Family Things to Do in Laughlin, Nevada

Family Things to Do in Laughlin, Nevada
When first established in the 1940s as a gathering place for gold and silver miners, Laughlin, Nevada, offered these hardy souls an oasis on the river surrounded by rugged desert. Since those first days, the town developed into a major tourist destination. According to the town's website, Laughlin attracts 3 million visitors a year. The desert, surrounding the town, calls out to be explored, and many options exist for the adventurous visitors willing to head out into the rugged outdoors.

Grand Canyon Skywalk

At the Hualapai Indian Reservation's Skywalk, visitors step onto a glass walkway and look directly down 4,000 feet into the Grand Canyon and to the Colorado River. Visitors describe the feeling as levitating over this American wonder. While there, visit a Native American village to experience native music and dancing firsthand. Adventure West Tours in Laughlin offers family tours to the Skywalk.

Adventure West Tours
Laughlin, NV 89029
(702) 420-3211

The Secret Pass

Take the family on a Secret Pass Tour offered by Laughlin Adventure Tours. It includes a tour guide and lunch. Participants drive through a rugged desert landscape on the way up to the hidden Secret Pass, which is described as "a special heavenly place where animals can go that have lost their way." In reality, the Secret Pass is a rare slot canyon through the mountainous desert terrain. Once in Secret Pass, the driving gets slower, because there are sections of the canyon that the dune buggies just squeeze through. Participants looking to the tops of the steep walled canyon will get a sense that they've just wandered into an old Western movie and that someone is waiting at the top of the canyon to spring an ambush, but don't worry there are many caves to hide in and explore.

Laughlin Adventure Tours
2900 S. Casino Drive
Laughlin, NV 89029
(702) 298-2345

Big Bend

Nevada's newest state park, just five miles south of Laughlin, opened in 1996 and offers visitors views of the Colorado River and the surrounding mountains. Picnicking, boating, fishing and swimming are popular activities, but visitors looking for a unique outdoor experience can explore the park's undeveloped canyons. Many of these canyons branch off the Colorado River where abundant shore birds and waterfowl present themselves for viewing.

Big Bend of the Colorado Recreation Area
P.O. Box 32850
Laughlin, NV 89028-2850
(702) 298-1859

Explore the Colorado River

Rent a seven-passenger jet boat and take the family out on a tour of the Colorado River. Watercraft Adventures on the beach in downtown Laughlin offers self-guided tours and rentals of both Jet Skis and jet boats.

For visitors looking for a quieter water experience, Jerkwater Canoe Company, who has been offering tours and paddling equipment for more than 40 years, provides shuttles and logistic support for a number of one-day paddling trips. For families, the Needles to Park Moabi trip is rated easy to moderate and good for groups that include small children. Participants paddle the 12 miles at their own pace and call Jerkwater when they finish.

Watercraft Adventures
10000 Aha Macav Pkwy.
Laughlin, NV 89029
(888) 947-2345

Jerkwater Canoe Company
Topock, AZ 86436
(800) 421-7803

Article Written By Bryan Hansel

Bryan Hansel is a freelance photographer and kayaking guide who began writing in 1993. His outdoors articles appear on various websites. Hansel holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and religion from the University of Iowa.

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