las vegas to zion national park day trip
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Las Vegas Day Trips and Tours

Most Las Vegas visitors often never explore further than the Strip or Fremont Street. However, the Entertainment Capital of the World is surrounded by stunning natural wonders and unique attractions.

This guide will explore the best day trips and tours from Las Vegas, helping you plan unforgettable adventures. Get ready to discover hidden gems and breathtaking landscapes just a short drive away.

Top Day Trips and Tours from Las Vegas

Las Vegas offers an array of exciting day trips and Tours for adventurers and nature lovers. These excursions let you explore stunning landscapes and unique attractions just a short trip from the glittering Strip.

Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon South Rim Tour

The Grand Canyon South Rim offers an unforgettable journey from Las Vegas to one of America’s most iconic natural wonders. This 8 to 10-hour excursion provides travelers with a comprehensive experience of the Grand Canyon’s breathtaking vistas and rich history.

For those unable to drive, there are many bus and helicopter tours available. Budget conscience visitors can embark on a luxury bus ride, complete with an optional guided walking tour upon arrival. 

The itinerary includes stops at key viewpoints and historic sites, such as the National Geographic Visitor Center, Mather Point and Bright Angel Lodge. These locations offer diverse perspectives of the canyon’s vast expanse and provide insights into its cultural significance. 

With its blend of natural beauty, historical context, and convenience, the Grand Canyon South Rim Tour stands out as a must-do day trip from Las Vegas.

Oatman Arizona

Oatman, Arizona offers a unique and captivating day trip experience from Las Vegas. This former gold-mining town, nestled in the Black Mountains, transports visitors back to the Old West with its rustic charm and wandering burros.

A popular destination, Oatman boasts authentic saloons, quirky shops, and remnants of its mining history. It is most famous for the wild burros that wander into the town during the day to mingle with the crowds.

Travelers can embark on a scenic loop tour to Oatman. This route showcases breathtaking desert landscapes and provides opportunities to explore other attractions like the casinos at Laughlin, the towns of Searchlight, Nipton, Primm, or Lake Havasu City on the Colorado river.

To make the most of this excursion, visitors should plan for an early departure from Las Vegas, allowing ample time to enjoy Oatman’s attractions and the surrounding area.

Mount Charleston

Mount Charleston offers a refreshing summertime escape from the Las Vegas heat, situated just 35 miles northwest of the city. This scenic destination boasts 60 miles of mountain trails, including the popular Mary Jane Falls, perfect for hikers and nature enthusiasts.

The area’s cooler temperatures and diverse landscapes make it an ideal day trip for outdoor activities like hiking, picnicking, and wildlife spotting.

Nature lovers and adventure seekers alike will find plenty to explore in this beautiful mountain retreat.

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park offers an otherworldly landscape just a few hours from Las Vegas. This stark desert wonderland boasts extreme temperatures, vast salt flats, and towering sand dunes.

Visitors can explore iconic sites like Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America at 282 feet below sea level, or marvel at the colorful rock formations of Artist’s Palette.

Small-group Death Valley tours from Las Vegas provide an excellent way to experience Death Valley’s highlights. These 12-hour adventures include comfortable transportation and expert guides.

Guests enjoy pickup from their Las Vegas hotels, making it convenient to discover this unique national park without the hassle of planning logistics.

las vegas to zion national park day trip

Zion National Park

Zion National Park is another popular destination for nature enthusiasts seeking adventure near Las Vegas. This stunning Utah National Park offers breathtaking landscapes, from towering sandstone cliffs to lush riverside walks.

The Zion Canyon Scenic Byway is a 54-mile scenic road that provides access to many of the park’s major attractions and trailheads. The Zion-Mount Carmel Highway is another scenic drive featuring switchbacks, tunnels, and stunning views of the park’s eastern side.

Visitors can explore iconic trails like Angels Landing, Emerald Pools and Watchman Trail or wade through the Narrows, immersing themselves in the park’s unique geology and diverse ecosystems.

For those looking to maximize their Zion experience, organized tours of Zion from Las Vegas provide convenient options. These tours typically include hotel pickup and transportation in comfortable 15-seater vans, allowing guests to relax and enjoy the scenic drive. 

Expert guides lead travelers through the park’s most notable landmarks, sharing insights about the area’s rich history and natural wonders.

Zion National Park’s proximity to Las Vegas makes it an ideal day trip for those wanting to escape the city’s hustle. With its awe-inspiring vistas and unique rock formations, Zion offers a stark contrast to the neon lights of the Strip, providing visitors with a memorable natural retreat.

