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22 Incredible Day Trips from Las Vegas You’ll Absolutely Love

Looking to escape the busy city of Las Vegas? Of course you are! There’s so many amazing adventures just minutes away. If you’re looking for the best day trips from Las Vegas, here’s your list!

day trips from Las Vegas view of massive multi colored canyon
Best day trips from Las Vegas (see #14)

This post may contain affiliate links. For more info, see my disclosures.

Las Vegas has a reputation for shopping, dining and casinos – and it lives up to the hype! But if you’re craving adventure – or some nature – taking a day trip from Las Vegas is a great way to do just that.

Leave the crowded strip and hit the road!

Some of the best day trips are just 20 minutes away, while others will take you away the entire day from sunrise to sunset (or beyond). Whether you’re traveling solo, with friends, as a couple or with your family, there’s something on this epic list of day trips from Las Vegas to fit every travel style.

Let’s dive in!

Map of the best day trips from Las Vegas

If you’re a visual person like I am, this map of the best places to visit near Las Vegas will help you plan your perfect adventure.

By the way, as someone who’s actively checking places off my travel bucket list, I haven’t been everywhere (yet). So I’ve asked some of my fellow travel writers to help with these things to do near Las Vegas. Enjoy!

Day trips from Las Vegas

Located in the Mojave Desert, there’s so much to see and do in the area. Here are some of the best ideas for things to do outside of Vegas!

1. Red Rock Canyon (one of the best things to do near Las Vegas)

Las Vegas day trips view of red rock canyon drive with road through valley of red rocky cliffs
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Distance from Las Vegas: 16 miles / 20 minutes

Perhaps one of the shortest day trips from Las Vegas is the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. It’s perfect for a full day of adventure away from the busy city, yet close enough for a quick drive.

One of the most popular things to do is the Red Rock Canyon scenic drive. This one-way, 13 mile drive takes you through the entire conservation area. Stop at Calico II to see the vibrant red sandstone rocks.

Bring grippy hiking shoes for the 2.2 mile hike on the Calico Tanks Trail. This fun, interactive hike requires a bit of scrambling to get to the viewpoint of the Las Vegas strip. So cool!

You’ll actually need a timed entry reservation to see the conservation area from October through May, so be sure to reserve your spot in advance! If you can’t grab a spot, consider booking a Red Rock Canyon hiking tour which includes park entry.

Of course, come prepared with enough water and high protein snacks. If you’re hiking be sure to bring the 10 essentials and a satellite communicator in case of emergency.

Recommended by Nikki of Inspired Routes

2. Valley of Fire State Park

vegas day trips red swirled rock view of valley of fire state park
Valley of Fire State Park

Distance from Las Vegas: 56 miles / 48 minutes

Valley of Fire is a famous Nevada State Park, and a nature preserve area known for its breathtaking red sandstone and rock formations. It consists of 40,000 acres of Aztec sandstone.

Prehistoric remnants and unparalleled vistas are intertwined among the valley’s red rocks. There are also ancient petroglyphs that were carved into the Aztec Sandstone rock formations. These spectacular rock formations are best viewed on a sunny day, and every sunset, they illuminate the valley, making it appear they’re on fire.

There are several outdoor activities that you can do in the Valley of Fire. The park offers a short hike for you to survey the area’s scenic views.

As you explore the site, take advantage of these fascinating rock formations like the Valley of Fire Beehives, Atlatl Rock, Elephant Rock and the Fire Wave. They will surely leave you speechless in their beauty.

You can stay overnight in the Valley of Fire; various campgrounds located near this famous spot for camping enthusiasts. And reservations in advance are required, check the park’s website for more details.

Valley of Fire is approximately 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas; it would take you about 1 hour to get there by car. Take the I-15 north for about 35 to 40 miles from the Las Vegas Strip. Head east toward the Valley of Fire/Lake Mead from Exit 75. The West Entrance Station is located in the Valley of Fire, about 17 miles away.

