Las Vegas has a lot to offer visitors, but sometimes you may want to escape the Strip for something a little different. Las Vegas is widely recognized as the “Entertainment Capital of the World” for a very good reason. There are 10 Best Day Trips from Las Vegas. However, just outside of Las Vegas, the rest of Nevada and the neighboring states all have a plethora of spectacular attractions to offer as well, ranging from futuristic marvels to nature’s most stunning creations. These are our 10 favorite day trips to take from Las Vegas:
10 Best Day Trips from Las Vegas
So firstly, we have the Grand Canyon. A visit to the Grand Canyon is one of the most popular day trips from Las Vegas. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most scenic and beautiful places to visit in the USA. The Grand Canyon is directly east of Las Vegas, and there are plenty of tours available from the Strip itself. You can book a sightseeing tour or a helicopter tour that includes a visit to the West Rim and Hoover Dam, as well as an optional Skywalk experience. you can also visit many of these sites by renting a car and driving yourself.
Considered to be between 5 and 6 million years old, the Grand Canyon is a sight to behold with its vibrant and breathtaking colors. Divided into two rims, the North Rim and the South Rim, both offer stunning views. The South Rim Trail is one of the most popular hikes, accessible all year, while the North Rim is open from May to October. The perfect times to visit are March through May and September through November when daytime temperatures are cool.
Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park.
Next, we have Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. Both of these gorgeous landscapes can be visited as part of the same-day trip, as they are just under two hours away from each other and make for a great full-day trip. Head to Bryce Canyon in the morning to beat the crowds, and then head over to Zion National Park to appreciate the sandstone cliffs, waterfalls, and springs.
Bryce Canyon National Park, known for its crimson-colored hoodoos, offers a surreal landscape with spire-shaped rock formations. Hiking, exploring, and breathtaking views make it an ideal destination year-round. The best time to visit is May through September when the weather is warmest.
Zion National Park, known for its varied topography and abundant wildlife, features over 1,000 plant species, 78 mammal species, and numerous other ecosystems. Zion Canyon, the most dramatic section, is accessible through the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. The best time to visit Zion is in the spring and fall when the weather is milder.
The Hoover Dam is a huge dam standing at over 726 feet high. Construction began in the early 1930s, and it is still used today, producing an average of 4 billion kilowatt-hours of hydroelectric power each year. There are various tours to the Hoover Dam available, with a Hoover Dam and Seven Magic Mountains tour being a popular option for those who want to see both sites.
The Hoover Dam, one of humanity’s most ambitious projects, stands 726 feet tall and spans the Colorado River between Nevada and Arizona. Built over a four-year span during the Great Depression, it offers fascinating architecture and engineering. Explore it through a tour, ensuring you visit earlier in the day to avoid crowds. The Dam may be crowded throughout the year, so planning is essential to see the entire site.
Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend
Then we have Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, both located in Arizona and taking around four hours to get to Las Vegas. This does mean a very early start, but it’s worth it. The Horseshoe Bend is one of the most unique landscapes in the area, while just a 10-minute drive from here is the Antelope Canyon, which is worth exploring too.
Antelope Canyon, a complex ecosystem with multiple drainages, is a massive sandstone sculpture with tall winding walls. It’s a photographer’s dream with wave-like structures and light beams. To visit Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon, reservations with a Navajo guide are necessary. The best time to visit is between March and October when light shafts occur.
Red Rock Canyon
If you are looking for a day trip that is slightly nearer to Vegas, then head to Red Rock Canyon. Whether you are driving yourself around this park or riding a horse on a tour, you will definitely get some incredible views and a unique experience. Head here for sunset for some amazing views.
You’ll never run out of things to see and do in the Mojave Desert, which stretches nearly 196,000 acres. Summers in Red Rock can be extremely hot, so it’s best to begin hiking at daybreak and finish by 10-11 a.m. The 13-mile Scenic Drive in Red Rock Canyon, whether in a car or on a bike, is a fantastic way to get a good overview of all the park has to offer. Over 26 hiking trails crisscross the canyon, ranging in difficulty from easy strolls to strenuous uphill climbs.
For a quirky day trip from Las Vegas, why not head to Area 51? If you are interested in the controversial Area 51, you can get yourself a tour to check out the area itself. Many tours include a visit to some of the more interesting restaurants and cafes on the way to Area 51 and stops also include Little A’Le’Inn. Area 51 is one of the Best Day Trips from Las Vegas.
Death Valley is the hottest, driest, and lowest national park in the United States. It offers a startling contrast of landscapes, from towering peaks with snow to lush wildflower meadows and endless desert plains. Badwater Basin, the lowest point in the western hemisphere, is a must-see. The best times to visit Death Valley are in the spring when wildflowers are in bloom or in the autumn when the skies are clear.
Then we have Death Valley. Take a journey to one of the hottest and driest places in the U.S., Death Valley. This is the lowest point in North America and can be reached in under three hours from the Las Vegas Strip. Tours include the Artist Drive, Badwater Basin, and several breathtaking viewpoints.
The Valley of Fire State Park
The Valley of Fire State Park makes for another easy day trip from Las Vegas, located just an hour away from the Vegas Strip. This is a geological marvel formed from shifting dunes over 150 million years ago. Tours are available, but we recommend renting a car and exploring this park yourself. Take the popular Fire Wave Trail and visit the Elephant Rock.
The Valley of Fire, a brilliant, red-hued landscape, is only an hour’s drive from Las Vegas, making it an ideal day trip. Famous for its 40,000 acres of bright red sandstone outcrops nestled in grey and tan limestone, it also features petrified trees, petroglyphs, geological wonders, and dinosaur bones. Many of the park’s famous attractions are located along two main roads, making a scenic drive a great option. Going on a few walks in Valley of Fire State Park is recommended to truly get to know the area.
Just 39 miles from Las Vegas, Mount Charleston provides invigorating mountain air, ice-cold springs, and noble evergreen woods. Hiking and biking are popular activities, especially in the winter. The best time to visit is during the summer or, for hiking, in the middle of winter.
Located under an hour from Vegas is Mount Charleston, home to a ski and snowboard resort popular during the winter months. However, this isn’t just a great day or weekend trip during the winter. You can enjoy horseback riding, hiking, and camping options during the summer.
Seven Magic Mountains
Then we have Seven Magic Mountains. Located just 35 minutes outside of Las Vegas, the Seven Magic Mountains are the perfect attraction to pair up with other day trip options. This is an art installation that consists of seven tall neon towers of rock, created in 2016. This is a free attraction and is worth a visit on your way back from one of the many national or state parks near Vegas. Seven Magic Mountains is one of the Best Day Trips from Las Vegas.