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Discover the 10+ Best Outdoor Activities in Las Vegas

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When you think of Las Vegas, the glitz and glamor of casinos and nightlife might be the first things that come to mind. However, Sin City has a wealth of outdoor activities beyond the Strip just waiting to be explored.

From awe-inspiring landscapes like Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire State Park to adrenaline-pumping adventures such as ATV riding or kayaking down the Colorado River, there’s something for everyone in this desert oasis.

Red Rock National Conservation Area

Long road winding through a desert area with red rock formations.

If you’re craving a break from the bustling Las Vegas Strip, you will find amazing things to do at Red Rock National Conservation Area. Located just 17 miles west of downtown Las Vegas, this stunning area boasts a one-way 13-mile scenic drive, abundant hiking trails, and opportunities for rock climbing that attract nearly four million visitors each year.

With over 30 miles of trails winding through the park, hikers and mountain bikers will find routes suited for various skill levels. For adrenaline seekers who prefer off-road excitement over hiking or cycling, guided tours are available on all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).

You can even take it slow by enjoying a peaceful horseback ride while exploring the breathtaking desert terrain.

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Hiking At Red Rock National Conservation Area

As a lover of outdoor activities, I have to say that hiking Red Rock Canyon is one of my all-time favorites. This desert wonderland located just outside Las Vegas offers an escape from the city’s bustle and provides countless opportunities to explore its beautiful landscape.

The Calico Basin is a popular area for new visitors to the park and offers a variety of hiking trails among the colorful sandstone hills. In the summertime try hiking Ice Box Canyon for an escape from the heat.

During my last visit, I tackled the Turtlehead Peak Trail – a challenging yet rewarding 5-mile hike through exposed ledges that offer breathtaking views of Red Rock Canyon and the glittering lights of Las Vegas in the distance.

The trail was tough in some spots, but reaching the summit made every drop of sweat absolutely worth it! Along with Turtlehead Peak, there are numerous other trails ranging from easy strolls to arduous treks available within this stunning protected area.

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Mountain Biking/Cycling At Red Rock Canyon

One of the most exhilarating outdoor activities in Las Vegas that you simply can’t miss is mountain biking or cycling at Red Rock National Conservation Area.

Red Rock National Conservation Area provides diverse trail options to cater to cyclists of all skill levels. For road biking enthusiasts, there’s a 13-mile paved loop that winds through the stunning landscape and presents the perfect opportunity for a scenic ride.

If off-road trails are more your style, make sure to check out North Cottonwood Valley Trail System – a unique mountain biking experience near Red Rock Canyon with varying degrees of difficulty.

Rock Climbing At Red Rock Canyon

Rock climbing at Red Rock National Conservation Area is an experience you won’t want to miss, especially if you’re traveling to Las Vegas and looking for outdoor activities.

One of my favorite aspects of rock climbing at Red Rock are the diverse options available – whether you prefer traditional single-pitch or multi-pitch climbs, the park has it all.

Plus, Red Rocks stands out in North American climbing due to the extensive opportunities offered by its challenging terrain.

Valley Of Fire State Park

Overhead view of a few cars driving along a long road in between large rock formations.

Valley of Fire State Park is a must-visit destination when exploring outdoor activities in Las Vegas. Located just an hour away from the city, this park boasts over 40,000 acres of scenic hiking trails, petroglyphs and stunning red sandstone formations that are sure to take your breath away.

There are many other things to do at Valley of Fire other than hiking, visitors can also camp and even go horseback riding through the desert terrain. And history buffs will appreciate the petroglyphs carved into massive red sandstone formations dating back over 2,000 years ago.

Hiking At Valley Of Fire State Park

An elephant shaped red rock formation.

I absolutely love hiking at Valley of Fire State Park! It’s the perfect spot to escape the city and immerse yourself in nature. With over 40,000 acres of stunning red rock formations and panoramic vistas, it’s no wonder this park is a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts.

The park boasts a variety of hiking trails ranging from easy strolls to more challenging treks. One trail that I highly recommend is the Fire Wave Trail. This one-and-a-half-mile round trip hike takes you through a beautiful landscape filled with wave-like sandstone formations that resemble flames on fire.

Trust me, it’s an incredibly picturesque sight that you don’t want to miss! Plus, if you’re lucky enough to be here during sunrise or sunset, the colors are even more magical.

Camping At Valley Of Fire State Park

If you’re looking for an incredible camping experience near Las Vegas, Valley of Fire State Park should be at the top of your list. This park is a true gem and boasts two campgrounds with 72 units available for overnight stays.

The campsites include shaded picnic tables, grills, and nearby access to restrooms and showers. What’s more, they’re situated in stunning locations offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Whether you prefer staying in an RV or setting up a tent on one of the many pads available, this park has it all.

Horseback Riding At Valley Of Fire State Park

One of the best ways to experience the beauty of Valley of Fire State Park is on horseback. The park offers guided tours for riders of all levels, from beginners to experienced equestrians.

The peaceful and scenic surroundings make horseback riding in Valley of Fire State Park a relaxing and unique way to connect with nature. Plus, since the park is located just an hour away from Las Vegas, it’s easily accessible and well worth the trip.