The best time to visit the park is in October and April. The temperatures are mild and pleasant during this period, while they are extremely hot during the summer. The park is open from sunrise until sunset.

Recommended by Christine of Guide To Daytrips

3. Kanarra Falls

view of log with steps leading up to Kanarra falls in rocky slot canyon
Kanarra Falls

Distance from Las Vegas: 159 miles / 2 hours, 33 minutes

At just 2.5 hours from Las Vegas, Kanarra Falls is the perfect day trip for adventure lovers. Grab your hiking boots and trekking poles and head off to this amazing slot canyon.

After arriving at the trailhead you’ll see a small restroom and ticket counter. They only allow 150 hikers a day, so it’s strongly recommended that you reserve your tickets online before arriving as no more tickets are sold on-site once the limit is reached. 

The hike itself is a moderate 3.8-mile hike directly through an epic slot canyon. Be prepared to get wet as the majority of the hike will have you walking through ankle-deep water (sometimes higher).

After about 1.6 miles you’ll see your first waterfall. If you choose to continue up the ladder, you’ll find the second waterfall about 0.3 miles later.

It will surely be a hike you won’t soon forget. Kanarra Falls is one of the best things to do near Las Vegas!

Recommended by Jordan of The Homebody Tourist

4. Lake Mead

view of Lake Mead blue lake with brown rocks
Lake Mead

Distance from Las Vegas: 31 miles / 36 minutes

Lake Mead is a wonderful afternoon or a day escape from the bustling city of Las Vegas! Located less than an hour outside of Las Vegas in Boulder, Nevada, visitors to Lake Mead are greeted with a surplus of outdoor activities sure to provide an outdoor recharge. 

For Lake Mead day trips Las Vegas, it’s recommended to drive so that visitors have flexibility to explore different parts of this natural preserve throughout the afternoon.  

Enjoy hiking, navigating slot canyons, swimming and boating at Lake Mead. Keep in mind that there is no lifeguard on duty, and that swimming and boating beaches are separated. 

More of a relaxed afternoon can be spent driving to one of the many pull out parking spots to enjoy some views with a picnic lunch. Most of the pull out parking spots include a bathroom house.  

Visiting outside of summer months is most recommended as the Mojave Desert can heat up to 120 degrees fahrenheit during this time of year.  

A huge plus is that the natural preserve accepts the Annual National Parks Pass. Without the pass, entrance is $30 per vehicle. 

Recommended by Alyssa of An Apple a Plane

5. Zion National Park (a favorite on this list of day trips from Las Vegas)

view of canyon red rock walls green base
Zion National Park

Distance from Las Vegas: 159 miles / 2 hours, 41 minutes

One of the best day trips from Las Vegas is visiting Zion National Park in Utah. Just over 2.5 hours from Vegas, Zion offers incredible views and adventures you’ll love.

The perfect Zion itinerary for one day is to take the shuttle into the Zion Scenic Drive to see the impressive canyon. If you’re up for adventure, hike The Narrows.

The Narrows is the popular hike where the canyon narrows and you can walk through the Virgin River (up to 10 miles round trip) to see the massive canyon up close as it closes in. Be sure to bring water shoes and hiking sticks for The Narrows.

Alternatively, you could get crazy awesome views on the Canyon Overlook Trail. It’s just one mile round trip, offering wide open views of the canyon with less effort.

Grab lunch or ice cream at the Zion Lodge or in Springdale, just outside the park. Or, pack a picnic and enjoy the views of the canyon! Regardless of if you’re solo, as a couple, with friends or visiting Zion with kids, it’s a fabulous adventure and perfect day trip from Las Vegas.

Just be sure to take the right hiking essentials when visiting in Zion, like good hiking shoes and plenty of water!

