While Las Vegas may be more famous for its urban activities, it also has a whole has a lot to offer those outdoorsy types. From sprawling national parks to beautiful lakes and hot springs, there are a diverse array of activities for those who like their trips to Las Vegas with a side of fresh air. There are boating, fishing, hiking, photography, picnicking and camping opportunities in many areas across Southern Nevada. Exploring stunning rock formations makes for amazing photographs and memorable family adventures, and there are also historically important places to visit, such as the Hoover Dam. And what’s more, the fun doesn't have to stop when it’s cold, as Mount Charleston offers snow activities for winter travelers.
A few miles to the west of Las Vegas spreads a spectacular stretch of red-hued crags and canyons, formed by sandstone that rises to thousands of feet above the desert floor. Nineteen marked trails thread through this landscape, some suitable for children and some for those desiring a more challenging hike. A myriad of animal and plant species live in the park, allowing for a few wild encounters on the outskirts of Las Vegas.
Drive just a little further and visitors can explore these five amazing national parks near Las Vegas, like Zion and Death Valley
Surrounded by rugged mountains and an hour’s drive east of Las Vegas, Lake Mead is a popular recreation area bordered by busy marinas and secluded coves. Anglers, boaters and water sport thrillseekers congregate on the water, and the area’s many campsites and RV lots make it an ideal base for kayaking trips along the Colorado River. Hikers can walk the trails through mountains and canyons, and there are tarmacked roads for cyclists and road trippers.
Don't miss Hopper's guide to visiting Lake Mead from Las Vegas for more info on what to do and see at the lake
What could be better after a hike in the Las Vegas heat than a nice and relaxing dip in a hot springs? Well, maybe a dip in a cold springs! But a hot springs it is, and trust that the hike is worth it to enjoy the serene natural setting and one of Las Vegas’ hidden gems.
Outdoors enthusiasts will also want to check out Hopper's ranking of the five best places to hike near Las Vegas
Visitors can hike, camp and picnic in the summer, as well as enjoy skiing at the Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort in the winter. Bet you didn’t know that there was skiing less than an hour from Las Vegas? How cool is that! Otherwise, enjoy the hikes guided by naturalists to learn more about the plants and animals in the area.
The five best state parks near Las Vegas are also great places to enjoy the Nevadan outdoors
A must-visit for families who want to learn more about the ecological history of the Las Vegas area, Springs Preserve is just three miles west of Las Vegas. There are things to do for both children and adults, including interactive science and nature exhibits, botanical gardens, hikes, trails and live animal shows. There are also special exhibits, such as cooking lessons and art exhibits.
For some more ideas on low-key attractions in Vegas, check out this article on five free attractions in Las Vegas