Outdoor Adventures Near Las Vegas

I always said you can take the girl out of Alaska, but not Alaska out of the girl. Exploring nature was my childhood. Friends often asked me how I survived two years in the desert in Vegas. Simple. I do what I did at home, but with less clothing! The Las Vegas area has beautiful nature and plenty of outdoor activities to satisfy outdoor enthusiasts. Las Vegas is centrally located in the Southwest, so you can easily visit hot springs, National Parks, kayak, rock climb, hike, bike, and even snowboard or ski! Try one of these adrenaline-fueled outdoor activities near Las Vegas to escape the strip.

Because you need proper gear, most outdoor activities require a car or a company. Email me if you need help planning one of these adventures. Deserts are dangerous. Long winter hikes and bike rides are better. In winter, higher altitudes can have snow and ice. Bring water and food, tell a friend, and hire a guide if you’re inexperienced.

1. Hike

Mount Charleston hiking

The mountain range west of Las Vegas has many hiking trails in a North California climate. Mary Jane Falls is my favorite beginner hike. This 2-mile hike is steep, climbing 1,000 feet. However, the Kyle Canyon view from the top is worth it. Expect falls only in spring or after rain.

Mummy Mountain is another favorite hike of mine. 5-mile out-and-back trail. The beginning is steep, but the views are amazing at the top. Raintree, Nevada’s oldest living thing at 3,000 years old, should be honored. Winter and fall: Bring lots of water and a warmer jacket. Elevation causes freezing temperatures.

Gold Strike Canyon Hot Springs Hike

Locals know this secret. The Colorado River trip is great. You can hike and relax in a hot spring. From Las Vegas, take exit 2 off I93 before crossing the Pat Tillman Bridge to find the tail head. After exiting the ramp, turn right at the stop sign and descend the hill into a dirt parking lot with other cars and the trailhead sign. This 4-hour hike has 8 fixed ropes for climbing, a minimal elevation gain, and a reputation for “kicking my butt.” Walking through a dried lake bed for 1.5 miles is easy. After that, you’ll find the first obstacle. If you’re scared, hire a guide or ask another hiker for help. Look for white arrows to the trail and avoid being out after dark. Bring snacks, water, and play safely!

Grand Canyon Tour Company has great hiking options and is knowledgeable.

Lake Mead Hiking

Enjoy a small-group guided hike away from the crowds. The hike accommodates your needs, including quiet time for meditation or yoga in nature. Every guided hike is unique, so you’ll avoid crowds and connect with nature. They provide backpacks and hiking poles as needed.

2. Kayaking/SUP

Las Vegas is in the middle of the desert, but the Colorado River and Lake Mead are nearby, making kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding possible!

Colorado River kayaking

The Hoover Dam is my favorite kayak trip up the Colorado River! You can see wildlife and visit Emerald Cave, which is as green as it looks. Blazing Paddles is a great new Colorado River tour company in town. If you’re in Vegas during a full moon, don’t miss their glowing kayak tour! The owner of this company is from Alaska, where my friends were kayak guides. They’re great!

3. Lake Mead SUP and kayaking


Kayak or SUP around Lake Mead. If you prefer to relax by a body of water other than a pool, spend the afternoon at the beach. My favorite activity is kayaking to the islands and swimming around. Due to high winds, please wear a life jacket and don’t swim in this lake. We were bad girls, but we had life jackets in the kayak and no wind.

Kayak Las Vegas has Lake Mead trips.

Cyclists love Vegas. Get your daily exercise with a killer view on scenic routes outside the city! Adrenaline junkies can enjoy downhill mountain biking.

4. Vegas road biking

One of the most scenic bike rides! The main road loops 20 miles from Blue Diamond Road to West Charleston Blvd. If that’s not enough, take the scenic route through Red Rock National Preserve, where you pay for entry at the visitor center and get 13 miles of stunning red rocks, Joshua trees, and towering mountains. Some hills, mostly flat. EZ Ride LV rents E-Bikes for hungover people. E-bikes, gear, pick-up, and drop-off are available.

