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12 Fun Day Trips from Las Vegas

There are plenty of things to do in Las Vegas, but sometimes you just want to get out of the city for a day while you’re there.

Las Vegas is an awesome base for taking day trips to some of the most beautiful parks and attractions in the western US.

If you’re in Las Vegas for more than a night or 2, I highly recommend setting aside time for a day trip. Need some ideas?

Check out these 12 fun day trips from Las Vegas.

Area 51 from Las Vegas

If you’re in Vegas, chances are weird and bizarre is something you’re open to.

If so, Area 51 is one of those day trips from Las Vegas that’ll be right up your alley.

The day trip to Area 51 includes a road trip along the Extraterrestrial Highway, aka Route 375. Stop in Rachel, NV, which is a little over 2 hours North of Las Vegas, for organized tours.

Who knows, maybe you’ll spot a UFO or meet an alien!

Bryce Canyon Tours from Las Vegas

Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah is one of several U.S. National Parks you can visit on a day trip from Las Vegas.

It’s about a 4 hour drive, so it’ll be a long day – but it’s totally worth it!

Overlooking the red rock hoodoos from Sunset Point at Bryce Canyon National Park
Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

Bryce Canyon sets its self apart from the more popular canyon destination, Grand Canyon National Park, due to its spike-like rock formations called hoodoos.

They’re kinda spooky and beautiful at the same time, no?

Death Valley National Park from Las Vegas

Death Valley National Park is a vast desert in the U.S. that is one of the hottest places in the world.

Landscape photo of sand dunes at Death Valley National Park
Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

If you make the 2-hour trek out here, make sure you prepare for the intense elements. Bring lots of water, sunscreen, and a shady hat.

Grand Canyon trips from Las Vegas

Grand Canyon National Park is probably the US National Park Service’s most well-known park.

Close up of the Grand Canyon with dark and cloudy skies

I’ve been to the Grand Canyon twice, and personally I think it deserves more than a day trip.

However, it can absolutely be done in a day from Las Vegas.

There are 2 Grand Canyon day trips from Las Vegas that are popular: Grand Canyon National Park (4 hours from Las Vegas) and the Grand Canyon Skywalk (~2 hours from Las Vegas).

NOTE: The Skywalk is not part of the official Grand Canyon National Park, as it is located on Hualapai reservation land.

You’ll still be able to see beautiful views of the Grand Canyon from the Skywalk, nonetheless.

Hoover Dam tours from Las Vegas

The Hoover Dam is a mere 45 minutes from Las Vegas, making it one of the shortest days trips from Las Vegas.

Photo of a helicopter hovering over the Hoover Dam Intake Tower Bridge.

If you don’t want to be gone all day, this is a great day trip for you!

Lake Mead from Las Vegas

If you’re looking for a day trip in the great outdoors, but want a short commute, Lake Mead National Recreation Area is the perfect pick.

Landscape photo of the barren shoreline at Lake Mead during a drought.
Photo by Andy Pernick, Bureau of Reclamation, courtesy of the Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperation.

Located next to the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead National Recreation Area offers plenty to do, such as picnicking, hiking, camping, and boating.

Mojave National Preserve

Mojave National Preserve in California is a little over 1.5 hours from Las Vegas, making it another good pick for an outdoorsy day trip with a short commute.

Landscape of the Mojave Desert with tiny silhouettes of people climbing the sand

The Mojave National Preserve has camping, hiking, horseback riding, and other outdoor activities.

Mount Charleston from Las Vegas

Not only does Mount Charleston offer hiking, but skiing as well.

Landscape photo of Mount Charleston in Nevada

Yes, really! It might not look it based on the photo above, but you really can ski at Mount Charleston. 

Who knew you could go from sandy, dry Las Vegas to skiing in a day?

Mount Charleston is about an hour Northwest from Las Vegas.

Better pack your skis next time you head to Las Vegas!

Red Rock Canyon from Las Vegas

There are a ton of things to do in Red Rock Canyon, a mere 17-miles from Las Vegas.

Landscape photo of rusty red rock formations set against a cloudy sky.

You can go rock climbing, hiking, biking, horseback riding, and much more. You can even get married there!

Route 66 road trip

Get your kicks on Route 66 in a road trip through some of the most interesting small towns in the west, such as Seligman, AZ.

An oddly shaped solar vehicle drives down Route 66, which is painted on the pavement.

Seligman was allegedly the inspiration for the fictional town of Radiator Springs in Disney’s hit movie, Cars.

Valley of Fire from Las Vegas

The Valley of Fire gets its name from the bright red Aztec sandstone that swirls through limestone almost like marble. It is a sight to see!

Landscape photo of the canyons at Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada with perfect blue skies.

This beautiful park is only about an hour Northeast from Las Vegas.

Zion National Park from Las Vegas

Zion National Park is about 2.5 hours Northeast from Las Vegas.

It’s not a super short day trip, like Red Rocks, but shorter than the Grand Canyon or Bryce Canyon for sure.

Landscape of an entrance for Zion National Park with perfect blue skies, trees with yellow and orange leaves, and rock formations in the background.

There are lots of fun outdoor activities at Zion National Park.

Hiking and climbing or canyoneering are the most popular.

But you can also just admire the beautiful scenery on a leisurely walk, too.

Which day trips from Las Vegas are on your itinerary?

Let me know in the comments below what your favorite day trips are.

Up next, check out more of my favorite travel tips for Las Vegas and beyond:

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