What to Do Around Las Vegas
Las Vegas is full of things to do and see, but as much as I love it, such a busy city can be a bit stressful and you can feel like escaping all the hustle and bustle. Vegas being in the middle of a desert, you can already see all the beautiful mountains surrounding it without leaving. Nature lovers like me will find it very easy to drive to a quieter place.
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Lake Mead and Hoover dam
The Hoover dam is located just an hour away from the strip and the drive is beautiful as we quickly reach the Lake Mead where the famous dam stands. This impressive construction actually serves as a power plant that you can visit. It is set on the lake and is surrounded by mountains, offering a beautiful scenery. Several guided tours are organised there but we chose to drive a bit further and stop on the parking lot across the dam to take some pictures and enjoy the view.
Make sure not to miss the scenic drive along the lake too. The region of the lake is protected and there is a $12 entrance fee to the road you can take to reach the Valley of fire.
Valley of fire
The park of the Valley of fire makes a great day trip from Las Vegas. The drive from the city is gorgeous as you get closer to the mountains. The landscapes then slowly change and the ground starts to get the red tones that distinguish the Valley of Fire.
There is a $10 entrance fee to put in a box if you don’t pass a fee booth and you are then free to drive and explore. I can’t describe how beautiful it is and how much I loved it. We had planned to go on a couple of short hikes but it was so hot (although we went in January) that we didn’t walk that much. The colours of these former red sand dunes are stunning and the calm of the desert made me feel incredibly good.
We spend the whole day there and stopped at one of the nice shaded picnic areas for lunch. We also made sure we stayed to enjoy a beautiful sunset.
The famous Grand Canyon is definitely a trip not to miss from Las Vegas and it is worth taking more than a day to see it. We spent two days exploring the South rim and although we wished we could have stayed longer, we were already able to enjoy the place.
We stayed in the nearby town of Tusayan, at the nice Grand Hotel. After spending our first day walking along the cliffs, we hiked down the canyon the next day, which offers a completely different experience. There are so many pretty places to see and so many hikes that I would love to go again some day.
Red Rock Canyon
We visited the Red Rock Canyon during our most recent trip to Las Vegas. This park is also very easy to reach from Vegas and one day is enough to see it. The entrance is by the visitor centre and it costs $7 to get in. The park counts a one-way main road, the scenic drive that passes viewpoints and starting points for hikes. The drive is short enough (13 miles) so you can take your time and enjoy all beauty of the place.
We walked a short part of a deserted trail and despite the heat (you would think we would be used to high temperatures after six months in Asia..!), I was able to enjoy how quiet and peaceful it was.
Big cities can quickly be overwhelming. Las Vegas is no exception but it has the advantage of being located in the desert making it very easy to escape. Next time we visit Simon’s sister, who has settled in Vegas, I’m hoping to go to the Death Valley, another destination not to miss in the area.