OUTDOOR FUN IN LAS VEGAS
RED ROCK NATIONAL PARK
Towering behind the Las Vegas skyline, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area’s iconic red-banded peaks are one of Southern Nevada’s most beloved outdoor destinations. More than 2 million people visit Red Rock Canyon each year to hike, bike, rock climb and more. But in the 1980s, this incredible area was almost permanently changed by a housing development planned next door.
VALLEY OF FIRE STATE PARK
The striking red sandstone formations in Valley of Fire State Park are well worth the 60-mile drive from Las Vegas. A day-trip should give you plenty of time to explore—or you can spend the night at one of the area’s campsites. Make sure you check out the petrified wood and 3,000-year-old petroglyphs!
ASH MEADOWS NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
At Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, lush aqua-blue springs giving life to a remarkable 27 species found nowhere else on Earth, including the shimmery blue Amargosa pupfish. When you look at those springs, you are looking back in time. Water emerging from deep underground is fed by snowflakes that fell on the Spring Mountains thousands of years ago.
Just a 10-15 minute drive from the Strip, you can enjoy hiking or biking the 3.65 miles of trails at the Springs Preserve to see both cultural and environmental history of the Las Vegas valley. Wetlands here are home to hundreds of native plants, birds and animal species including peregrine falcons, snowy egrets, and black-crowned night herons.
Winter sports lovers, fear not! Southern Nevada has something for you, too. In less than an hour, you can make it from the Strip to the snow. Mount Charleston (officially known as the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area) offers sledding, snowshoeing, skiing and more. And Mount Charleston isn’t just for the winter. Its 52 miles of trails make a great getaway from the scorching summer heat in the valley, as temperatures at the higher elevations tend to be cooler.