Las Vegas, Nevada

Your Guide to the Natural Beauty of Las Vegas

Experience the great outdoors at these five off-the-Strip attractions

The Vacationeer
A hiking path along the sandstone formations of Red Rock Canyon near Las Vegas, Nevada

Beyond the neon lights of Las Vegas, there is another colorful world waiting for you. The great outdoors beyond the city limits is popular with locals, and visitors often head there for a break from the bustle of Las Vegas Boulevard.

Most tourists visit only the Strip and downtown Las Vegas, but outdoor adventurers can plan an entire trip to the desert with the natural beauty of Las Vegas in mind. Below are five places where you can get a much-needed dose of nature and fresh air in the greater Vegas area.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area 

1. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Take in the vibrant hues of Red Rock Canyon on foot, a scenic drive or guided horseback riding tours. The park has miles of red sandstone peaks, the Keystone Thrust Faultancient petroglyphs and more to explore.

Hike the sandstone steps of Calico Tanks Trail for stunning views of Las Vegas. Or try one of Red Rock Canyon’s most popular hikes, Ice Box Canyon, for waterfalls in the winter and spring. If you're a seasoned hiker, this route leads to some of Nevada's most pristine natural landscapes.

Prepare ahead of time with seven tips for exploring national parks.

A desert tortoise 

2. The Springs Preserve

The Springs Preserve is an oasis in downtown Las Vegas. Walk through 3.5 miles of trails along 110 acres of preserved desert. The Exploration Loop Trail takes visitors along interpretative stations that reveal how the Native American peoples and early settlers lived in the valley. Visit desert tortoises, a federally threatened species, while on the Springs Trail.

The Botanical Garden offers residents and visitors inspiration for sustainable landscaping in the Mojave Desert, from cactus and succulent displays, palm gardens and demonstrations on how to grow vegetables and herbs in the arid climate.

For a break from the heat, head inside to the Nevada State Museum for more Vegas history, from prehistoric fossils to Nevada’s early miners.

Clark County Wetlands Park Nature Preserve, just east of Las Vegas, Nevada 

3. Clark County Wetlands Park Nature Preserve

A 210-acre swath of land east of the city, Wetlands Park features miles of paved, accessible trails. Here, you'll find rushing water, wildlife and the world-famous Strip juxtaposed on the horizon.

The Boardwalk Pond is the best place to spot protected wildlife like coyotes, cottontail rabbits, western whiptail lizards, golden eagles, black-chinned hummingbirds and more. Visit in the fall to see cottonwood trees in autumnal golds and take a moment in the tranquil groves. Or ride along bicycle trails for winding journeys through the lush landscape.

Lake Mead National Recreation Center near Las Vegas, Nevada 

4. Lake Mead

The Lake Mead National Recreation Center is America’s first and largest national recreation area. You can swim, hike, boat, fish, bike and camp within the park just minutes from Las Vegas. Cool off by swimming at one of Lake Mead’s beaches or rent a boat to see the most of the lake.

A popular and relatively easy hike is the Historic Railroad Trail. The seven-mile trek takes you on former railroad tracks and through tunnels while providing a stunning view of Lake Mead's Boulder Basin. For a little more of a sweat, check out the River Mountains Trail Loop. Outbound, the hike is downhill, but the return takes you on a climb back to the starting point of about 1,200 feet.

Fletcher Canyon at Mount Charleston near Las Vegas, Nevada 

5. Mount Charleston

Mount Charleston is the tallest peak in southern Nevada and a haven for people who want to escape the sweltering summer heat. To enjoy snow in the desert, visit Mount Charleston from November to February for the best snow closest to the Las Vegas valley.

Head up the mountain to find remote hiking trails. Pick the gorgeous Lee Meadows for the perfect picnic spot or venture to Mary Jane Falls for a tranquil waterfall. Check out one of the open trails like the easy uphill Fletcher Canyon or the rewarding trek up to Cathedral Rock.

Ready to head outside? Las Vegas is home to abundant natural beauty and outdoor activities — and there are even more amazing places around the area to explore the remarkable landscape. Then after your excursion, stay in style at Hilton Grand Vacations for everything you need to relax and recuperate.

Read “5 Fun Ways to Experience Las Vegas Like a Local” for more off-the-Strip attractions.

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The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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