When you need a break from the casinos, clubs, and crowds of Las Vegas, head out of the city on a nature-themed day trip to enjoy some fresh air, stretch your legs, and admire the rugged scenery of these natural wonders. Here are your options.
Red Rock Canyon — 15 miles (24 km) from Las Vegas
The stark red rock landscape that can be seen from the Las Vegas Strip is part of the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, where nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts can explore trails, canyons, and rock formations in a variety of ways. Options include horseback riding, hiking, biking, and scooter tours.
Hoover Dam and Lake Mead — 35 miles (56 km) from Las Vegas
Combine a piece of American engineering history with a day on the water by taking a tour from Vegas to the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. The lake was created by the dam, a U.S. National Historic Landmark that opened in 1936, providing a recreation spot for biking, jet ski rides, paddleboarding, and lunch cruises.
Grand Canyon West Rim — 120 miles (193 km) from Las Vegas
The West Rim of the Grand Canyon is not part of Grand Canyon National Park, but it's the closest section of the canyon to Vegas, meaning you can get there and back in a day and still check out the spectacular scenery. Travel by land or air, depending on your budget, and consider deluxe tour options such as a helicopter ride, a picnic, a Champagne toast, a boat ride on the Colorado River, or a visit to the Grand Canyon Skywalk, a glass platform that extends over the canyon.
Death Valley National Park — 140 miles (225 km) from Las Vegas
Just across the state line in California, Death Valley National Park is known as one of the hottest, driest, and lowest places in the United States. Discover this protected section of the Mojave Desert on a day trip from Vegas that may include stops at sand dunes, a mountaintop viewpoint, and Badwater Basin, which sits 282 feet (86 meters) below sea level.