Busy parents sometimes tend to put everybody else’s needs before their own, but rest and relaxation are important to keep you cheerful and energized. Here is a list of some great day trips to take—with or without the family—to temporarily escape the busy city of North Las Vegas, Nevada, so you can relax and recharge.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Red Rock Canyon is a 23-minute drive from Las Vegas and is notable for being Nevada’s first National Conservation Area. When you want to get away from the neon lights of Vegas, Red Rock Canyon offers a beautiful escape where you’re surrounded by stunning rock formations, plants, and wildlife. There are over 26 miles of trails with varying difficulty levels to explore on foot or on mountain bikes. You can also go rock climbing or horseback riding.
If you want to just enjoy the amazing vistas, there’s a 13-mile scenic route to drive, or you can spend time eating and relaxing in one of the picnic areas. Red Rock Canyon also has a visitor center with both indoor and outside exhibits and guided hikes available. There are ancient rock carvings, or petroglyphs, estimated to be over 800 years old to see near the Willow Springs picnic area. It costs $15 per vehicle to enter Red Rock Canyon.
Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire State Park is Nevada’s oldest state park and it’s about an hour’s drive from Las Vegas. Getting its name from its fiery red sandstone, Valley of Fire is a scenic landscape that looks ablaze in sunlight. Nature lovers and photographers will enjoy visiting this amazing park with its endless breathtaking views.
There are many things along with the rock dune formations to explore, such as the amazing petroglyphs on Atlatl Rock. You can visit different areas and rock formations in the park, such as Fire Wave Trail or Elephant Rock.
It costs $10 per vehicle to enter for hiking, rock climbing, or to drive through the park. For $20 you can camp by tent or for $30 there’s a full hookup for overnight stays. There is a visitor center with interpretive displays for guests to help you find trails or interesting spots to visit in the park.
While Hoover Dam is a very popular attraction and a wonderful day trip of its own, if you go a little past the dam you’ll find yourself in Boulder City, Nevada. There are so many attractions in Boulder City that you can easily spend a whole day or two there and not run out of interesting things to do.
Some of the top attractions to visit in Boulder City are Hemenway Park, the Boulder Beach Campground, and the Boulder City Antique Market. There is also a historic railroad trail to explore, and you can learn all about the Hoover Dam and its construction at the Boulder City Hoover Dam Museum. You can also visit the Nevada Southern Railroad Museum. There is enough to do in Boulder City that it is worth an overnight trip, where you can stay at the historic Boulder Dam Hotel.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
The Lake Mead National Recreation Area, just over a half-hour’s drive from Las Vegas, is one of the largest man-made lakes in the world. Today it’s the largest national recreation area in the U.S., according to its website, and contains over 1.5 million acres of area to explore. There are two lakes, canyons, valleys, and mountains, and nine wilderness areas to explore in this vast recreation area. For an enjoyable day trip, you can swim, hike, boat or kayak, cycle, or fish. You can even go scuba diving in the freshwater lake. Camp at the park to make this an overnight getaway.
Guided tours of the lake are available, and there are many shaded areas for sitting, reading, or resting. There are also plenty of picnic and beach areas on the 820 miles of shoreline. It costs $25 per vehicle for an access pass that’s valid for seven consecutive days.
If you want to really feel like you’re getting away, but drive less than an hour to do so, you can visit Mount Charleston where you can escape the heat of the city and see snow on the mountain peaks.
In the summer months, you can enjoy hiking, camping, or horseback riding. In the fall, check out Gilcrease Orchard on the mountainside for apple and pumpkin picking and to try their homemade apple cider. In the winter months, you can ski or snowboard and warm up in front of a cozy fire. The kids can play outside in the snow at the Foxtail Picnic Area or the Old Mill Picnic Area, both of which have ample parking, heated bathrooms, and fire pits to warm up by. There are concession stands selling sleds, gloves, and hot chocolate.
Unless you pay for skiing, concessions, or sleds, this is a free excursion.
Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area
Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area is half an hour away from Vegas and it contains Nevada’s most famous petroglyphs. According to their website, there are over 48,000 acres of land in the Sloan Canyon area, which includes the North McCullough Wilderness. You can see the beautiful mountains in the distance while you reconnect with nature for hours, surrounded by a breathtaking landscape. You can also go hiking, biking, or horseback riding at Sloan Canyon.
With hundreds of ancient drawings preserved in the red rock of this canyon, exploring the Sloan Canyon Petroglyph Trail can be a thought-provoking experience. Petroglyph Canyon is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and visitors must sign in before venturing onto the trail to the canyon. Crème de la Crème of Las Vegas wants to remind you that it’s important to make time for relaxation. Getting away from the busy city and witnessing the awe-inspiring natural beauty of Nevada can be an excellent way to recharge. Let us know if you explore one of these attractions, or if there’s another nearby favorite spot that you enjoy visiting for rest and rejuvenation.