Lake Mead Recreation Area/Colorado River

Bright blue water with large rocks scattered throughout the water.

One of my favorite outdoor destinations in Las Vegas is the Lake Mead Recreation Area, a sprawling 1.5 million-acre park that offers an impressive variety of activities. Whether you’re interested in kayaking, boating, fishing, hiking or camping, this stunning area has got something for everyone.

Kayaking The Colorado River

Front of a kayak in a bright blue river in the mountains.

Kayaking down the Colorado River is a must-do activity for outdoor adventurers visiting Las Vegas. As we paddled through the Black Canyon Water Trail, we were surrounded by stunning cliff formations and crystal-clear water.

Located within Lake Mead National Recreation Area, this 30-mile stretch of river offers breathtaking views of mountains and canyons and is home to diverse wildlife such as bighorn sheep and bald eagles.

One highlight of our kayaking trip was stopping at Emerald Cave, a hidden gem on the Nevada-Arizona border that’s only accessible from the water.

Fishing On Lake Mead

I highly recommend fishing on Lake Mead as one of the must-do outdoor activities when visiting Las Vegas.

One of my favorite ways to fish on Lake Mead is by renting a boat and exploring the various coves and bays around the lake. You can also join guided fishing tours or hire local experts who know where to find the best spots for fishing on Lake Mead.

Don’t forget to bring your camera because catching a big one makes for great photos and memories to share with friends and family back home.

Other Exciting Outdoor Activities In Las Vegas

There are plenty of other exciting outdoor activities to check out in Las Vegas besides the main attractions, including Hoover Dam tours, Grand Canyon tours, ATV riding, hot air ballooning, and more. Mount Charleston is another nearby destination that offers scenic hikes with stunning views of the surrounding landscapes.

Mount Charleston

Mount Charleston is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, offering a plethora of exciting activities for visitors. From hiking and camping to rock climbing, skiing, and snowboarding, there is something for everyone here.

With over 100 miles of trails to explore, you can lose yourself in the natural beauty of the surrounding Spring Mountains. The Spring Mountains Visitor Center offers additional resources and information on how to make your visit to this area unforgettable.

Hoover Dam

A visit to Hoover Dam is an unforgettable experience. It’s a top outdoor activity near Las Vegas, and it attracts 42% of visitors who consider it as a must-see attraction.

The dam itself has an interesting history, and there are various tours available to explore the area fully.

If you want more outdoor activities near Hoover Dam after your tour, Boulder City is worth a visit for its historic downtown full of restaurants and shops. Lake Mead offers many recreational opportunities such as fishing or kayaking on the Colorado River.

ATV Riding

If you’re a thrill-seeker looking for an exciting outdoor activity, ATV riding in Las Vegas may be just what you need. Adrenaline Junkies Tours offer guided ATV tours in the Mojave Desert, where you can explore stunning landscapes and rugged terrains while feeling the wind on your face.

You’ll have a chance to tackle hills, slopes, and winding paths as you navigate through this desert wonderland.

For those who prefer self-guided adventures on the water, Lake Mead Mojave Adventures offer boat rentals for exploring Lake Mead at your own pace. From kayaking to paddleboarding or jet skiing – there’s no shortage of water sport activities available here.

Hot Air Ballooning

If you’re looking for a unique and breathtaking way to enjoy the outdoors in Las Vegas, hot air ballooning is an activity that should definitely be on your list. Imagine floating above the desert landscape with stunning views of Red Rock Canyon or the city skyline below.

There are several options for hot air balloon rides in Las Vegas, including Vegas Hot Air Sin City Balloon Rides which offers a one-of-a-kind experience with champagne toast included.

Hot air ballooning is not only thrilling but it’s also safe and accessible to all ages. It’s quite popular among tourists visiting Las Vegas but locals too take advantage of this amazing outdoor activity.

Be sure to book well in advance as slots fill up quickly especially during busy periods like Spring or Summer Breaks (for U.S schools).

In conclusion, Las Vegas offers a wide variety of exciting outdoor activities beyond the glitz and glamor of the Strip. From hiking in Red Rock Canyon to kayaking on Lake Mead, there are endless opportunities for adventure seekers or families looking for a fun day out.

Visitors can also explore nearby attractions like the Hoover Dam or go off-the-beaten-path to discover hidden gems around Southern Nevada. With its warm weather year-round and central location, Las Vegas is an ideal destination for those who love nature and want to experience everything this vibrant city has to offer.


Key Takeaways

Las Vegas has a wealth of outdoor activities beyond the casinos and nightlife, including hiking at Red Rock National Conservation Area and Valley of Fire State Park, kayaking down the Colorado River, fishing on Lake Mead, and exploring Mount Charleston.

Adventure seekers can challenge themselves with activities such as mountain biking or rock climbing at Red Rock National Conservation Area, ATV riding in the desert terrain or hovering over beautiful scenery on hot air balloon rides.

Visitors can also explore nearby attractions like Hoover Dam which offers tours to learn about its history and construction process. Las Vegas is an ideal destination for those who love nature and want to experience everything this vibrant city has to offer.

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