Recommended by Nikki of Inspired Routes

6. Hoover Dam

hoover dam tour from Las Vegas view of large concrete dam with rocky mountains and river
Hoover Dam

Distance from Las Vegas: 37 miles / 39 minutes

Hoover Dam from Las Vegas is a short drive, and one of the best ways to spend a day away from the city. You can rent a car and drive yourself or take a tour from Vegas. See the historic Hoover Dam, which was completed in 1936.

As a visitor to the Hoover Dam, you can park for free and walk to the viewpoint on both the Nevada and Arizona Sides. The Nevada side you can see the front of the dam. On the Arizona side, you’ll see the Colorado River and the back side of the dam.

The visitor center has information on the history and architecture of the dam. If you rent a car and drive yourself, the parking lot closest to the entrance is $10 to park, or you can walk the 0.7 miles from the free parking to get there.

One of the best ways to learn about the dam’s construction is through a Power Plant Tour. You’ll actually get to go down into the dam to see how it works!

At the time of publication, you can purchase a Guided Power Plant Tour online but not a Guided Dam Tour so if you want the most in-depth tour of the dam, you’ll need to get there early to get a tour, because it’s first come, first serve and sells out quickly.

Book it now: Hoover Dam tour from Vegas

Recommended by me – Nikki of She Saves She Travels

7. Grand Canyon from Las Vegas via helicopter

places to visit near Las Vegas view of Grand Canyon and river flowing through it
Colorado River running through the Grand Canyon

Distance from Las Vegas: 45 minutes (flight time)

Enjoy the beauty of the Grand Canyon without all the driving! Grand Canyon tours from Las Vegas are a very efficient way to see the 4th most visited national park in the USA!

While driving to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas (see #14 below) allows you to hike and see the South Rim, a helicopter tour allows you to land inside the canyon, thousands of feet below the rim.

After a 45-minute helicopter ride from Las Vegas, feel extra bougie as you toast champagne on a bluff from within the canyon. Soak in the incredible views of the massive canyon you’re standing inside of! What a bucket list experience!

Book it now: helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon from Vegas

Recommended by me – Nikki of She Saves She Travels

More things do do near Las Vegas

Outside of the city but comfortable enough to do in a day, here are more ideas for ya. There’s so much to see in the area!

8. Emerald Cave kayaking (one of the most fun things to do outside of Vegas)

lake mead day trips Las Vegas view of cave with green water and kayakers
Emerald Cave

Distance from Las Vegas: 55 miles / 58 minutes

Kayaking in the Emerald Cave is a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the Vegas strip. The cave is located in the Lake Mead Recreation Area, along a calm section of the Colorado River.

Your journey to the caves will include a relaxing kayak ride along the Colorado River. The surrounding hills and cliff walls are awe-inspiring as they tower above you. 

Along the way, you can also go ashore and take a number of short hikes for a better view of the river and rock walls. These hikes will also give you a chance to see the unique flora and fauna of the area. 

The Emerald Cave itself will often get crowded, and only a few kayaks can enter at a time. The cave is shallow, giving you a chance to enter, take pictures, and then exit again within a few minutes time. 

Within the cave, you’ll see a green glowing light reflecting off of the water and onto the cave walls. This green glow is where the Emerald Cave gets its name. The best time of year to see the full emerald effect is to go in summer on a sunny day. 

To reach the caves, you can drive to Lake Mead Recreation Area and rent a kayak there, or book a half-day tour, which includes hotel pickup and drop-off services from Las Vegas. For your trip, it helps to bring the right gear, including a good backpack and water shoes

The tour will provide you with guidance and instruction along the way, so it’s a great option if you’re newer to kayaking or unfamiliar with the area. 

Kayaking the Emerald Cave is one of the best Lake Mead Day Trips from Las Vegas!

