Las Vegas, the dazzling city known for its bright lights and bustling casinos, has so much more to offer than just glitzy Strip. Venture beyond Sin City’s usual tourist spots, and you’ll find an array of outdoor activities that cater to nature lovers, adventurers, and families alike.
From majestic mountains to captivating desert landscapes, Las Vegas is truly an oasis when it comes to fun outdoor experiences. In this article, we’ve compiled the best outdoor activities in Las Vegas outside the Strip.
- Top Outdoor Activities in Las Vegas
- Family-Friendly Outdoor Activities
- Hidden Gems for Outdoor Activities
Top Outdoor Activities in Las Vegas
Experience the natural beauty surrounding Las Vegas by hiking in Red Rock Canyon, marveling at the stunning rock formations in Valley of Fire State Park, kayaking or paddle boarding around Lake Mead, and taking on the trails at Mount Charleston.
Hiking in Red Rock Canyon
One of the best outdoor activities to do in Las Vegas is hiking in Red Rock Canyon. As a national conservation area, it offers a stunning landscape with scenic and epic hikes suitable for all levels of hikers. Many consider it as one of the best hikes near Las Vegas.
Find yourself in awe as you trek through the vibrant red sandstone formations, admiring the unique desert flora and fauna along the way.
For those short on time or seeking an easier hike, Calico Tanks and Lost Creek are two popular options within Red Rock Canyon that offer picturesque views without too much effort.
Exploring The Valley Of Fire State Park
Another of the top outdoor activities to do while in Las Vegas is exploring the vibrant landscape of Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada’s oldest and largest state park. Just an hour’s drive from the city, it provides a much-needed break from the glitz and glamor of the Strip.
During your visit to Valley of Fire State Park, make sure not to miss attractions like The Fire Wave – famous for its stunning layers of contrasting colors that will leave you amazed. Afterwards, stop over at Atlatl Rock or Petroglyph Canyon to view the ancient petroglyphs left thousands of years ago by native cultures.
There are plenty of hiking trails available for all skill levels; whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an exhilarating climb, there’s something perfect waiting for you here.
Remember to plan your visit either early in the morning or later in the evening as midday heat can be intense – taking enough water and wearing sunscreen is essential! To guarantee entry during peak season (March-May), consider making reservations online beforehand.
Hiking at Mount Charleston
If you’re looking for a complete escape from the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas, hiking at Mount Charleston is a must-do outdoor activity. Located just 35 miles away, this area offers stunning landscapes and breathtaking views of the Spring Mountains that will make you forget about the bright lights of the city.
The Mary Jane Falls trail is a popular 3.2 mile hike among outdoor enthusiasts that ends at a seasonal waterfall.
But hiking isn’t the only thing Mount Charleston has to offer. The surrounding area also provides opportunities for rock climbing and camping as well as dining at one of several restaurants in town or staying at Mount Charleston Lodge.
Family-Friendly Outdoor Activities
For those traveling with kids, Las Vegas offers plenty of family-friendly outdoor activities like watching the fountains of Bellagio, visiting the Springs Preserve, taking a gondola ride at the Venetian or exploring the Seven Magic Mountains.
Watching the Fountains Of Bellagio
No trip to Las Vegas is complete without watching the Fountains of Bellagio. This free attraction is suitable for all ages and is located on the famous Las Vegas Strip in front of the Bellagio Hotel.
The fountains are a part of a complex water feature that includes multiple pools and over 1,200 individual jets that can shoot water up to 460 feet high! Visitors can watch the dancing water show set to music every half-hour during the day and every 15 minutes at night.
It’s an enchanting display of artistry and technology that has entertained millions of visitors from around the world.
Visiting The Springs Preserve
If you’re planning a family-friendly outdoor activity during your visit to Las Vegas, the Springs Preserve is definitely worth checking out. With over 60 fun activities and attractions designed specifically for kids, it’s considered one of the best things to do in Las Vegas with children.
If you’re looking for something more adventurous at Springs Preserve, there are plenty of options as well. You can take a hike along the many trails that wind through the preserve and see some stunning views of the desert landscape.
Visiting Springs Preserve is easy too – you can purchase tickets online or onsite upon arrival.
Taking a Gondola Ride at the Venetian
One of the most unique family-friendly outdoor activities in Las Vegas is taking a gondola ride at the Venetian. The experience is truly one-of-a-kind, as you glide down the canals and under bridges while being serenaded by an authentic gondolier.
