Explore Vegas (Without the Strip)

Vegas is a city known for its casinos, nightlife, and vast entertainment options. However, Sin City has way more to offer than an empty wallet and a weekend of regrets.

Geographically, Las Vegas sits in a basin within the Mojave Desert, surrounded by dry mountains and very few green living things (aka plants). It definitely gives off desert vibes, much like Arizona. The climate is classified as “subtropical desert,” which means: dry and hot. Especially in the summer months–which is why I suggest coming between November and May.

Now that you know what to expect when you arrive, let’s get to the good stuff: Outdoor activities in Las Vegas (besides The Strip!)

Outdoor Activities in Las Vegas

Because of its location, Las Vegas and the surrounding areas offer a plethora of outdoor activity options. My favorite? Hiking!

Your hiking options in and around Vegas include:

  • Sloan Canyon National Conservation area: 15 minute drive
  • The Spring Mountains: 20 minute drive
  • Arizona Hot Springs: 30 minute drive
  • Red Rock Canyon: 20-45 minute drive
  • Mount Charleston: 1 hour drive
  • Valley of Fire State Park: 1 hour 15 minute drive
  • Death Valley National Park: 2 hour drive

Grab a backpack, fill it with loads of water (I’m not kidding. Pack way more than you think you need!), a few snacks, a pair of comfortable hiking shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses, and hit the trails! You’re in for an absolute treat.

We hiked Death Valley National Park and Red Rock Canyon. Both offered vibrantly painted rocks, deep blue skies, and challenging desert trails. In Death Valley, we hiked the Golden Canyon and Gower Gulch Loop via Zabriskie Point (7 miles). And in Red Rock Canyon, we opted for the Calico Tanks trail (2 miles).

Death Valley was definitely tougher–a lot hotter, much longer trail, and harder terrain. However, Red Rock Canyon offered totally different views and more opportunities to climb over boulders and up cliffs. Here are a few of my fav moments!

If hiking isn’t your thing, no worries! You can explore Lake Mead, take a desert Jeep tour, ski or snowboard near Mount Charleston, zipline in Bootleg Canyon, or simply hop on two wheels and check out the many bike trails.

Turns out, there’s way more to Vegas than $65 vodka Red Bulls and questionable choices.

If you’re looking for the ultimate desert getaway, packed with tons of adventure, fresh mountain air, and endless memories–give Vegas a shot (and maybe take a few while you’re at it!) What’s your favorite thing to do outside the Strip? Leave a comment below!

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