Book it now: Emerald Cave kayaking

Recommended by Merry of Virginia Vacation Guide

9. Mojave National Preserve

vegas day trips view of road through scenic drive tan and brown rocky scene
Mojave National Preserve

Distance from Las Vegas: 68 miles / 1 hour, 9 minutes

If you’re looking for a way to get away from Las Vegas but want somewhere with few crowds, then consider making a visit to Mojave National Preserve. In just an hour’s drive on Interstate 15 from the big city, you’ll find hiking trails, caves, and much more to explore.

First, head to Cima Road, which is home to more Joshua Trees than you’ll even be able to find within the namesake national park. These are rare trees, only growing within certain parts of the southwest.

Another one of the best things to do is to visit the Kelso Dunes. These beautiful sand dunes offer viewpoints of the surrounding mountains and the opportunity to stand on top of the tallest dune.

The Lava Tubes Trail offers a short hike and a unique experience in a cave. There aren’t many places where you’re able to climb directly into the tube, so this one shouldn’t be missed!

Other fun activities include seeing the cinder cones along Aiken Mine Road, hiking the Teutonia Peak Trail, and visiting the Mojave Desert Mailbox. Because you’ll be in the desert, be sure to dress comfortably to stay cool while you’re out exploring.

It’s also nice to have a high-clearance vehicle for the visit, as some roads can be pretty rough. Also, be sure to check the status of the roads, because wintertime may bring snow and poor weather conditions.

Recommended by Kassidy of The Hiking Helper

10. UTV adventure at the McCullough Mountains

things to do outside of vegas view of utv in desert on sunny day
Find adventure on a UTV tour

Distance from Las Vegas: 25 miles / 49 minutes

Get ready for an epic adventure in Prime Valley and Hidden Valley at the McCullough Mountain Range, Nevada. This is one of the most fun day trips from Las Vegas if you’e looking for an adrenaline-filled time!

This half day UTV excursion takes you through fun, rugged desert terrain just outside of Las Vegas. You’ll get to see Hidden Valley National Monument during your excursion.

An excursion like this was one of the most fun things to do in Aruba, and I think you’ll agree it’s an awesome day trip from Vegas, too. Drivers must be 16 or older, and each UTV is fit for 2 people. Kids as young as 12 can ride with an adult, so it’s great for families with older kids, too.

Pro tip: wear clothes you can get dirty and closed toes shoes.

Pack anything you don’t want to get dirty in a dry bag with a strap and tie it down. That prevents dirt from penetrating a backpack for other cloth bag. This is the dry bag I used while UTVing and it worked great! Don’t forget to take extra water in reusable water bottles, too.

Book it now: UTV adventure near Vegas

Recommended by me – Nikki of She Saves She Travels

11. Death Valley National Park (one of the best places to visit near Las Vegas for scenery)

things to do near Las Vegas Death Valley deep brown rocky ridges at sunset
Death Valley National Park

Distance from Las Vegas: 110 miles / 1 hour, 55 minutes

Death Valley is one of the best national parks in California and a perfect day trips from Las Vegas if you are looking to escape the crowds and explore the stunning landscapes of the Mojave Desert. 

Although summers bring triple-digit temperatures to Death Valley, winter has a mild sunny weather with no snow, except for high altitudes. 

You can get to Death Valley by taking a guided tour from Las Vegas that includes major highlights of the national park or renting a car in Las Vegas. If you rent a car, you will have more freedom exploring this vast area and also enjoy stargazing at night since Death Valley boasts incredible dark skies free of light pollution.

The park has many hikes like Golden Canyon, overlooks and is also home to the lowest point in North America, Bad Water Basin, that sits at 282 feet below sea level. Since Death Valley is the largest national park in the lower 48 states, prepare to drive longer distances, as some points of the interest are as far as 50 minutes away from one another.

Book it now: Death Valley tours from Las Vegas

Recommended by Daria of The Discovery Nut

12. Spring Mountain Ranch State Park

Spring Mountain State Park view of mountains with trees and ranch in foreground
Spring Mountain Ranch State Park

Distance from Las Vegas: 24 miles / 27 minutes

Some of the oldest buildings in Nevada lie right next to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area at the Spring Mountain Ranch State Park. This historic ranch is a fun little day trip from Las Vegas, where you can tour old buildings like a blacksmith shop and sandstone cabin.

