Las Vegas, Nevada is known around the world for fun and excitement. The Strip, Las Vegas' famous resort and casino lined street is constantly aglow with lights and recreated glamorous sites from cities around the world.
Las Vegas is a great place to visit even year-round. The cooler winter temperatures are good for sightseeing, and in summer, when the temperatures can reach all the way above 104 degrees Fahrenheit, the hotel pools become an important part of the daytime activities.
And if you are headed to Las Vegas for some outdoor adventures on your own or with your family here are the 5 outdoor attractions that you just can't miss:
1. Grand Canyon West
Located about 30 minutes west of Las Vegas, this is the closest you will get to the real thing without the long drive. Hiking, scenic drives, and overnight backpacking trips are all available. There are many opportunities for wildlife viewing as well. Don't forget your camera!
2. Red Rock Canyon Park
This is a beautiful desert park with an amazing array of rock formations and natural arches. The 277-acre park was created in 1974 and is managed by the Nevada Division of Parks and Recreation. You can camp here, hike, mountain bike, and explore the area by vehicle.
3. Zion National Park
Located about 3 hours south of Las Vegas, this is one of the most spectacular national parks in the entire country. More than 6 million people visit this park every year. The highlight of a trip to Zion is the famous "Narrows" section where you must walk a steep and rocky trail only 1/2 mile long but it is definitely worth it! There are more than 60 waterfalls along this part of the trail.
4. Bryce Canyon National Park
This is located about 2 hours southeast of Las Vegas and is smaller (only 63 square miles) than both Zion and Grand Canyon. However, what it lacks in size, it makes up for in incredible colors and beautiful shapes of its rock formations. Hiking, horseback riding, and bicycling are all available here. There are many opportunities for wildlife viewing as well.
5. Capitol Reef National Park
This is another small (only 48 square miles) park located about 3 hours southwest of Las Vegas. The unique feature of this park is its red rock arches. Many of these arches were formed by the erosion of soluble rocks (such as gypsum) that were once part of a much larger mountain range.