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Guide to Las Vegas Outdoors

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Though there are countless casino floors, attractions, shows, clubs and shopping opportunities in Las Vegas, one of the city's biggest draws is its location in the Desert Southwest, surrounded by lots of wide-open space and wonderful weather (most of the year), perfect for enjoying outdoor activities.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Nature Lover
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Beach Goer
  • Like a Local

10 Places

6 City Tips

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Map

10 Places

Flightlinez Bootleg Canyon

Air Tours

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Canyons, Geologic Formations, National Parks, Nature & Wildlife Areas, State Parks

Spring Mountain Ranch State Park

State Parks

Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Nature & Wildlife Areas

Lee Canyon

Ski & Snowboard Areas

Valley of Fire State Park

State Parks

Mt. Charleston Scenic Byway

Scenic Drives

Desert National Wildlife Refuge

Nature & Wildlife Areas

Hoover Dam

Dams

Springs Preserve

Nature & Wildlife Areas, Parks

JoAnna H's City Tips

  • If you book a tour, don't forget to tip 10% to 20% of the full tour cost.
  • A number of outfitters offer excursions and tours. Shop around for the one that best fits your price point, time preferences and activity interests.
  • Though tour companies include transportation in their excursion cost, if you want more freedom, consider renting a car.
  • During the summer months, engage in outdoor activities early in the morning or in the evening when the weather is coolest.
  • Drink lots of water regardless of the time of year you participate in outdoor activities in and around Las Vegas. Don't forget to wear sunscreen.
  • If you'll be participating in active activities like hiking, wear close-toed shoes and clothes that can get dirty with desert dirt.
  • Flightlinez Bootleg Canyon
    Air Tours
    See more photos
    JoAnna H Says:

    One of the most adventurous ways to see the vast stretch of desert is by zip lining over top of it. From the comfort of a paragliding-like harness, you'll fly about 1,000 feet over the ground below and up to 50 miles per hour. The experience includes four zip lines, the last of which is both the longest and fastest.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Book an excursion early in the morning for the chance to see bighorn sheep roaming the landscape below.
    • Sunglasses are recommended, and women should not wear skirts.
    • The company provides bottles of water for its guests.
    • Guests must weigh between 75 and 250 pounds.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 26 Outdoor Activities in Boulder City
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Exhilarating way to spend a morning 07/11/2018
    • Great Way to Spend the Day! 04/11/2018
    • Flightlinez Bootleg Canyon
    Address:
    1644 Nevada Hwy
    Boulder City, NV 89005-1904
    Phone:
    +1 702-293-6885
    Price range:
    US$159 - US$159
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
    Canyons, Geologic Formations, National Parks, Nature & Wildlife Areas, State Parks
    See more photos
    JoAnna H Says:

    When visitors get their first glance of Red Rock Canyon, they're often surprised that such a stunning natural place exists so close to Las Vegas. There is a 13-mile, one-way road that loops through the park, dotted with a scenic overlook at the highest point of the drive and several trail heads for hiking. Many visitors seek out the park for day hikes, but this is also a popular place for photographers and rock climbers as well.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • There is an entry fee per car.
    • The first hike on the scenic drive is to Calico Basin, and while it's a lovely hike, it's busy because everyone stops here. Drive past and find something less crowded.
    • Many locals visit Red Rock for bicycling and running. Beware of both cyclists and runners on the road.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 380 things to do in Las Vegas
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful 16/11/2018
    • So close to the Strip 16/11/2018
    • Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
    Address:
    3205 Nevada 159
    Las Vegas, NV 89161
    Phone:
    +1 702-515-5350
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    6:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Spring Mountain Ranch State Park
    State Parks
    See more photos
    JoAnna H Says:

