View of the Red Sandstone Mountains from the winding Calico Canyon Road near Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area near Las Vegas, Nevada.

Best Day Trips From Las Vegas to Take This Summer

Most visitors choose Las Vegas for the lights, cameras, and action, but there is so much more to do and see around Sin City. Spend a day taking a break from the hustle and bustle of the strip and opt to go on one of many thrilling day trips to see the nearby natural wonders and hidden gems while the sun beats down on the Las Vegas desert. Discover a variety of possible pastimes, such as visiting small towns, national parks, state parks, landmarks, monuments, and even winery districts, all located within a short drive from Vegas. These alluring locations guarantee amazing experiences and let visitors immerse themselves in stunning scenery, historical sights, and cultural marvels. These day trips from Las Vegas can satiate anyone’s wanderlust, whether you are looking for outdoor experiences, cultural discovery, or just a change of scenery.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Gnarled juniper and green yucca on overlook at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area near Las Vegas
Overlook at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area near Las Vegas.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is a magnificent desert oasis that provides a pleasant escape from the bustle of the city and is only 16 miles west of Las Vegas. This natural beauty is a hiker's paradise with its tall red sandstone cliffs, lovely hiking routes, and fascinating wildlife. Take a modest walk on the Calico Tanks route for breathtaking panoramic views of the canyon. The 13-mile scenic circle offers breathtaking views at each bend for a leisurely drive. Bighorn sheep and desert tortoises are just a couple of the many animal species that call this area home. To avoid spending any money, there are trails available all over that are open and free to the public. Be sure to pack sunscreen, as these desert trails don’t provide any shelter from the sweltering sun.

Valley of Fire State Park

Road through Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada
Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada.

The Valley of Fire State Park, a fantastic environment that offers visitors a different pace of environment, is about 45 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Beautiful red sandstone formations, historic petroglyphs, and unusual rock formations are all on display in this captivating park. Take a stroll down the Fire Wave route to see the fascinating striations and vivid colors on the sandstone that provide a bizarre but unique optical illusion. For those who want to spend more time discovering its hidden gems, the park also has campsites available. As the day draws to a close, settle in and take in the flaming sunset that gave the park its fascinating name by bathing it in a warm light.

Hoover Dam

View of the Hoover Dam in Nevada
Hoover Dam in Nevada.

The famous Hoover Dam, a feat of engineering that controls the powerful Colorado River, is just 37 miles southeast of Las Vegas. Visit the spectacular concrete arch-gravity dam, learn about how it was made, and discover its historical significance by taking a guided tour. To experience the mesmerizing views of Lake Mead's deep blue waters and the rough terrain surrounding them, stand atop the dam and take in the sights. For a breathtaking view of it all, helicopter trips are available and provide a birds-eye perspective of the dam that also shows its contrast with the neighboring Mojave Desert. A captivating fusion of architectural brilliance, natural beauty, and historical significance awaits visitors at Hoover Dam.

Spring Mountain Ranch State Park

Beautiful view of famous Spring Mountain Ranch State Park near Las Vegas and Red Rock Canyon, Nevada during autumn with pink and red rock mountains, blue sky, green trees and grass, and purple hills
Spring Mountain Ranch State Park near Las Vegas.

Spring Mountain Ranch State Park offers a peaceful retreat from the bustle of the city, tucked away in the breathtaking Red Rock Canyon region. This historic sanctuary, which is only 25 miles from Las Vegas, holds the ruins of a 19th-century ranch, featuring a charming ranch house with an Adobe style and exquisitely maintained gardens. Learn about the park's unique past and the personalities that previously called it home by taking a guided tour. Enjoy a peaceful picnic amidst tranquil nature, or go to one of the park's exciting cultural events, such as concerts and plays. Spring Mountain Ranch State Park provides a lovely respite from the bustle of the city with its peaceful ambiance and picturesque appeal.

Mount Charleston

A narrow section of North Loop Trail leads to the summit of Mount Charleston in Spring Mountains National Recreation Area near Las Vegas, Nevada
North Loop Trail leads to the summit of Mount Charleston.

Travel 35 miles northwest of Las Vegas to Mount Charleston, a cool mountain getaway, to escape the desert heat. Even in the sweltering summers, Mount Charleston, the highest mountain in the Spring Mountains, provides a cool and green retreat. Take a stroll along scenic routes like Mary Jane Falls, which will take visitors to a magnificent cascade surrounded by spectacular alpine landscapes. Along with camping, picnics, and wildlife viewing, the region is home to various wildlife, such as deer, wild horses, and a wide range of bird species. Enjoy the tranquility of the mountainous setting, breathe in the aromatic pine fragrance, and take in breathtaking panoramic views all while taking a break from the heat and roaring city life of Las Vegas.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area

A powerboat cruising on Lake Mead
Powerboat cruising on Lake Mead.

Travel southeast of Las Vegas to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area in the breathtaking Mojave Desert for a revitalizing aquatic excursion. There are plenty of activities here for the whole family to enjoy and stay entertained all day long. The largest reservoir in the country is in this vast playground, and there are countless chances for sports involving water. Explore the pristine waters and hidden gems like the Emerald Cave by renting a boat, kayak, or paddleboard and hitting the Colorado River, or unwind on the sandy beaches and take in the sunshine. Don't pass up the chance to take a boat excursion to check out the majestic Hoover Dam from a different angle. A day of adventure and leisure amidst the beauties of nature is what Lake Mead promises, with its beautiful cliffs, secret coves, and an abundance of animals.


Historic saloon building and casino in Pahrump Nevada
Historic saloon building and casino, Pahrump, Nevada. Image credit 4kclips via

The lovely village of Pahrump, located about 60 miles west of Las Vegas, is a great choice for a day trip. Pahrump, which is well-known for its vineyards and expansive scenery, provides a sample of rural Nevada's beauty and serenity. Visit award-winning vineyards, partake in wine tastings, and enjoy the delectable options at neighborhood restaurants. Explore the history and culture of the area by going to the Pahrump Valley Museum, or visitors can try their luck at the Pahrump Nugget Hotel and Casino. For fans of racing, the nearby Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club provides exhilarating adventures and experiences. Pahrump is the perfect place to spend a peaceful and delightful day or enjoy some less-crowded entertaining activities away from the Strip because of its small-town charm, picturesque landscapes, and more relaxed pace.

Las Vegas, coined Sin City for a reason, boasts bright lights and exciting entertainment. But the region's surroundings beckon with the promise of interesting day excursions that highlight the area's scenic beauty, rich cultural history, and leisure options. There is something for every adventurer at Red Rock Canyon, the ancient petroglyphs of Valley of Fire State Park, and the technical marvel of Hoover Dam. These day trips from Las Vegas provide a variety of activities that will leave visitors with long-lasting memories of a trip well spent, whether they are looking for outdoor adventure, historical insights, or a leisurely vacation.


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