Is Las Vegas Built in the Middle of a Desert?

Las Vegas is situated in Clark County, in a basin on the floor of the Mojave Desert, and is surrounded by mountain ranges on all sides. The landscape is mostly rocky and arid, with desert vegetation and wildlife. This area has been inhabited since prehistoric times and is now an oasis for those who seek pleasure. With modern air conditioning, it's even more comfortable.

Las Vegas was not established randomly in the desert. It was founded on a meadow (Las Vegas in Spanish means meadows) that was watered by nearby Big Springs, or Las Vegas Springs. This made it a popular watering place on the Old Spanish Way. The city is located far away from any major city, in the middle of a desert.

In less than two centuries, Las Vegas has grown from a tranquil prairie to one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. The Spanish colonized the southwestern United States in the 16th century, but the area around present-day Las Vegas was not particularly attractive. For many years, it was practically uninhabited, except for merchants and travelers, with some mining towns here and there. Nevada's main test site, where most of these tests were conducted, is less than 70 miles from Las Vegas.

The modern origins of Las Vegas began with an exploratory visit by John C. Fermont in 1844. The next boom occurred during the Great Depression when President Herbert Hoover announced plans to build the Boulder Dam (now known as the Hoover Dam). It is believed that the meadows that grew near springs were what attracted Native Americans, Spanish merchants, Western explorers, military outposts and Mormons to settle in Las Vegas. Although today it is a thriving city, Las Vegas also faces significant challenges due to its remote location in the desert.

It began as a stop on the Salt Lake City Los Angeles rail line and this is why it is located in such an isolated area. Harry Reid International Airport LAS (formerly McCarran) is popular with travelers coming to or leaving Las Vegas from far away. Las Vegas was first established in 1905 as a stop on the Los Angeles to Salt Lake City rail line. While you may know Las Vegas as a party city that never sleeps, you may have heard rumors about a curfew in Las Vegas.

This is because when workers arrived en masse to build critical infrastructure such as dams during the 1930s, Las Vegas became an important urban space.

Harriet Fabros
Harriet Fabros

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