    This 520-acre ranch is a welcome reprieve from all the activities going on in Las Vegas. There is a living history program in the spring and fall that brings the colorful stories of this destination alive for guests, and in the summer, a long-running outdoor theater program is the ideal way to spend an evening with local families. Throughout the year, a network of hiking trails in the Red Rock Conservation Area and ample space for picnics allows guests to amble at their own pace as well.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • There is a per car entrance fee.
    • If you're interested in attending a Super Summer Theater production, arrive early to claim a good space on the lawn. Chairs need to be placed around the edge.
    • Hours for the main ranch house are April, May, September and October from 10am-5pm; June-August from 11am-7pm; and November-March from 10am-4pm.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 4 things to do in Blue Diamond
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A gem 13/11/2018
    • Great House Tour and Walks Available 10/11/2018
    • Spring Mountain Ranch State Park
    Address:
    Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
    Blue Diamond, NV 89004
    Phone:
    +1 702-875-4141
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
    Other:
  • Lake Mead National Recreation Area
    Nature & Wildlife Areas
    See more photos
    JoAnna H Says:

    Located on the border of Nevada and Arizona is Lake Mead National Recreation Area, a destination for water lovers. Though the lake's water level has dropped considerably in recent years, it still provides ample recreational opportunities for boaters, swimmers and SCUBA divers. There are several marinas in the area where people can rent houseboats, kayaks, jet skis and other related equipment, or for those who just want to relax on the shore, there are several beaches and picnic tables.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • It frequently hits triple digits in the summer at Lake Mead. Pack plenty of drinking water, sunscreen, clothes for covering up and a hat in addition to swimwear.
    • In addition to water-related activities, there are some hiking trails in the area, including one that goes through old railway tunnels.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #78 of 989 things to do in Nevada
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Away from the bright lights 06/11/2018
    • A day trip from Vegas 05/11/2018
    • Lake Mead National Recreation Area
    Phone:
    +1 702-293-8906
    Other:
  • Lee Canyon
    Ski & Snowboard Areas
    See more photos
    JoAnna H Says:

    Though the Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort hardly rivals the likes of Vail, Heavenly or Taos, it is still impressive that within an hour's drive of the Las Vegas Strip there is a fully functioning ski mountain. In the winter, the ski resort receives an average of 240 inches of snow each year, which guests can explore via 20 groomed trails and 30 acres of snowboarding terrain accessed with three chairlifts and one surface lift. As the area has grown in popularity, a number of development projects are creating better base lodge and locker facilities.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Ski equipment and winter clothing rentals are available at the ski resort.
    • The ski resort partners with concierge services in Las Vegas to get guests from the city to the mountain lodge.
    • Weather on the mountain is drastically different than that in the city center. Check the ski resort's web page for current mountain weather conditions.
    • Ski and snowboard lessons are available for beginners or those who need a refresher course on the mountain.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #99 of 380 things to do in Las Vegas
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great site 13/08/2018
    • Gastfreundschaft 07/07/2018
    • Lee Canyon
    Address:
    6725 Lee Canyon Rd
    Las Vegas, NV 89124-9298
    Phone:
    +1 702-385-2754
    Price range:
    US$5 - US$5
    Other:
  • Valley of Fire State Park
    State Parks
    See more photos
    JoAnna H Says:

    This state park is like a splash of fire in the desert with deep red rock sandstone marked with ancient petroglyphs, great viewing opportunities for the desert sunset and miles of hiking trails. Camping spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis and can be a novel way to explore Las Vegas' great outdoor offerings.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • There is minimal cell phone service in the park. Don't plan on being able to access it.
    • Stop by the visitor center to get recommendations on how best to spend your time based on your interests and activity level.
    • Don't forget your camera. There are awesome photography opportunities at every turn.
    • An entry fee is charged unless you're traveling with a tour company.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 9 things to do in Overton
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Amazing drive through or hikes 15/11/2018
    • Short Trip From Las Vegas 15/11/2018
    • Valley of Fire State Park
    Address:
    29450 Valley of Fire Road
    Overton, NV 89040
    Phone:
    +1 702-397-2088
    Other:
  • Mt. Charleston Scenic Byway
    Scenic Drives
    See more photos
    JoAnna H Says:

