|Las Vegas Nevada is a comfortable 2.5 hour flight from Petaluma in the
Comanche (8805P) over the Sierra Nevada. The North Las Vegas airport (VGT) is a little further from the strip than McCarran, but the service is much better and cheaper. Links are included below for both facilities. Please note that VGT provides a free shuttle to the strip hotels.
It is recommended that you be familiar with mountain flying and that you have oxygen on board for the flight - you can stay under 12,500 feet through the passes, but direct over the top will require 16,500. The ride can be much smoother up high.
Our flight took us directly over Yosemite and the north end of Death Valley, as shown in the pictures.
Obviously in Vegas the draw is gambling and shows. We saw Elton John and Billy Joel in concert at the MGM Grand and it was fantastic. The hotels each try to outdo the others in terms of opulence - cloud filled blue skies are common in the larger buildings. Most impressive was the Venetian with the recreated Grand Canal.
The Star Trek experience is a must for any fan - I finally figured out how they make you beam into the Enterprise, but I promise not to tell. The coaster on the Stratosphere is fun, although it does seem much higher than pattern altitude. The Speed coaster at the Sahara is too cool to miss. I like coasters, but the New York's ride is very jerky and rough, although it is neat to pass in front of Manhattan on a coaster!
Have a good time.
General information on Las Vegas, including rooms - http://www.lasvegas.com/
The Star Trek experience at the Hilton - http://www.startrekexp.com/
The Stratosphere Hotel - http://www.stratospherehotel.com/
The Venetian Grand Canal (requires IPIX download) - http://www.venetian.com/shoppe/st_bridge.cfm
The Sahara Speed Coaster - http://www.saharavegas.com/speed/index.html
The Sahara auto racing simulator - http://www.saharavegas.com/speed/cyber.html
The New York Manhattan Express - http://www.nynyhotelcasino.com/pages/ent_coaster.asp
McCarran International Airport - http://www.mccarran.com/
North Las Vegas Air Terminal - http://www.mccarran.com/ga_nlv.html