A bit of ruralty is certainly welcome down here in the giant metro Las Vegas Valley, and this is precisely what makes Blue Diamond special. "Blue Diamond" is a small, rural company town just fifteen minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, wedged between SR 159 and SR 160. Despite its close proximity to the city, Blue Diamond prides itself as one of the last places in the valley where its ruralty is supreme. Blue Diamond is a place people pass right on by to get to somewhere else, but on occasion, the town will see a flurry of motorcyclists, most of them attracted to the same thing the locals enjoy. Blue Diamond takes its name from the rich gypsum mine on the hills just north of town. When I say "rich," this is understatement. The mine is a rare one that contains 99% pure gypsum. The giant PABCO gypsum plant still manufactures drywall and other gypsum products that brings a bit more economy to the area in addition to the usual neon glitz.
The real treasure here is it's scenic surroundings and with it a great variety of nearby outdoor attractions! The most popular is the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area, located just seven minutes away on SR 159. Red Rock Canyon was designated as Nevada's first National Conservation Area, preserving over 195,000 acres and is frequented by more than one million people each year. In marked contrast to a city geared to entertainment and gaming, Red Rock offers enticements of a different nature that include a 13-mile scenic drive and more than 60 miles of hiking trails, and several hidden waterfalls and oases. The unique geologic features, plants and animals of Red Rock represent some of the best examples of the Mojave Desert. The nearby Bonnie Springs Ranch is a preserved ghost town and ranch where California-bound emigrants Finally, Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, administered by Nevada State Parks, is a 520 acre oasis developed into a combination working ranch and luxurious retreat by a string of owners who have given the area a long and colorful history. As for Blue Diamond itself, the town has a quaint (and very homey) bar-saloon, a verdant town park, a school, and volunteer fire department. Who needs much more than that?