Southeast of Las Vegas, US-93 joins courses with US-95 along Nevada’s newest freeway, I-515, which connects Las Vegas with the rapidly growing industrial city of Henderson (pop. 285,667). Henderson itself is relatively young, even by Nevada standards. In 1941 the War Department selected this site, due to its proximity to unlimited electricity generated by the then-six-year-old Hoover Dam, for a giant factory to process magnesium, needed for bombs and airplane components. Within six months, 10,000 workers arrived, and the plant and town were built. After the war ended, the factory was subdivided for private industry, and since then, Henderson has grown to be the second-largest city in Nevada, behind only Las Vegas.

Though it doesn’t even try to compete with the attractions of Las Vegas, Henderson does have a number of casinos, but it’s much more of a place to live than it is a tourist destination. The good Clark County Museum (1830 S. Boulder Hwy., 702/455-7955, daily, $2), a few miles south of town, has the usual local info plus an enjoyable display on the evolution of motor courts and travel trailers, highlighted by an iconic late 1940s Spartanette.

South of Henderson, US-93/95 climbs up and over 2,367-foot Railroad Pass, and just beyond is the junction where US-95 cuts south, heading along the Colorado River to Laughlin, Nevada; Needles, California; and Yuma, Arizona. US-93 continues east and loops a little to the north on its way to Boulder City.