Nestled in a picturesque setting, it’s a lesser-known attraction in the Las Vegas area, so you’ll really be able to escape the crowds. Pack a picnic and enjoy the outdoors. The best time to visit this state park is October through May.

The Spring Mountain Ranch State Park is a great spot for beginner hikers or families and pets, too. Hike the Spring Mountain Ranch Loop trial, at just 1.5 miles and flat, it’s an easy trail for nearly any skill level.

Hours change seasonally so check before you go at the Spring Mountain Ranch website.

Recommended by me – Nikki of She Saves She Travels

13. Seven Magic Mountains

large stacked multicolored painted rocks
Seven Magic Mountains

Distance from Las Vegas: 26 miles / 27 minutes

A fun experience close to Las Vegas is the Seven Magic Mountains. These colorful stacked boulders are an art instillation that took social media by storm in 2016, thousands of visitors come to the Seven Magic Mountains annually.

It’s a free, short day trip from Las Vegas, and one worth visiting if you’re looking for something low-key to do in the area. It’s perfect for kids and adults alike. And bonus – no extra hiking gear or picnic supplies required.😊

Created by artist Ugo Rondinone and supported by the Nevada Museum of Art and Art Production Fund, this is a free attraction although donations are always welcome! Take as many photos as you desire, but please don’t damage the boulders.

Pro tip: If you want great photos with fewer people, come early in the day – just after sunrise – to avoid crowds.

Seven Magic Mountains is one of the best things to do outside of Vegas that doesn’t take a lot of time, either.

Recommended by me – Nikki of She Saves She Travels

Full day trips from Las Vegas

With 3+ hours of driving each way, these are the best day trips from Las Vegas that make a long day, but totally worth the effort! Of course if you have more time, these destinations would make great weekend trips from Las Vegas, too.

14. South Rim of the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas

day trips from Las Vegas view of massive multi colored canyon
Grand Canyon National Park

Distance from Las Vegas: 279 miles / 4 hours, 22 minutes

If you’re looking to escape the intenseness of Las Vegas for a day and want to spend some time surrounded by incredible scenery you’ll never forget, head to the Grand Canyon South Rim.

The Grand Canyon is one of the most extraordinary natural wonders of the world and offers absolutely stunning views. The South Rim in particular is considered to be the best part with its really expansive views and is truly a sight to see.

There are many unique hikes and viewpoints such as Mather Point that you can visit at The South Rim – but note that the weather and temperature can change suddenly here so make sure to bring plenty of layers and be prepared for any weather! 

Drive time to Grand Canyon South Rim is just over 4 hours each way from Las Vegas so it’s a long day but it is definitely worth it! You can rent a car and drive yourself, or if you’d prefer someone else to do the driving you can book a Grand Canyon tour from Las Vegas on a bus.

The day trips are usually around 15 hours long, starting at around 6 or 7am, and cost under $100 so good value for money! It’s best to book a Grand Canyon tour in advance as it is a popular day trip from Vegas!

Not only is The Grand Canyon one of the best day trips from Las Vegas, but the route to get there is really interesting too as you’ll get to drive along the famous Route 66!

Book it now: Grand Canyon bus tour from Vegas

Recommended by Catrina of 24 Hours Layover

15. Horseshoe Bend from Las Vegas

horseshoe bend tour from Las Vegas view of river in shape of u and rocky cliffs
Horseshoe Bend

Distance from Las Vegas: 274 miles / 4 hours, 23 minutes

Horseshoe Bend is one of the most photographed sites along the Colorado River and a fantastic excursion for those traveling from Las Vegas.

