north, atomic bombs were tested. To the south is a historical oddity, London Bridge, disassembled in London and placed at Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
Historian guide Neil Mangum will lead you through Las Vegas, majestic national parks, and areas of historical significance. This new tour, unique to HistoryAmerica, is an exciting blend of the old west with the new.
9 Days / 8 Nights
Cost: $2,995 Single Occupancy, $2,695 Double Occupancy
Click to request a 2013 printed Travel Guide.
Sunday, October 20
Gather in Las Vegas for a briefing and welcome dinner hosted by Neil Mangum and HistoryAmerica TOURS.
Monday, October 21
Death Valley is by very title raw and challenging. Our tour takes us along portions of the 49ers' route through Furnace Creek, where they coped with the hottest temperatures in the country. Later we pick up the story of Chinese laborers working the borax mines. The day concludes with a tour of historic Scotty's Castle, an oasis in a setting of starkness. Overnight in Las Vegas.
Tuesday, October 22
The morning features a tour of one of the world's marvels of engineering, Hoover Dam. Built during the Great Depression, it straddles the Nevada-Arizona border and harnesses the cold, powerful waters of the Colorado River. Return to Las Vegas for visits to the acclaimed Atomic Testing Museum and the recently opened Mob Museum. Overnight in Las Vegas.
Wednesday, October 23
Through arrangement with the Department of Energy, a special guided tour of Mercury, Nevada, home for thousands of employees at the Department of Energy's Nevada Test Site, is planned for our group today. Overnight in Las Vegas.
Thursday, October 24
We head south this morning, crossing the mighty Colorado River into Arizona, and stop at Camp Beale Spring, an 1850s military post. At the Mohave Museum of History and the Route 66 complex, we find treasure troves of information on historical northwestern Arizona. Cap the day with a visit to the transplanted London Bridge in Lake Havasu City. Overnight at Lake Havasu.
Friday, October 25
Confrontations between military, settlers, and Mohave, Hualapai, and Yavapai Indians dominated northwestern and central Arizona in the 1860s. See remnants of Fort Mohave, providing insight into that turbulent period. We lunch in the old mining town of Chloride and make a stop at Fort Mormon, considered to be the original Las Vegas. Overnight in Las Vegas.
Saturday, October 26
It's off to Utah today. En route we visit Pipe Spring National Monument, telling the story of Mormon pioneer and Paiute Indian life. We spend the remainder of the day touring one of the most beautiful places in the world, Zion National Park, with its soaring sandstone cliffs of creams, pinks, and reds. Overnight in Zion National Park.
Sunday, October 27
Morning finds us motoring into the forested mountains bordering Cedar Breaks National Monument. The afternoon is devoted to walking, pondering, and discussing the sad and poignant story known as the Mountain Meadows Massacre, scene of the 1857 mass murder of more than 100 Arkansans by local authorities. Return to Las Vegas for our farewell dinner.
Monday, October 28
Depart at your leisure following breakfast.