Meet Luis Hidalgo - aka Exploring Mundos! A 31-year-old California native residing in Las Vegas, NV. Moving from Watsonville (“Mistery Spot” sound familiar?) about twelve years ago, Luis has been exploring the great NV, CA, UT, and other states for the past 5-6 years. We'll let Luis take it from here.
"I love the outdoors as it has helped me to get over some of my fears. For example, when I started hiking I was terrified to be alone in the woods or just being out in the dark. There was always that feeling as if someone was watching me or the thought of the Blair Witch. Haha! However, I slowly started doing solo day hikes and car camping. Doing those things really helped things take off! I am now comfortable doing solo trips in the wilderness or at least explore areas that I am familiar with. I've done many backpacking trips with friends, but just never own my own. That was until last year when I did two solo backpacking trips. Both trips were like a hard reset on the brain where I almost felt like there was nothing else to think about as I had run out of thoughts. Sounds weird, but it was the best feeling ever not to have to worry about anything or anyone. I must say that I had the best time of my life! Both backpacking trips were around my birthday and it was the perfect excuse to get my arm INK work done as a reward. I wanted to keep a piece of one of the things that frighten me but also a reminder of the things that I enjoy and appreciate in life and also all those great folks that I have met on the trails.
Favorite South West Spots
Believe it or not but there are a lot of cool places here in Vegas within a 30-45 minute drive. Head East towards AZ and you’ll end up at the Colorado River by the hot spots. Head up north and you’ll find yourself inside an Ice cave at Mt. Charleston. Yup, you heard that right! An Ice Cave (Mt. Charleston Big Falls Cave)
However, Zion National Park in Utah always calls my name. I am super lucky as this is only a 3-hour drive from Las Vegas. Zion National Park is by far my favorite National Parks! Looking up at the majestic peaks, waterfalls, and rock formations is a spiritual experience. If you’re planning to visit the park and want to camp and enjoy those milky-way nights (September), make sure to stay at the South Campground. This campground is located next to the visitor center and the Virgin River runs alongside. Bring your Hammock as you will want to relax by the river. If you prefer to stay away from the crowds, you want to backpack the West Rim top-down from Lava Point (Permit required). This is a 16 mile (one-way) trail that can be hiked as a long day hike or as a two-day backpacking trip but I highly recommend you to spend the night at one of the eight campsites along the trail.
The best time to visit is around March to mid-May or late September. Just make sure you don't forget your Luci lights - you’ll probably be the brightest thing for miles. Especially if you bring the Luci Solar String Light. This is one of my favorite solar lights. Just make sure not to take off and leave it charging just like I did. But then again that will be your excuse to buy two more. :-)"
Check out all of Luis' adventures @exploringmundos!