While on the far end for a day trip, Horseshoe Bend is about 4.5 hours from Las Vegas. Located in Page Arizona, the iconic feature is a must-do for those traveling through the southwest. 

Horseshoe Bend, part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, is one top things to do in Page ArizonaIt can be done as a stop along with other activities in the area.

The trail and parking for Horseshoe Bend is managed by the city of Page, and doesn’t take any National Park or other park passes for entrance to the site. Parking for Horseshoe Bend is $10 and the site is open from sunrise to sunset daily.

For those visiting the site, the hike requires about 1.5 miles (out and back) to reach the viewpoint for the bend. There’s a small platform located at the end of the trail.

However, be sure to continue on past the viewpoint along the slick stones and you’ll be treated to some great other views of the bend without as many tourists around. You can even climb the small hill to get a better overlook of the site. 

Beyond Horseshoe Bend, there’s plenty of other things around Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Visit to the nearby Glen Canyon Bridge and Dam is worth a quick excursion. Visitors can view the amazing engineering feats of creating both the bridge and dam in this part of the river.

There’s also great hiking nearby such as the Hanging Gardens Hike, the Chains, and The “New Wave” which is a lovely banded sandstone area close to the glen canyon dam. 

Recommended by Anwar of Beyond My Door

16. Bryce Canyon National Park (one of the most epic day trips from Las Vegas)

weekend getaway from Las Vegas view of orange rocky spires at Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park

Distance from Las Vegas: 259 miles / 4 hours, 3 minutes

You’ll want to get up early for this one! As a day trip, this is doable but a pretty long day. It would make a great weekend trip from Las Vegas, too.

Anyway, Bryce Canyon National Park is home to the famous hoodoos, which are irregularly shaped rock spires. Witness the unique beauty of this landscape from Bryce Point or Inspiration Point.

If you’re up for hiking, try the Queens Garden Trail and Navajo Loop, which is a fun, interactive trail. It’s 3.1 miles and rated as moderate, you’ll weave through hoodoos and witness the bright orange and red rocks up close.

Have a picnic at Sunset Point or enjoy the views at Sunrise Point, too. You can see all the Bryce Canyon National Park highlights in just one day!

Recommended by me – Nikki of She Saves She Travels

17. Joshua Tree National Park

weekend getaway from Las Vegas view of Joshua tree with desert landscape smooth rocks sunny day
Joshua Tree National Park

Distance from Las Vegas: 186 miles / 3 hours, 8 minutes

One of the best day trips from Las Vegas is a day in Joshua Tree. It takes about 3 hours to drive from Las Vegas to Joshua Tree National Park, but it is worth the drive and a great way to escape the city.

Joshua Tree is best during the spring or fall when temperatures are more moderate. In the summer, the park gets very hot, and in the winter it’s cold. However, if you’re taking a day trip in the winter, you will still experience the warmest part of the day in winter.

While in Joshua Tree, take the quick hike to Arch Rock, drive down Queen Valley Road, visit the Cholla Cactus Garden, and, of course, see all the Joshua Trees. One of the best places to find a high concentration of Joshua Trees is along Queen Valley Road or on Park Boulevard from the West Entrance Station.

Recommended by Christine of Live Love Run Travel

18. Antelope Canyon (a popular tour from Las Vegas)

view of antelope canyon deep red and orange sandstone canyon walkway
Antelope Canyon

Distance from Las Vegas: 278 miles / 4 hours, 32 minutes

Las Vegas is such a fun city to explore but many people don’t realize there are amazing places to visit outside of Las Vegas. Antelope Canyon is a popular slot canyon in Page, Arizona.

The canyon is full of beautiful Navajo Sandstone that makes for some of the most stunning views you’ll find. Getting to escape from the concrete jungle of Las Vegas is a great way to refresh and enjoy some time away from the city.

If you’re planning on visiting Antelope Canyon, there are a few things you must know.

