Bet you didn’t know that Las Vegas has an adventurous side — and no, we’re not talking about what happens every night up and down the Strip.

Go outside the box of what a typical visit to Vegas entails with a day in the outdoors and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.


Vegas outdoor adventure

Red Rock Canyon Natinal Conservation Area is a great spot for mountain biking, just minutes from the Strip. Photo: Jayne Furman

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is just 30 minutes from the Strip, but it might as well be on a different planet. Here you can hike, bike, rock climb, picnic and more on the area’s 195,819 acres managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

Start with a mountain bike trip with Escape Adventures, where you can choose from a 7-mile route with minimal climbs or add on route extensions up to 12 miles.

Riders of all abilities are welcome on these tours to enjoy the unique geologic features, plants and animals of Red Rock.

Rather stay on your feet than hop on two wheels? Check out one of the park’s 19 marked trails for a great day hike that will take you as little as a mile and as far as 6, with varying levels of difficulty.

Stop into the Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center for some friendly advice on which trail might be best for you.


Vegas outdoor adventure

Escape the heat with a scenic float trip on the Colorado River. Photo: Courtesy of Forever Resorts

When it’s too hot to be on land, you can escape to the water instead. Explore the Colorado River, just 30 miles from Las Vegas, by river raft or pontoon boat.

Black Canyon River Adventures offers tours through the Black Canyon in Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Short on time? Try the Hoover Dam Postcard Tour, which gives visitors a rare view of Hoover Dam and the bypass from the water.

You can also make your way to Lake Mead, where you can boat, kayak, fish, Jet Ski and more. Lake Mead is the 16th largest manmade lake in the world and a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the Strip.


Zion national park

Zion dazzles with its own kind of lights. Photo: Courtesy of TPS Dave/Pixaby

F eeling more ambitious? Take a day trip to Zion Canyon in Zion National Park, or head to California and Death Valley National Park.

Once you arrive, hiking and beautiful desert landscapes are plentiful. In Zion, you can also rent a bike to navigate the Canyon. Go ahead and check some national parks off your bucket list!

And since the drive to Zion Canyon is two and a half hours, and getting to Death Valley takes just a couple, you can get out and explore and still make it back for a Vegas show or after-hours party.

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