Feb 10, 2015
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5 Nature Escapes around Vegas

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If you’re looking for more than the glitz and glamour, in Las Vegas, there is a stunning natural world outside the city limits worthy of exploration.

Whenever Las Vegas is the topic of discussion, we immediately conjure up visions of the famous Strip with its fabulous entertainment and shows, high-stakes gambling venues, and vibrant nightclubs. However, if you’re looking for more than the glitz and glamour of this desert oasis environment, there is a stunning natural world outside the city limits worthy of exploration. If you’re an avid hiker, nature lover, and/or outdoor aficionado, you’ll want to put the following 5 nature escapes on your Las Vegas vacation itinerary.

Lake Mead

Lake Mead - 5 Nature Escapes around Vegas

In 1936, Lake Mead was part of the Boulder Dam Recreation Area and later came under the jurisdiction of the Lake Mead National Recreation area. With sandy beaches and coves, it is a popular destination for adventure seekers and tourists.

No outdoor adventure around Las Vegas would be complete without taking in a day at this renowned recreational waterway. Whether it’s cruising by boat on the calm waters or diving in for a swim, it’s a great way to beat the summer heat. Best of all, it’s only a half hour drive from the Strip. Have a family picnic, romantic date or just be one with nature, take your pick and relax.

Mt. Charleston

At over 11,900 feet Charleston Peak (official name) is the highest point in Clark County, Nevada and the 4th highest peak overall in the state. Located just 35 miles northwest of the Strip, you can take a break from all the hustle and bustle while enjoying the cool mountain breeze, fresh air, and spectacular natural scenery from the peak.

Red Rock Canyon National Recreation Area

If you’re into spectacular sunrises and stunning sunsets, a trip to this natural wonderland is a must. Climbers and hikers alike enjoy the desert flora and fauna, along with the towering red sandstone cliffs. The summer heat can be extreme, while winter temps regularly fall below freezing so stay on the marked trails. The awe-inspiring canyons and eroded rock fronts are splendid.

Valley of Fire State Park

As Nevada’s oldest state park, the Valley of Fire encompasses 42,000 acres of natural wonderland. It was given the status of a national park in 1968. The beautiful jagged rock walls of the park, consists of eroded sandstone and landscape is dotted with sand dunes. The red hills were once home to the Anasazi Indians but the area today is extremely popular for backpackers, day hikers, and off-road enthusiasts. The Visitor Center is located 45 minutes north of Vegas on I-15.

Zion National Park

Zion National Park - 5 Nature Escapes around Vegas

Zion National Park has amazing views and canyons, making it the perfect place for hikers. The top hike routes are Subway, Narrows and Angels Landing, situated in the Zion Canyon Park. The Riverside Walk is perfect for all ages and is wheelchair and stroller compatible.

Although a 2-hour drive is involved, a visit to Zion National Park will leave you breathless at the very least as the scenery here is nothing shy of unforgettable. Hike the Narrows if you are looking for a combination adventure that will leave you filled with memories of hiking, swimming, and wading along the trail.

As an added bonus, don’t forget about Arizona’s Grand Canyon. For an incredible contrast to Las Vegas, you can take in some unforgettable views of the canyon via one of the helicopter tours that are available during the season.

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Hidden Treasures