Having exhausted your energy and money at the slot machines in Las Vegas, it will be a big relief to go outdoors and breathe in fresh air. Thankfully, there are quite a few options in this respect, but here are the most liked – places where you won’t find a casino full of smoke.
The Grand Canyon
Nobody visiting Las Vegas would like to miss visiting the Grand Canyon. Extending over a length of 275 miles, with a depth of more than a mile, and nearly twenty miles across at some places, you’ll be wonderstruck by its natural wonder. You would need to leave the Strip early morning and come back late at night. Well, you have the option of staying overnight at a country lodge or perhaps pitch in a tent at the camping ground of the park.
Valley of Fire & Lake Mead
You can access the Valley of Fire State Park on taking I-15, north of the Strip, while leaving behind all the casinos. The red rock background typifies the splendor of the Southwest like what you would have seen in the death scene of Captain Kirk in the movie Star Trek: Generations, or the Mars storyline in Total Recall with Arnold Schwarzenegger. The valley was created by early sand dunes, odd sized and shaped battered rock formations, given fanciful names such as the Duck Rock and Beehives. You may like examining the Atlatl Rock and look for petro glyphs, behind by Puebloan peoples, who lived here ages ago. As sun sets over the park, the entire landscape becomes flaming red. During the summer, the day temperature goes beyond 100°F, and you should best avoid visiting at that time.
Red Rock Canyon
When you are short of time and can spare just an afternoon, you should surely consider visiting the Mojave Desert on the western part of the Strip. Spread over an area of 195,000-acre, the Red Rock Canyon was formed when rocks from the Primitive Ocean got pushed up via cracks in the surface of the earth. You’ll find the canyon like a multicolored geological cake. Here, you’ll see Sandstone cliffs with inscriptions from primeval Native American petro glyphs, waterfalls springing out from rocks that attract birds and bighorn sheep. You may go around the park’s 13 miles circumference on a bicycle. The visitors’ favorite activities include hiking and climbing.
While driving to the Grand Canyon, you’ll hit Hoover Dam within one hour of your drive from the Strip. Constructed during the Depression era of the 1930s, it was the world’s highest dam at one time. It was devised to mange the flooding caused by the powerful Colorado River. More than one million people depend on the power generated by this dam. You could watch the working of its massive turbines on traveling through its underground elevators. You may simply walk on top of the dam that spans over Arizona/Nevada state line. There is also a bypass bridge for pedestrians who may like going up the outdoor stairs to experience the strong winds, or getting better views of the Black Canyon. Boulder City River Riders organize guided kayak tours, in case you are interested to look up at the structure of the dam from the ground level. By pedaling downstream, you can find waterfalls and hot springs, which are not visible otherwise.