Vacations to Vegas

Vacations to Vegas
Beyond the neon lights of its casinos, Las Vegas is surrounded by natural beauty. You will need a car to get to its large recreation areas, but you will also find satisfying outdoor venues tucked within the urban sprawl. Las Vegas is also a good starting point for exploring the treasures of the American Southwest, from Lake Mead and Hoover Dam to the Grand Canyon.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Red Rock Canyon, a 197,000-acre preserve in the Mojave Desert, sits a few miles west of Las Vegas. This unique geological environment offers plenty of outdoor options, including a scenic drive, biking, climbing, hiking and seasonal camping. Red Rock is a National Conservation Area overseen by the Bureau of Land Management. A "leave no trace" policy is encouraged, and off-road driving is strictly prohibited. (Reference 1)

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
HCR 33, Box 5500
Las Vegas, NV 89161
(702) 515-5350


Mount Charleston Wilderness, Spring Mountains National Recreation Area

The Mount Charleston Wilderness stretches across the heights of the Spring Mountain Range, located about 20 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Reservations are recommended for camping, which is available in dispersed sites and developed campgrounds. The wilderness area offers 40 miles of trails for hiking and backpacking, but be aware that frequent elevation changes make hiking strenuous. The U.S. Forest Service administers the area and federal recreation fees apply. (Reference 2)

Spring Mountains National Recreation Area
U.S. Forest Service
4701 North Torrey Pines Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89130-2301
(702) 515-5400

Floyd Lamb State Park at Tule Springs

A day-use only facility, Floyd Lamb is located about 15 miles northwest of Las Vegas surrounding the historic Tule Springs Ranch. The 2,040-acre park includes desert areas, grassy lawns and four lakes. In addition to picnicking and visiting the working ranch, the park offers fishing and is the site of the Las Vegas Gun Club. Reservations are required for groups and fees are set based on the number in your group. (Reference 3)

Floyd Lamb State Park at Tule Springs
9200 Tule Springs Road
Las Vegas, NV 89131
(702) 229-8100

Springs Preserve

Four trails wind through the Springs Preserve, an outdoor wonderland filled with the cultural and natural history of the Las Vegas Valley. Interpretive displays show how Native Americans, early settlers and Mormon missionaries survived in the area of the springs. The Origen Experience offers 75 permanent exhibits in its three galleries, as well as a theater and space for traveling exhibits. Amenities include a children's playground, cafe, free wheelchairs and an audio-video tour for a small fee. Located about 10 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip.

Springs Preserve
333 S. Valley View Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89107
(702) 822-7700

City of Las Vegas Parks

The City of Las Vegas provides recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike in its sprawling array of city parks located throughout the area. Dozens of parks offer jogging or walking trails, tennis courts, basketball courts, playgrounds, picnic areas and other outdoor facilities. The city operates four golf courses, seven swimming pools, nine skate parks and 10 parks catering to dogs. Some parks may be reserved for group activities. (See Resources below)

City of Las Vegas
Buffalo Drive and Oakey Boulevard
Las Vegas, NV 89117
(702) 229-6011 (City Hall)


Article Written By Kate Fogle

Kate Fogle, an attorney and former English teacher, is the communications director for a non-profit agency in Stockton, Calif. Prior to recent articles on, her writing has been published in-house for professional purposes. Fogle is a graduate of UC Davis with a JD from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall.

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