Las Vegas: Outdoor Paradise

Central location to many parks and open spaces!

When people hear the words ‘Las Vegas’, instantly their minds run to crazy bachelor parties, gambling, and women…but that may change after reading this. While going down to the strip, enjoying the glitz and glamour that surrounds you, it puts you in a place of unrivaled lights and fun. This is what most people want for their Vegas experience, I on the other hand, opt for everything that Vegas allows you to experience outside the city limits.

In April of this year, John, my great friend from college and my cousin Justin went out to Vegas…in search for adventure. We had five full days to experience the West, for Justin, this was his first time in the Western states at an age that he can remember! Yes, the following is just shy of five days of adventuring, we sure crammed a lot in that time frame, and off we go.

April 6th:

Left Columbus, OH for Las Vegas, NV:  late night arrival in Vegas around 1 AM on the 7th, this is where we will pick up.

April 7th:

Woke up in Las Vegas, NV, took in the desert air, and hit the road to Joshua Tree National Park by way of Route 66 and the Mojave National Preserve. We came across a few interesting roadside art selections and enjoyed the hikes and views the park has to offer! Back to Vegas for a night of fun.

April 8th:

Woke up, made our way to Grand Canyon National Park. On the way, we saw a sign for Bearizona (quick detour…it was a blast!). Took in the sights and sounds of the Grand Canyon then headed for Zion. As we traveled along the open roads, we made a couple stops, at Marble Canyon and Horseshoe Bend before grabbing a hotel an hour outside of the park.

April 9th:

Here we come Zion National Park! Got into the park, drove the windy road to the visitors center and boarded a bus. We then headed for Angel’s Landing! This is one of Justin’s first major hikes, and being at elevation and on the side of a cliff, lets just say being afraid of heights does not help the matter any. Nevertheless, we made it to the top and enjoyed the spectacular views the red rock valley reveals. Next stop…Vegas!

April 10th:

After a fun night of gambling and exploring the city, we found ourselves with a new task, to find Emerald Cove on the mighty Colorado River. This took us right by the Hoover Dam, which if you haven’t been, it is quite awe-inspiring! We found Emerald Cove…but oh boy did we have a couple big scares (stay tuned, I will do follow-up posts to each section of this trip). Stopped by the @Boulder Dam Brewing Co. for drinks and some grub and made our way back to Vegas for a Proper Vegas night out. After the fun was over, we took the red eye flight home!

Notable Destinations close by Las Vegas:

Less than 100 miles away

  • Seven Magic Mountains – 27 miles
  • Hoover Dam/Lake Mead – 38 miles
  • Emerald Cove/Colorado River – 55 miles

Less than 200 miles away

  • Death Valley National Park – 149 miles
  • Zion National Park – 160 miles

Less than 300 miles away

  • Joshua Tree National Park – 221 miles
  • Bearizona – 223 miles
  • Marble Canyon – 262 miles
  • Prescott National Forest – 267 miles
  • Horseshoe Bend – 275 miles
  • Sedona, AZ – 279 miles
  • Grand Canyon National Park – 280 miles
  • Antelope Canyon – 281 miles

So next time you go to Vegas, try to get out of the city and do some adventuring!

Hope you enjoyed, feel free to leave feedback! I would love to share exact locations, what hikes you should hit, and some great places to eat!

One thought on “Las Vegas: Outdoor Paradise

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