Things to do in Las Vegas Besides Gambling

Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire State Park stands as a mesmerizing natural wonder, just 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas in the heart of the Mojave Desert. This stunning park spans over 40,000 acres, showcasing awe-inspiring red sandstone formations that have captivated visitors for generations.

The vibrant hues and unique geological features create a landscape that seems almost otherworldly, making it a must-visit destination for guided tours, nature enthusiasts and photography buffs alike.

Visitors to Valley of Fire State Park can explore a variety of petroglyphs, remarkable landmarks and hiking trails. The Beehives, with their distinctive rounded shapes, offer a glimpse into the park’s fascinating geological history.

The Fire Wave Trail leads adventurers through a swirling sea of red and white sandstone, while the White Domes area boasts some of the most picturesque scenery in the park. Wildlife enthusiasts might spot bighorn sheep, lizards, or even the elusive desert tortoise during their explorations.

The Visitor Center provides valuable information about the park’s natural and cultural history, enhancing the overall experience for guests.

Top Things To Do At Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam offers another unforgettable experience just a short drive from Las Vegas. Hoover Dam is considered one of the seven engineering wonders of the modern world. Its massive scale and innovative design make it an awe-inspiring sight, showcasing human ingenuity and engineering prowess.

The dam offers educational value and entertainment for visitors of all ages, making Hoover Dam an excellent destination for families

Visitors can choose from various tour experiences, including guided dam tours, power plant tours, and even rafting tours, allowing for different perspectives of this impressive structure.

Tour options typically include transportation, expert-led tours, and access to both the visitor center and power plant.

Best Way To See Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas

Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon offers a captivating hiking adventure just 20 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip. This 195,819-acre conservation area in the Mojave Desert boasts a 13-mile scenic drive, a visitors center and numerous trails showcasing vibrant red rock formations and diverse plant life.

Visitors can explore the area’s unique geology, indigenous culture, and breathtaking vistas while enjoying outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing and picnicking. Horseback riding, mountain biking, scooter and helicopter tours are also available!

Hikers of all skill levels can find suitable hiking trails at Red Rock Canyon, ranging from easy walks to challenging backcountry routes, allowing everyone to experience the natural beauty of this Las Vegas day trip destination.

Some of the more popular hiking trails include Calico Hills, Calico Tanks, White Rock Loop, Keystone Thrust and Ice Box Canyon.

The Visitor Center, open daily from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, provides valuable information on trail conditions, safety tips, and local flora and fauna.

Emerald Cave from Las Vegas

Kayaking to Emerald Cave

Kayaking to Emerald Cave on the Colorado River offers an exhilarating adventure just an hour’s drive from the Las Vegas Strip. This hidden gem, located near Willow Beach, provides a unique opportunity to explore the crystal-clear waters of the Colorado River.

The 4-mile round trip takes approximately 3 hours, allowing ample time to marvel at the stunning rock formations of Black Canyon and the vibrant blue-green waters. Kayaks can be rented at Willow Beach or choose a guided tour.

Winter stands out as the prime season for this kayaking excursion, because temperatures in Black Canyon can range from a comfortable 65°F in January to a scorching 111°F in July.

This Las Vegas day trip combines physical activity with natural beauty, providing a refreshing contrast to the city’s neon lights and bustling casinos. Paddlers of all skill levels can enjoy this adventure, as the calm waters and well-marked route make it accessible to beginners and experienced kayakers alike.

The cave’s emerald glow, created by sunlight reflecting off the water, serves as a stunning reward for those who make the journey.

Extraterrestrial Highway and Area 51 Tour

Embark on an otherworldly adventure on the Extraterrestrial Highway and Area 51 Tour, a unique Las Vegas day trip that spans 10 thrilling hours. This journey takes you deep into the Mojave Desert, where mystery and intrigue abound.

Visitors get an up-close look at Janet Airlines, the secretive air service rumored to transport government workers to classified locations.

The tour includes stops at iconic sites like the Black Mailbox, a popular gathering spot for UFO enthusiasts, and a mutant Joshua Tree forest that seems straight out of science fiction.

Guests can explore the Absolute Perimeter of Area 51, catching glimpses of the enigmatic “Men in Black” watching from nearby hillsides. A highlight of the trip is lunch at the Little A’Le’Inn, a quirky restaurant that embraces its extraterrestrial theme.

This excursion offers more than just alien lore. Participants have ample opportunities to explore the stark beauty of the Mojave Desert landscape. From unusual rock formations to vast, empty stretches of highway, the scenery provides a stunning backdrop for this out-of-this-world adventure.