    Nevada's eighth largest mountain peak topping out at around 12,000 feet is a welcome respite from the repressive temperatures that often blanket the city. With several miles of hiking trails, it's easy to safely 'get lost' among the juniper and Ponderosa pine trees just a short drive beyond Las Vegas.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • It can be quite cold in the winter. If you're going to be winter hiking, come prepared for the weather.
    • The Mary Jane Falls hiking trail leads to a seasonal waterfall and cave is only about two miles long. It is popular and easy for even novice hikers.
    • The Hotel at Mt. Charleston has restaurants and a day spa.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 6 things to do in Mount Charleston
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Absolutely Breathtaking 20/10/2018
    • Beautiful 30/09/2018
    • Mt. Charleston Scenic Byway
    Address:
    Lee Canyon Road
    State Routes 156,158, 157
    Mount Charleston, NV
  • Desert National Wildlife Refuge
    Nature & Wildlife Areas
    See more photos
    JoAnna H Says:

    This national refuge area is 1.6 million acres in size, the largest refuge outside of Alaska. It encompasses mountain ranges, deserts and meadow areas, and is home to many species of birds, reptiles and mammals. Due to its size, much of it is inaccessible, but a visitor center at the entrance of the refuge offers information about the area and volunteers can point visitors toward shorter hiking trails or longer backpacking excursions if they are interested.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Because this area is so isolated, come prepared to fend for yourself with lots of drinking water and proper protection from the desert environment.
    • There is no cell phone service available in the vast majority of the refuge area.
    • There are short hikes available near the visitor center, but anything beyond that requires a high-clearance or 4x4 vehicle to reach.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #133 of 380 things to do in Las Vegas
    • Ollie Hiking Club 14/10/2018
    • OUt of this World 20/06/2018
    • Desert National Wildlife Refuge
    Address:
    16001 Corn Creek Rd
    Las Vegas, NV 89124-9301
    Phone:
    +1 702-879-6110
    Hours:
    Thu - Mon
    8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    Other:
  • Hoover Dam
    Dams
    See more photos
    JoAnna H Says:

    The impressive Hoover Dam is an engineering marvel that draws millions of tourists every year. Guests can visit the inside of the dam, but those who choose not to take a paid tour can still walk across the 725-foot high dam to check out the views. The Mike O' Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, which was completed in 2010, can be seen from the dam, and visitors can walk across the bridge to get a different view of the Hoover Dam as well.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • If you park in the parking garage at the dam, you will need to pay. It is free to park and walk across the bridge.
    • Stand in two states – and two time zones (at least for half of the year; Arizona doesn't follow daylight savings time) – at once atop both the dam and the bridge.
    • It can be quite windy on the bridge. Secure loose clothing and hats.
    • Though you can drive across the Hoover Dam, it is not a thoroughfare and you will have to turn around and return to the Nevada side of the dam to leave.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 21 things to do in Boulder City
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A great marvel to see 16/11/2018
    • Tour Group. Walk About. No organized tour. 16/11/2018
    • Hoover Dam
    Address:
    Hoover Dam Access Road
    Boulder City, NV 89109
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Springs Preserve
    Nature & Wildlife Areas, Parks
    See more photos
    JoAnna H Says:

    Those who'd like to escape the city for a trip into the desert but don't have a lot of time to spare can head toward Springs Preserve, just a short drive from the Las Vegas Strip. This low-key, 180-acre park really once was an oasis in the desert and highlights key features of the desert landscape with walking trails, a botanical garden and indoor exhibits about water conservation, desert wildlife and Las Vegas' cultural history.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • History Buff
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • There is a cafe on site for those who'd like to dine here.
    • There are nearly four miles of walking trails. For those who'd like to see of the lay of the land without walking, hop aboard a narrated train ride.
    • Admission to the Nevada State Museum is included in the entrance fee to Springs Preserve.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #30 of 380 things to do in Las Vegas
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Wonderful 14/11/2018
    • Lovely Sunday Afternoon 11/11/2018
    • Springs Preserve
    Address:
    333 S Valley View Blvd
    Las Vegas, NV 89107-4372
    Phone:
    +1 702-822-7700
    Price range:
    US$10 - US$10
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Other:
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