The canyon is on Navajo land and is restricted to tours by Navajo tour guides and tours are required to visit. You’ll want to book in advance to ensure you can get a tour. If you find that Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon are booked, look into tours of Antelope Canyon X.

May to October get really busy, the earlier you book your tour, the better.

To do Antelope Canyon as a day trip from Las Vegas, follow I-15 North through Saint George, Utah. Then take UT-9 to Hwy 59 towards Kanab, UT, where you’ll get on the US-89 East to Lake Powell and Page, Arizona. The drive is a little long, but it makes for a great adventure to one of the most beautiful slot canyons you can find!

Book it now: Antelope Canyon tour from Las Vegas

Recommended by Candice of CS Ginger

19. Palm Springs

rocky canyon with mountains in distance at Tahquitz Canyon Palm Springs weekend trips from Las Vegas
Tahquitz Canyon, Palm Springs

Distance from Las Vegas: 231 miles / 4 hours, 9 minutes

If you’re up for a slightly longer drive, taking a day trip from Las Vegas to Palm Springs is an ideal way to add some fun and adventure to your travels. Though it’s situated about 4 hours away, there are so many ways to spend one day in Palm Springs!

You can explore the iconic downtown area, which features boutique shops, hip galleries, and tasty restaurants. Or, check out the original retro architecture on residential homes and hotels.

Outdoor lovers can venture out for a day hike at one of the many trails, such as Tahquitz Canyon. One can’t-miss activity for any first time visitor is the famous Palm Springs aerial tramway, which takes you up the nearby San Jacinto Mountains for panoramic views of the surrounding valley.

With so much natural beauty to explore, it’s no wonder why Palm Springs has become such a popular getaway spot for travelers from Las Vegas.

Be aware that summer is a tough time for hiking and strenuous activity in the California desert. If visiting in the summer months, I would recommend visiting one of the many pool and mineral springresorts. 

Recommended by Monica of This Rare Earth 

20. Red Rock Canyon State Park

day trips from Las Vegas view of red rock canyon state park orange and tan rocky landscape
Red Rock Canyon State Park

Distance from Las Vegas: 240 miles / 3 hours, 41 minutes

Did you know there are actually 2 Red Rock Canyons to escape to as a day trip from Las Vegas?

Not to be confused with the National Conservation Area just a few minutes outside of Vegas, Red Rock Canyon State Park is a 3.5 hour drive from Las Vegas. While it’s a long drive for a day trip, it’s doable starting before sunrise and driving back at sunset.

Located in Cantil, California, Red Rock Canyon State Park is part of the Mojave Desert. Once you’re there, you’ll be surrounded by stunning Joshua Trees and get a breathtaking view of sandstone cliffs as far as the eye can see.

Enjoy activities such as rock climbing, picnicking, easy nature walks, as well as beginner canyoneering. Best of all, you won’t find huge crowds here, so enjoy the peaceful escape from the city.

Recommended by Cassie of Cassie’s Compass

21. Grand Staircase Escalante (another favorite on this list of day trips from Las Vegas)

zebra slot canyon striped wavy canyon
Zebra Slot Canyon, Grand Staircase Escalante

Distance from Las Vegas: 213 miles / 3 hours, 26 minutes

Grand Staircase Escalante is a fun and unique day trip from Las Vegas. If you’re looking to hike some really cool slot canyons, Grand Staircase is the place to do it.

A 3.5 hour drive from Vegas, there are a few different slot canyons located within Grand Staircase Escalante to visit. One of the most famous is Zebra Slot Canyon, a canyon that has stripes along the wall making it look like the stripes on a zebra!

Besides hiking the slot canyons in the area, there are plenty of other amazing trails to hike in this area. To get to Grand Staircase Escalante, head northeast on I-15 towards St. George, once in St. George depending on where you want to go in Grand Staircase either head towards Kanab or head towards Bryce Canyon.