The tour combines elements of conspiracy theories, natural wonders, and American folklore, creating an unforgettable experience for those seeking something truly different from typical Las Vegas attractions.

Ghost towns near Las Vegas

Ghost Towns and Old West Adventure

Step back in time while exploring one of Nevada’s many Ghost Towns. Nevada boasts more ghost towns than populated ones, offering a unique glimpse into the state’s rich mining history.

Visit Nelson, formerly El Dorado, and explore the famous Techatticup Mine, once a bustling gold mining operation. Just 40 minutes southwest of Downtown Las Vegas, Goodsprings presents another fascinating stop on this Old West journey.

For a truly iconic experience, head to Rhyolite, known for its remarkable Tom Kelly Bottle House. This architectural oddity, constructed entirely from discarded bottles, stands as a testament to the ingenuity of early 20th-century settlers.

These ghost towns provide a captivating backdrop for photography enthusiasts and history buffs alike, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the rugged charm of Nevada’s pioneer past.

best atv tours around Las Vegas

ATV and Dune Buggy Tour

ATV and dune buggy tours offer an exhilarating way to explore the Mojave Desert near Las Vegas. Thrill-seekers can ride through rugged terrain, sand dunes, and scenic desert landscapes on these powerful off-road vehicles.

These ATV tours provide a unique perspective of the area’s natural beauty while delivering an adrenaline-pumping adventure. Tour operators provide all necessary equipment, including helmets and safety gear. Participants should wear closed-toe shoes for their protection during the ride. 

Prices for these tours vary depending on the duration and specific itinerary, but they offer a memorable experience for those looking to escape the city’s bright lights and immerse themselves in the surrounding desert environment.

Antelope Canyon Tour

An Antelope Canyon Tour offers a mesmerizing journey through one of nature’s most spectacular formations. Located in Arizona, this slot canyon boasts stunning sandstone walls sculpted by wind and water over millions of years.

Visitors can marvel at the play of light and shadow as sunbeams filter through the narrow openings, creating a picturesque atmosphere.

Tours to Antelope Canyon from Las Vegas typically include a visit to the equally impressive Horseshoe Bend. These excursions cater to different group sizes, with options for small group or private tours available. Be sure to book ahead of your trip as they can be booked up to a year in advance.

Multilingual guides enhance the experience, with tours conducted in both English and Mandarin Chinese. This ensures that a wider range of visitors can fully appreciate the geological and cultural significance of these remarkable sites.

The knowledgeable guides share insights about the canyon’s formation, its importance to Native American tribes, and the best spots for capturing breathtaking photographs.

Hiking to the Arizona Hot Springs

Hiking to the Arizona Hot Springs

The Arizona Hot Springs trail offers an exhilarating 5-hour adventure leading hikers to a series of natural thermal pools nestled in the scenic White Canyon. This moderate to challenging trek rewards explorers with breathtaking views of the Colorado River and the opportunity to soak in tiered hot spring pools.

The trail features a steep ladder descent, adding an element of excitement to the journey.

Hikers should travel in groups and bring ample water supplies. Due to extreme heat conditions, the trail closes during summer months. Proper footwear is also essential, sturdy hiking boots and water shoes are recommended for navigating the varied terrain.

The Arizona Hot Springs hike combines natural beauty, physical challenge, and the ultimate relaxation of soaking in warm, mineral-rich waters.

Seven Magic Mountains in Las Vegas

Seven Magic Mountains

Seven Magic Mountains stands as a captivating art installation in the Nevada desert just outside Las Vegas. This unique attraction features seven towering stacks of brightly colored boulders, each reaching heights of over 30 feet.

Created by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, the vibrant rock formations offer a striking contrast to the surrounding arid landscape, making them a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and photography lovers alike.

Visitors flock to Seven Magic Mountains for its Instagram-worthy photo opportunities and serene desert setting. The site has become increasingly popular since its installation, drawing tourists seeking a quick and memorable excursion from the bustling Las Vegas Strip.

Many tour operators include Seven Magic Mountains as part of day trips that also encompass other nearby attractions like the Eldorado Canyon Ghost Town, Boulder City, and Hoover Dam, offering a diverse desert experience for travelers.

Conclusion

Las Vegas offers more than just gambling and nightlife. Breathtaking natural wonders, historic sites, and thrilling adventures await just beyond the city limits. These day trips provide a perfect balance to the urban excitement, allowing visitors to experience the diverse beauty of the Southwest.

Whether you’re seeking outdoor exploration or cultural immersion, the tours from Las Vegas cater to all interests and energy levels. Your next unforgettable journey starts here – plan your escape from the neon lights and discover the hidden gems surrounding Sin City.

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