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Beyond the bright light and endless energy of Las Vegas sit many beautiful parks and natural areas just waiting to be explored in Nevada. Just a short drive from the Las Vegas Strip, connect with nature while hiking, biking, or exploring the beauty, flora, and fauna of the area.

 

The Red Rock National Conservation Area offers nearly 200,000 acres of scenic land just minutes west of the city of Las Vegas. Thirteen miles of roads wind up and down through the canyon, perfect for a scenic drive or for biking. Hike through one or more of the 26 trails that meander through the unique natural structures of the canyon, ledges, peaks, and gullies.

 

Tule Springs Hot Bed National Monument was home to none other than mammoths, lions, and camels thousands of years ago. Just north of the Las Vegas area, observe ancient fossils embedded in the land as well as observe the endangered flowers among the backdrop of the serene desert landscape.

 

Valley of Fire State Park is open year round for guests to enjoy the petrified trees and petroglyphs among the Aztec sandstone and limestone formations. Plan a hike on one of the many nature trails, spend the night under the stars while camping, or engage in the history of the area in the exhibits at the visitor center.

 

Possibly one of the most well-known outdoor sites is the Hoover Dam. Thirty minutes southeast of the city, the Hoover Dam, part of the Colorado River, is a concrete arch gravity dam, built during the Great Depression. Controlling floods, providing irrigation, and generating power, the dam offers tours to the public as well as a visitor’s center.

 

Springs Mountain National Recreation Area is 45 minutes from Las Vegas, offering over 300,000 acres of land in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. The snow capped mountain peaks among the desert setting offer an excellent recreation experience during the winter. The Lee Canyon Ski Area at Springs Mountain offers skiing, tubing, and snowboarding for everyone to enjoy the winter weather.

 

The River Mountains Loop Trail includes 34 miles of trails connecting River Mountains to Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Hoover Dam, and the Las Vegas Valley, expanding the recreation opportunities in the area. Hiking and non-motorized biking is welcome on the trail, and portions are available for equestrian use as well. Enjoy the scenic views and wildlife in the quiet surroundings of the desert.