Sometimes you just need a break from the hustle and bustle of the Las Vegas Strip or the action downtown on Fremont Street. Or perhaps you just don’t gamble all that much and decide to use Las Vegas as a jumping-off point for some Las Vegas day trips you will never forget.
Here is a look at some Las Vegas day trips that are very popular.
Hoover Dam is just 32 miles from the strip and by car, you can expect about a 40-45 minute drive.
There are several reasons why visitors to Las Vegas will find visiting Hoover Dam an excellent day trip from Las Vegas.
First of all its really close to Vegas and whether you take a bus tour or your own car you won’t have to spend hours on the road. You could leave for the dam after breakfast and be back in time for lunch.
Many people travel with their families. Although Las Vegas might not be the best place to take your kids, there are many nearby attractions that the whole family will enjoy.
Did you know that the Hoover Dam is one of the seven engineering wonders of the modern world? When you think of all the amazing engineering feats around the world, this is very high praise.
Lake Mead is amazing and you will get to see it firsthand in the USA’s largest reservoir. It covers almost 250 square miles.
Bring along a camera because there are many amazing sights that you will want to have pictures to enjoy when you are back home.
If you are planning a trip to the Grand Canyon in Arizona, you will pass the Hoover Dam on the way. You will get to experience two amazing wonders on the same day.
THE GRAND CANYON
You are looking at a drive of over four hours from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon there’s no doubt that it will be well worth the trip. Whether you are driving yourself or taking a bus tour, be prepared to make a day of it.
Just looking at the stats of the Grand Canyon creates a sense of awe. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and has a depth of over a mile.
The canyon and adjacent rim are all part of Grand Canyon National Park.
It’s believed by scientists that the Colorado River began coursing its way through the area over five million years ago. Water is a powerful force and century after century continued to deepen the canyon.
The canyon has many caves and for thousands of years was inhabited by Native Americans who established settlements in and around the caves.
Henderson is just 23 miles from the Las Vegas strip and features the Sloan Canyon Natural Conservation Area.
It’s another trip that can be made in a morning or afternoon without taking up the whole day. It’s a great way to get a break from the hustle-bustle of the strip.
Sloan Canyon is home to one of the premier rock art sites in Southern Nevada and is well worth the quick trip to check it out. Although touching the rock surfaces is not allowed in order to prevent contact with skin oil, taking photographs is perfectly okay.
ELDORADO GOLD MINE
Eldorado Canyon is another short trip of just 48 minutes from the strip.
It’s charming and eerie at the same time as you have a peek into the Wild West from inside an abandoned ghost town.
The town was abandoned in the 1940s and is currently home to bighorn sheep. When mining operations were ended the town was quickly deserted.
It now serves as a very photogenic historic site.
Exploring Eldorado Canyon can make it a full day, especially if you stop at the Eldorado gold mine and try your hand at gold panning.
There is even an ATV and gold mine tour available.
THE MOJAVE NATURAL PRESERVE
In a little less than an hour, you can make it from the strip to the Preserve.
It’s located in Barstow, California and is the junction of the three USA deserts: the Mojave, Great Basin, and Sonoran deserts.
The Mojave Preserve is made up of ghost towns, Joshua Tree Forests, and sand dunes. It’s also home to the Mojave Lava Tube.
Here are a few more things you can do in the Preserve:
- Backcountry and backpacking travel
- Horseback riding, but you must bring your own
- In favorable weather, there is excellent wildflower viewing
- It’s a paradise for 4-wheeling as well.
At almost 100 miles from the strip, it normally means a drive of about 1 hour 30 minutes.
Although its a bit longer than other day trips, its well worth spending a bit more travel time to get there.
Many people think of Laughlin as a mini Las Vegas as it has its fair share of casinos and resorts. It’s on the Colorado River and features excellent restaurants and first-class entertainment.
There are many outdoor activities to take part in as well.
- Amble on down the Laughlin river walk
- Stop by Don Laughlin’s Colorada River or Car Museum
- Play a round at one of the many golf courses
- Spend some time down at the Colorado River and enjoy water sports or tours
DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
How about a 126-mile drive to one of the hottest and driest places in the world?
Death Valley might sound like a scary place to be avoided, but there is plenty to see and do. After all, it has some of the most unique and impressive landscapes in North America.
It also has many types of plants and wildlife that might just surprise you.
If you happen to be a fan of ghost towns, be sure to visit Rhyolite just outside of the park area. Also, check out the Goldwell Open Air Museum. It’s a free sculpture park located right beside Rhyolite, just five miles outside of Death Valley.
Because the heat can be quite oppressive in the summer the National Park Service advises against summer hiking.
Even if you are not hiking its important to take precautions. Drink plenty of water, wear sunscreen, and avoid walking out in the open for more than 15 minutes or so at a time. Look for shady spots or stay in your vehicle.
Keep in mind that the sand can get so hot that it can cause third-degree burns, so be sure not to touch it with unprotected skin. The sand can reach temperatures of 95 degrees Celsius or 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
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