Mountains, beautiful canyons and one of the largest manmade lakes in the world are not the first things that come to mind when you think of Las Vegas. People usually think of gambling and a wild night of partying, but there is more to do in Las Vegas than just hitting the tables or clubs.
Depending on the time of year you visit Las Vegas, whether it is winter or summer, there are definitely things to do in the great outdoors. Plan a trip to Mt. Charleston. It’s about a 45 minute drive from the strip to the top of the mountain. If you visit in the winter, you will be able to go skiing or snowboarding. The runs aren’t huge but they are adequate for the novice to intermediate skier. If you are an advanced skier, you may become bored, but because of its proximity to the Las Vegas strip, it is definitely worth a day trip. If you visit in the summer, there are hiking trails, mountain climbing, and even a golf course. There is also a lodge if you decide to spend the night.
Sticking to the hiking theme, another place to visit is Red Rock Canyon. It boasts picturesque desert cliffs, buttes, and some pretty cool rock formations. It is about a 30 minute drive to the west of the strip, so you don’t need to travel very far. Pine Creek Canyon may be the most popular hiking trail which meanders for about 2 miles next to to a creek. You can also see quite a bit from your car if you decide not to deal with the elements. It can be quite toasty in the middle of summer.
Lake Mead is a place you must visit if you travel to Las Vegas. The Hoover Dam is obviously a huge attraction and creates one of the largest manmade lakes in the world. The dam is an engineering marvel indeed. You can visit this by car. You can either drive across to the Arizona side or you can park on the Nevada side and observe it by foot. You can also visit the dam by boat which offers a different perspective, but viewing it from the water is not nearly as impressive as seeing it from the front.
If you are an avid golfer, then Las Vegas can be a golfer’s paradise. You can play golf year round with the best weather coming in spring and fall. If you play in the summer, you will have to deal with the extreme heat. If you decide to play in the winter, it can be chilly at times but it is bearable. A few courses you might want to play are Rio Secco, Bear’s Best and Paiute. Rio Secco has some of the fastest greens in the valley and Bear’s Best is a mixture of holes designed by Jack Nicklaus from various courses around the country. The Paiute boasts 3 courses that are always in fabulous shape with the Wolf course being the best. But playing here can be a bit of a challenge as it is situated in a wind tunnel. Finding a day where the wind doesn’t blow is more of a challenge than leaving Las Vegas with money in your pocket.
Have you ever wanted to skydive but never really had the guts to do it? Well don’t be afraid and give it a try. No, you won’t actually be jumping from a plane, but you can enjoy skydiving without ever leaving the ground. You don’t even have to leave the strip to experience this activity. Vegas Indoor Skydiving is a very unique experience and is located on Convention Center Drive, which is located right off of the strip. It uses a vertical wind tunnel to introduce people to the sport. This can be a great alternative to hitting the blackjack tables.
Most people come to Las Vegas for the nightlife, gambling, restaurants, and shows. After all, that is what the town was built for. But there are definitely more things to see and do than just betting red or black on roulette, trying to catch a run on the dice tables, and doubling down on 11.
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