Tips for making the most out of your gondola ride include opting for an outdoor ride if available, bringing along some Italian gelato or sweet treats from nearby shops to enjoy during your trip, and time your visit right so that you can watch as day turns into night and see all of the stunning lights come on around you.
Visiting the Seven Magic Mountains
Looking for a truly unique outdoor experience? Be sure to visit the Seven Magic Mountains. This unique art installation is located just a short drive from the city and offers a great outdoor activity for families or groups of friends.
Created by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, the Seven Magic Mountains have been a popular attraction since opening in 2016. Visitors can enjoy hiking around the site, having picnics, or simply admiring the stunning surroundings.
Hidden Gems for Outdoor Activities
Looking for more things to do in Las Vegas outside the strip? Kayaking the Colorado River, checking out the Hoover Dam, exploring the Neon Museum, and visiting Arizona Hot Springs are four hidden gems for outdoor activities that offer unique experiences outside of Las Vegas.
Kayaking the Colorado River
One of the most unforgettable outdoor activities near Las Vegas is kayaking the Colorado River through the Black Canyon. It’s a hidden gem located just 45 minutes from Sin City and offers a unique opportunity to explore an oasis in the desert.
The Colorado River boasts stunning views of towering cliffs, hidden canyons, and natural hot springs. Along the way, you might even spot some of the area’s native wildlife like bald eagles or bighorn sheep.
There are several tour companies that offer rentals and guided tours for kayaking enthusiasts of all levels. Most tours offer options to kayak to either the base of Hoover Dam, Emerald Cave or hidden hot springs.
Checking Out the Hoover Dam
While in the area, check out the Hoover Dam. Located just a short drive from downtown Vegas, this impressive structure offers breathtaking views and an interesting history lesson. Built during the Great Depression, it’s a marvel of engineering that took five years to complete.
Take a walk across the top of the dam for amazing panoramic views or snap some photos at one of several lookout points. The nearby Historic Railroad Trail lets you hike along a route once used to haul materials for the construction of the dam. The trail takes you through railroad tunnels carved through the Black Mountains and also provides stunning views of Lake Mead.
The Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, located downstream from Hoover Dam, has a walkway that offers even more stunning vistas of both The Hoover Dam as well as the Colorado River.
Exploring the Neon Museum
One of the best hidden gems for outdoor activities in Las Vegas is the Neon Museum. This non-profit organization has an impressive collection of over 200 neon signs from Las Vegas’ history, dating back to the 1930s. It’s considered one of the best museums in Las Vegas.
The museum offers guided tours that showcase the cultural and historical significance of these iconic signs.
The “Brilliant!” exhibit at the Neon Museum is also something you don’t want to miss. It showcases restored signs in their full illuminated glory, giving visitors a glimpse into what downtown Las Vegas looked like during its heyday.
What’s great about visiting the Neon Museum is that it’s an off-the-beaten-path experience that offers something unique compared to other typical tourist attractions in Las Vegas.
Arizona Hot Springs
If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path outdoor adventure, hiking to the Arizona Hot Springs is definitely worth checking out. This hidden gem is located in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, just a short drive from Las Vegas.
To reach the hot springs, visitors must hike through a picturesque canyon and climb up a ladder to access the pools. It’s important to note that this hike can be challenging and requires proper shoes and plenty of water.
Aside from visiting the hot springs, there are also plenty of other outdoor activities to enjoy in this area such as hiking and rock climbing. And if camping is your thing, there are several campsites nearby where visitors can spend the night under the stars.
Las Vegas may be known for its glitz and glamor, but it’s also a prime destination for outdoor enthusiasts. From hiking in Red Rock Canyon to kayaking the Colorado River or exploring the Hoover Dam, there are plenty of adventures waiting just outside of the city limits. Families can enjoy watching the Fountains at Bellagio or visiting the Springs Preserve while adrenaline junkies can opt for kayaking down the Colorado River or checking out Arizona Hot Springs.
No matter what your interests are, you’ll find a whole lot of other things to do in Vegas aside from gambling. This dazzling city also has something to offer everyone who loves spending time outdoors.
Shannon is an adventure enthusiast, nature lover, and art dabbler who lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. She’s a huge fan of discovering new places to visit and the outdoor lifestyle and is a regular contributor at threedaysinvegas.com