The roads inside of Grand Staircase aren’t paved and a lot of the roads require you to have a 4×4 vehicle. Make sure to always check with the visitor centers nearby in Kanab and Escalante before heading out to make sure the weather and roads are safe for exploring.

Recommended by Jessica of Unearth the Voyage

22. Alabama Hills (one of the most scenic things to do near Las Vegas)

alabama hills with snow capped mountains and road
Alabama Hills

Distance from Las Vegas: 246 miles / 4 hours, 13 minutes

Alabama Hills, California is an underrated destination that’s gained in popularity over the last decade or so. A long day trip from Las Vegas, it can be done in a single day with an early morning and late night, or better yet, as a weekend getaway from Las Vegas!

With expansive views of these smooth rocky formations, there’s quite a bit to see and do in Alabama Hills. Movie Road is aptly named based on the volume of films that have been shot here. Drive down it and recognize scenes from Iron Man and Gladiator, just to name a few.

There’s plenty of hiking opportunities in Alabama Hills, too. Grab your hiking shoes and head to the famous Mobius Arch, coming in at less than one mile. Or explore views of the snow-capped mountains on the Upper Alabama Hills Trail to Cyclops Skull Arch.

Recommended by me – Nikki of She Saves She Travels

Best day trips from Las Vegas

things to do outside of vegas car driving down winding road with mountains in distance
So many scenic spots to see near Las Vegas!

Well, that’s a wrap! The area surrounding Las Vegas is full of fun and activities for all ages. Whether you’ve got just one day trip from Vegas or have a few days to explore the area, you’ll find something amazing to do with your time!

Let’s take a look at those adventures again, in a quick list…

Places to visit near Las Vegas

  1. Red Rock Canyon
  2. Valley of Fire State Park
  3. Kanarra Falls
  4. Lake Mead
  5. Zion National Park
  6. Hoover Dam
  7. Grand Canyon from Las Vegas via helicopter
  8. Emerald Cave kayaking
  9. Mojave National Preserve
  10. UTV adventure at the McCullough Mountains
  11. Death Valley National Park
  12. Spring Mountain Ranch State Park
  13. Seven Magic Mountains
  14. South Rim of the Grand Canyon
  15. Horseshoe Bend
  16. Bryce Canyon National Park
  17. Joshua Tree National Park
  18. Antelope Canyon
  19. Palm Springs
  20. Red Rock Canyon State Park
  21. Grand Staircase Escalante
  22. Alabama Hills

Related content you might like:
20 BIG Adventure Vacations in the US Not to Miss
28 Absolutely Best National Parks to Visit in Summer
100 Most Romantic Vacations in the United States You’ll Love

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22 incredible day. trips from Las Vegas with photos of canyons Zion Grand Canyon grand staircase Escalante

wanderwithbelle

Sunday 29th of January 2023

I love Vegas and have been there a numerous of times!! Thanks for sharing these great tips.

Nikki

Wednesday 1st of February 2023

Welcome Belle. Thanks for your comment and visiting the blog! :)

Lisa

Monday 23rd of January 2023

Vegas itself isn't really on my list of places to visit, but I'd love to do all of these daytrips!

Nikki

Tuesday 24th of January 2023

Agreed! Every time I go to Vegas, I leave Vegas 🤣

Terri

Saturday 17th of December 2022

I am not a big fan of Las Vegas so I love the idea of trying some of these road trips on the next time I attend a conference in Nevada. I love the rugged landscape.

Nikki

Monday 19th of December 2022

Same, same Terri! Each time I visit Vegas I have to get out 🤣 Have fun on your next non-Vegas adventure!

anukrati

Saturday 17th of December 2022

Interesting read. Emerald cave kayaking looks so relaxing.

Nikki

Monday 19th of December 2022

Totally agree, Anukrati! I hope you get to try it sometime.

Lisa

Friday 16th of December 2022

Some great ideas here, and some wonderful photos too!

Nikki

Monday 19th of December 2022

Glad you found this helpful :)