In this city open 24/24 and 7/7, where it is possible to spend your entire visit at your hotel, many visitors will not be far from your expensive accommodation, the sumptuous pool bar, the fascinating casino or even the lively dance floor. However, the wise and knowledgeable (that’s you! You will leave the Strip to discover the spectacular beauty of the landscapes around Las Vegas.
Forged by tectonics, sculpted by the wind and baked by the desert sun, vast canyons and plains, epic mountains and alpine forests invite you to exchange the distractions of humanity for the warm embrace of nature. So if you’re adventurous enough to go beyond the city lights, here are some of the best parks in Las Vegas.
If you just want to get some fresh air and get off the strip, but don’t want to travel too far, Springs Preserve is the best choice. It’s a literal oasis in the desert and one of the most kid-friendly attractions in Vegas.
On the site of the natural springs (which dried up in 1962) that fed Las Vegas (“the meadows”), where southern Paiutes and Spanish trail traders camped, and after Mormon missionaries and Western pioneers settled in the valley, this educational complex is an incredible journey through historical, cultural and biological time. The touchstone is the Desert Living Center, which demonstrates sustainable architectural design and environmentally friendly living in everyday life.
Outside the main buildings, where desert gardens with more than 30,000 plants thrive, you enter DesertSol, a model house with ultra-efficient solar energy. Nearly 4 miles of nature trails are marked with interpretive exhibits reconstructing Nevada’s heritage, from Native Americans to European settlers. Take a train ride or rent a bike on weekends to explore them.
The nature reserve is also home to the Nevada State Museum, where you can explore other educational exhibits, and the Origen Museum, where you can see exhibits on the history of Las Vegas, Native American dwellings at the arrival of the railroad and the construction of the Hoover Dam.
Red Rock Canyon is only 13 miles from the central strip and three miles from Summerlin.
The spectacular views are adored by the locals of Las Vegas and adored by visitors from all over the world. Formed by extreme tectonic forces, the canyon, whose 3,000-foot-high red rock face rises steeply from the valley floor, is believed to have formed about 65 million years ago. A 13-mile one-way scenic drive offers fascinating views of the canyon’s most striking features. Hiking trails and climbing routes radiate from the roadside parking lots.
Spring Mountain Ranch State Park is located in Red Rock Canyon and offers nature walks, ranch tours, and historical exhibits. The park was originally used as a ranch in the 1860s and was once owned by billionaire Howard Hughes.
Spring Mountains National Recreation Area
West of Las Vegas, the limestone cliffs and alpine wooded peaks of the High Spring Mountains undeniably rise above the Mojave Desert. The Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway is a modern, state-of-the-art interpretive center offering educational dioramas, exhibits, and artwork. Make it your first stop to explore the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area section of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. The rangers are ready to guide you to your ideal forest experience.
Things to do near Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Park
It’s a big surprise for many visitors to the often dazzling and often dissolute Las Vegas, but southern Nevada has deep roots in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a faith with a definitely conservative culture. Believers from Utah established a camp in the 1850s near a spring-fed stream. Although it was leaved within a few years, today’s visitors can get an idea of the harsh life in the Mojave Desert that the first pioneers faced during this restoration.
Hotels near Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument
Until about 20,000 years ago, Las Vegas was filled with lush vegetation and freshwater lakes that were now home to extinct creatures such as Colombian mammoths, giant sloths and North American lions. Their fossils were deposited along the now dry northern edge of the valley. The Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument was created to protect the area. It is not developed, so there is no visitor center or hiking trails. But lovers of paleontology can walk around with a camera.
The main access point is located along suburban roads in a parking lot about 14 miles north of Summerlin. This is a completely exposed area, so bring sunscreen and plenty of water.
Things to do near Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs
Floyd Lamb Park in Tule Springs is a huge water-filled oasis with 680 acres of vegetation, wildlife and history in northwest Las Vegas. The large ponds attract many birds.