Outdoor Activities In Las Vegas – Most people come to Las Vegas and don’t venture out the famous 4-mile strip, but rest assured, there are some amazing outdoor activities near Las Vegas! When I first started this blog, I lived in Las Vegas for a year and during that time I learned that there is more to Vegas than smoky casinos and glitzy nightclubs.
When venturing off the beaten path, you’ll find hot springs, snowy mountains, red rock canyons, and countless others. In this blog post, I share some of my favorite outdoor activities in Las Vegas.
Outdoor Activities In Las Vegas
Looking for the best outdoor activities in Las Vegas? Get out of the casino and into the scene with our favorites from the strip in Las Vegas.
Awesome Outdoor Activities In Las Vegas
Important notice: As with all the places we show, please follow the directions carefully and do not leave the road. This means throwing away all trash (including toilet paper), following others, and following established rules.
Red Rock Canyon National Preserve is Nevada’s first National Preserve and less than 30 minutes from the Strip. It is a must see for climbers and hikers with 19 known trails. Icebox Canyon is a cool, shaded hike through a canyon with seasonal waterfalls. The Calico Tanks Trail is one of the most popular trails in the area and after a short hike leads to beautiful views of the Strip.
Red Rock Canyon is usually 5-10 degrees cooler than the city, but if you plan to visit in the summer, plan to hike at sunrise or sunset because it is still very hot. Most of the trail is fully exposed, so be sure to protect yourself from the sun.
If hiking or climbing isn’t your thing, 13 miles of red rock is a treat.
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There are many options for traveling in Las Vegas, and the best places to visit depend on the season. Climb Mount Charleston to beat the summer heat. Highs here can be 20 degrees cooler than downtown Vegas.
Surrounded by pine, bristlecone, and aspen trees, you will be amazed at the 50 minutes on the strip! The aspens turn a beautiful yellow color in the fall (usually in September or early October), making it a great place to walk near Las Vegas.
The Raintree Trail is a forest trail whose main focus is a 3,000-year-old bristlecone pine. Some of our favorite places to hike in the Charleston Mountains include Mary Jane Falls, which culminates in a summer waterfall, and Cathedral Rock, which offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains that you might not expect in Vegas.
During the winter, Mt Charleston gets snow! You can learn to ski and snowboard at Lee Canyon or snowshoe at Mount Charleston.
Outdoor Activities In Las Vegas Story
Nevada’s oldest and largest, Valley of Fire State Park has bright red Aztec sandstone that will make you feel like you’re on Mars. Just an hour northeast of Las Vegas, the beautiful park features gnarled trees, 2,000-year-old petroglyphs and great hiking trails.
Most of the trails in the Valley of Fire are short (less than 2 miles) and you can cover a lot in one day. Don’t forget the fire wave path that leads to the beautiful cliff where red, orange, yellow, red and purple and waves of competitors turn into a rainbow. Other peaks in the Valley of Fire include Nature Arch and Elephant Rock.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area is located east of Las Vegas and offers many outdoor activities. If you’re into biking, the 34-mile paved River Hills Loop Trail connects Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, Henderson, Boulder City and the rest of the Las Vegas Valley.
For hiking, the niversary strip is one of my favorite Las Vegas hiking trails. The path begins in the wash and ends in a narrow cave with different colors and geological features. If you have never hiked into the canyon, this is a great starting point for a hike that will whet your appetite for more canyoning fun.
Off The Strip
Another popular site is the Historic Railroad, which once followed the construction of the Hoover Dam and is the last preserved part of the railroad bed that created Lake Mead. You can walk or bike this route (it includes 5 short railroad tracks) and have a great view of the lake that takes you to the Hoover Dam.
If you go for a more challenging hike, Fortification Hill rises 1,400 feet and on a clear day, you can see the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, the Strip, and the Charleston Mountains. This is a hidden gem for Las Vegas travel!
Lake Las Vegas is a Mediterranean-themed resort community located on a 320-acre lake and surrounded by desert mountains about 30 minutes from the strip. Lake Las Vegas Water Sports rents paddleboards, kayaks, and powerboats by the hour.
If you are looking for something a little more, you can try to fly boards, use the cable car station or the water park that has water toys.
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The Black Canyon Waterway is only 45 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip. This quiet 12-mile stretch of the Colorado River is a paddler’s paradise, through desert landscapes and narrow canyons. The hike starts at the foot of Hoover Dam and can be completed in one day (we recommend camping overnight!).
And as if that wasn’t enough, there are also natural hot springs. Check out my blog post on Kayaking Black Canyon for all the logistical details – Black Canyon is my favorite outdoor activity in Las Vegas!
Arizona Hot Springs is a beautiful pool located in a narrow valley above the Colorado River. You can reach the hot springs via the Black Canyon Waterway (by boat) or a 5.6 mile hike (by foot). It is not worth the effort, especially when it is cold in winter and you can enjoy a long vacation.
Another hot spot near Las Vegas is Gold Rush Canyon. You can access these hot springs by ziplining or hiking up the Black Canyon. If you decide to walk, expect a third challenge and bouldering course that spans 8 ropes course the size of the building. It’s an adventure every day, but good water is worth it!
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*Note – Due to extreme temperatures, both Arizona and Golden Blow Hot Springs are closed from mid-May through September each year.
Thrill seekers will love Nelson’s Landing, where you can take a dip in the Colorado River between Lake Mead and Lake Mohave. If heights aren’t your thing, you can relax on the beach and watch the divers. It’s the perfect outdoor activity to beat the Vegas summer heat!
Note: The water falls every year, so be very careful if you want to jump in.
Visit one of our favorite Nevada Guest Towns when you head out to Nelson’s Landing – Nelson Guest Town.
Get Off The Strip: 10 Outdoor Activities In Las Vegas
Located 23 miles from the Strip, Bootleg Canyon is a mountain biker’s dream with more than 20 trails for all skill levels with beautiful views of Lake Mead and the Strip. This park is open 24 hours a day (it is Vegas after all!).
You can go ziplining in the Mojave Desert with the Flightlinez Zipline Tour in Bootleg Canyon. The tour includes four separate lines, with the longest line being almost 1/2 mile. If the day trip isn’t too exciting, they offer sunset tours from April to October. Knowing that sunsets in Las Vegas are epic, I thought it would be great.
Have you been to Las Vegas or are you planning to travel? What is your favorite outdoor activity in Las Vegas? Leave a comment below and let us know!
In 2014, I quit my job in Washington State to start Bear Leg Theory, and for the past 9 years I have shared my experiences here on this blog. I am the happiest part-time driver in the mountains. My team and I are here to show you around and it’s never too late to make your outdoor goals come true.
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