Lake Mead biking

Bike trails from Henderson-Bounder-Lake Mead and around the lake are great for non-swimmers. This technical ride has hills and serpentine turns due to ancient lava. Prepare to have your booty kicked and bring lots of water to replenish your sweat.

Boulder Mountain Biking

Bootleg Canyon changed my opinion of mountain biking. This is great for beginners and advanced mountain bikers. Race down the mountain while Las Vegas sparkles below. If you want to go alone, check out the weekend shuttle or the company below

Bike Blast Las Vegas offers road, mountain, and city tours.

5. Rock-climbing

The most fun and challenging outdoor activity near Las Vegas is often overlooked. The Las Vegas mountains have amazing natural foot and hand holes for climbing. The Alpine Institute can help beginners or advanced climbers.

horseback riding

Take a sunset horseback ride through Las Vegas’ red rocks and desert. Watch the stars while eating a vegetarian BBQ dinner after sunset. Breakfast horseback riding is great for early risers.

5. Cliffjumping

Drive to Lake Mead’s Nelson’s Landing. The route passes through a cool ghost town. The water is clear enough to tell where you can jump, but ask the locals. Be safe!

Jeep and ATV Tours

I had a jeep while living in Vegas, but there are companies that will take you on a thrilling desert adventure. The desert around Vegas is perfect for ATV, dune buggy, and Jeep off-roading. It’s a blast! (Kayak not included, but don’t worry—we’re special.)

This epic ATV tour visits the Colorado River, Lake Mead, and the Hoover Dam! Explore the desert in a 4×4 Jeep Wrangler.

6. Scenic drives

There are many scenic drives in the area if you prefer to drive. Roadside pullouts let you explore or hike before returning to the next stop.

7. Fire Valley

The oldest Nevada state park is named for its fire-shaped rocks. The park is an hour from Las Vegas and offers unique desert geology. Aztec Sandstone, formed from dinosaur-era red desert sands, is the firey rocks. If you can find them, Indigenous rock carvings in the area are cool. There are many photo opportunities and trailheads for longer hikes. You can drive here or book a tour for a scenic ride or hike. You can choose a guided hike, a 4×4 tour, or a photography tour.

8. Red Rock National Preserve

Las Vegas’ best outdoor activities are here. Instead of biking the loop, drive for the same view. You can pull over at many convenient parking lots. My favorite thing is to drive out there an hour before sunset, park in the second lot, and watch the sun set over the red rocks.

My husband and I eloped here. We met the mobile wedding wagon and hiked to the desert in wedding flip-flops to get married!

9. Photographing outdoors

I like to relax and take photos sometimes! It’s a secret. To watch the sunset, park in the first parking lot after the switchback on the Red Rock loop past the visitor center. Catch the sunset on a tripod and watch the city illuminate over the hills.

10. Zipline

I don’t mean ziplining over the stip! That’s too indoorsy. Zip line over red mountain rocks in Boulder, the rough neighboring town. Zip down 4 lines for 1.5 miles of family fun!

11. Ski or Snowboard

For a few months during the winter, Lee Canyon near Mount Charleston transforms into a winter wonderland. Although there are no black diamond slopes on this hill, snowboarding beginners will still have a blast! There are some really good trails above the lift drop-off if you’re a more experienced rider and willing to hike! In the lodge, relax with some delicious hot chocolate.

12. Fly in a hot air balloon.

For a hot air balloon ride over the Mojave Desert, get up early. Even a champagne or juice toast is provided at the conclusion of the one-hour ride. Plan on a long and early day because this tour takes place just outside of Las Vegas, but it will be worth it because sunrise in the desert is one of my favorite times of day.

13. Visit Local National Parks

Las Vegas is conveniently located near several national parks, making it the ideal starting point for excursions to the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, or Zion National Parks. Now, in my opinion, all three of these parks need more time to be fully appreciated and explored. Even though all of these tours take up a full day, if this is your only opportunity to visit these magnificent National Parks, seize the moment!

Go to Antelope Canyon 14.

On this lengthy day trip from Las Vegas, you can see Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, two of the most popular natural wonders in the United States. These breathtaking natural areas should be on everyone’s bucket list.

There is more to Las Vegas than just gambling. But if you want to hone your gambling skills, I suggest checking out for some online casino games.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button