Everyone knows Las Vegas for its iconic casinos that draw visitors to the city all year round. While Las Vegas has so much to offer when it comes to entertainment, people are missing out on exploring the beautiful landscape that surrounds the area. Below, we’ll have a look at the top five hikes around Las Vegas that tourists should consider taking during their stay.
Located an hour’s drive from the Las Vegas Strip, Mount Charleston is a popular hiking destination during the summer. Within the area, there are 53 miles of trails worth exploring depending on your chosen level of difficulty. One standout is Cathedral Rock, a breathtaking and beginner-friendly hike that allows you to marvel at stunning views of the Spring Mountain range from the top. The Raintree Trail on the other hand takes you to the oldest living bristlecone pine in Nevada, which is said to be over 3,000-years-old.
Valley of Fire Park
Also about an hour’s drive from the Strip, the Valley of Fire is one of the most stunning geological formations you will ever see. The park is aptly named because of the bright-red Aztec sandstone as well as the gray and tan limestone formations that protrude from the dusty grounds. The park offers many short hikes that are perfect for beginners. The Outdoor Project recommends the Fire Wave Trail which takes you around the colorful rock formations along a trail just over a mile long.
Red Rock Canyon
Take the street behind Circus Circus and in 20 minutes you’ll find yourself in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area. Within the park, you can take trails that bring you through tight canyons or up to views that will let you look across at Las Vegas. Because of this climbing and hiking mecca, an increasing number of people are heading to Nevada to experience something other than its casinos. However, there are visitors who want a mix of both. If you want to experience the famous casino while also connecting to nature, you can visit the Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa, located just outside the conservation area. From the resort, you can take the 13-mile scenic route and find yourself back there in a couple of hours.
After a long day of hiking, playing some games in the casino is a good way to unwind and the poker room is one of the biggest draws. For those who wish to play poker it pays to be well acquainted with the game. Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa may be outside of the Strip, but avid players still come here to play on a regular basis. The detailed tutorials on Texas Hold’em by PartyPoker show how easy it is for novices to start playing the game straightaway. Just like hiking, after a few games players will get the confidence to go for tougher challenges. Outdoor enthusiasts without much knowledge of poker can easily learn how to play. Red Rock Canyon is the place to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Mary Jane Falls
The moderate trail that passes through Mary Jane Falls is a three-mile forested hike that takes you on a 1100-foot ascent to get a glimpse of soaring limestone cliffs and snowcapped canyons. Your legs will be burning once you reach the top, so remember to have a mid-hike break when you reach Mary Jane Falls. TimeOut discusses how the 50-foot sprinkler is at its most dramatic when the spring snow melts. If you want a longer and more difficult adventure, you can visit the more spectacular Big Falls just nearby.
Historic Railroad Tunnel
This hike is less about breaking a sweat and more about taking in the scenery. The trail takes you back in time through five former railroad tunnels that were drilled into the hillside to support the construction of the Hoover Dam. While the tracks and train are gone, the gigantic hollows have remained. The flat trail with spectacular views of Lake Mead is perfect for bringing the family and dogs along. Just watch out for bighorn sheep along the way!