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Scenic Las Vegas Outdoor Recreation
Just A Short Drive Away
Nevada is the most mountainous of all states, 314 identified ranges and fourth in biodiversity. Such diverse terrain is also ideal for adventurous vistors and southern Nevadans. The state offers a surprising number of outdoor recreation opportunities and most are only a short drive away from Las Vegas.
Red Rock Canyon Hikers
The closest, located just 15 miles west of the Strip, is Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, which offers a 13-mile scenic drive, hiking, biking, and rock climbing. A visitor center at the base of the scenic drive offers in-depth, interactive information about the area's history, recreation, geology, wildlife and vegetation. Red Rock Canyon, spanning some 197,000 acres, features colorful sandstone formations, canyons and a spring, and is home to a variety of wildlife, including bobcats, desert bighorn sheep and wild burros. The latter are said to be the descendents of animals used by miners in the early 1900's.
Red Rock Canyon Red Rock Canyon Red Rock Canyon
For alpine attractions, residents can drive to Mount Charleston, 35 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Located in the Toiyabe National Forest, Mount Charleston features panoramic views, horseback riding and hiking trails. At 12,000 feet, the mountain has the distinction of being the third-highest peak in Nevada. Mount Charleston is also home to a variety of and picnic areas. The Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort at Lee Canyon offers ski runs for all skill levels.
Mount Charleston Lee Canyon Mount Charleston
An easy 55-mile drive from Las Vegas, the Valley of Fire State Park is Nevada's oldest and biggest state park. The Valley of Fire takes its name from fiery sandstone formations, which were formed by shifting sand dunes. The geology is similar to Red Rock, but the area also offers a glimpse into early Native American cultures. It was frequently visited by the ancient Basket Maker people and Anasazi, who used the area for hunting and religious ceremonies. Excellent examples of their rock art and petroglyphs are found throughout the area.
Valley of Fire Valley of Fire Valley of Fire
Lake Mead National Recreation Area and Hoover Dam is a 30-mile ride east of Las Vegas for those interested in water sports. The lake is the world's largest man-made reservoir and provides a wide variety of year-round recreational activities, including boating, swimming, hiking, scuba diving and sport fishing. The 1.5-million acre recreation area that surrounds the lake is equally unique. Three of the nation's four desert ecosystems meet here - the Great Basin, and the Mojave and Sonoran deserts. More...

Lake Mead Hoover Dam Lake Mead
For more scenic wonders, the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is a day drive (300 miles) southeast of Las Vegas in Arizona. The canyon, carved by the Colorado River, is one mile deep, more than 200 miles long, and varies in width from four to 18 miles. The South Rim is open to visitors year round and features walking trails and mule trips. It also has restaurants, lodging and a visitor center. Geology of the Grand Canyon .

Grand Canyon Grand Canyon Grand Canyon
For those looking for a destination that has a bit of everything, Zion National Park in Utah fits the bill. The 229-square-mile park is a 2- 1/2-hour ride from Las Vegas and features many scenic waterfalls, and canyons carved by the Virgin River. It is home to 75 species of mammals, including mountain lions and mule deer, 271 different birds and 32 species of reptiles and amphibians. Zion also has an array of recreational opportunities, including camping, biking, backpacking, canyoneering, climbing, swimming and tubing. Like most areas, amateur photographers can capture the countless scenic views. In Zion, the Kolob Arch - at a span of 310 feet - is the largest natural arch in the world and one of the park's most famous landmarks.

One hour further away, Bryce Canyon National Park is a must-see for visitors to Utah. The area is a geologic wonder - its colorful limestone has been carved by erosion into thousands and thousands of arches, spires and mazes, called hoodoos. Visitors won't want to miss the canyon's Grand Staircase, which is a series of colored sandstone cliffs, in order of age, stretching between Bryce and the Grand Canyon.

Zion Canyon Bryce Canyon Zion Canyon
As with any outdoor recreation, these southern Nevada getaways are beautiful but challenging. Safety should always come first so visitors should always bring plenty of water and dress for the season. Enjoy the beauty, but get home safely to talk about it.
More Attractions, Activities and Las Vegas Fun

Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon, Mt. Charleston and Valley of Fire
Lake Mead and Hoover Dam
Bryce and Zion Canyons
More Attractions, Activities and Las Vegas Fun
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