Las Vegas is known worldwide for its legalized gambling and never-ending partying. However, there is much more to discover about this city. Its natural side and surrounding areas are usually outweighed by the glimmering lights. It has beautiful greenery, ski slopes, unusual hiking grounds and lake activities. Moreover, this is where one of the world’s seven natural wonders can be reached from a mere half hour drive to five hours, depending on mode of transportation.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Nearly four hours northeast of the city is Bryce Canyon, where sightseeing is incomparable with its deep red, tan, golden and white tall rock spires, as well as arches giving a spectacular contrast to the clear blue skies and green forest. Absorb its bewitching rock towers and vistas or go hiking. Try and get a glimpse of a pronghorn antelope, mountain lion or other wildlife varieties. During winter, cross-country skiers also frequent the Bryce Canyon.
Zion National Park
Just a 2-1/2 hour drive from Vegas is one of the world’s most beautiful parks. Zion National Park is rich with remarkable hiking trails, cliffs that stand 3,000 feet tall and colorful sandstone. It boasts of beautiful carvings and the world’s largest sandstone walls.
Lake Mead is among the largest man-made lakes worldwide. You can reach it in less than an hour, as it is located southeast of the Strip. Enjoy fun activities like swimming, boating, water-skiing, fishing or kayaking in Lake Mead waters, or hike in the surrounding area. It has shaded picnic places, RV camping grounds, hookups and three marinas. Brunch, dinner and sightseeing cruises are for those who love a romantic getaway or partying.
Death Valley National Park
Death Valley, which is only two hours away from Las Vegas, is comparable to a museum that speaks of geological history, Old West remnants, contemporary exhibits, as well as some plant life. On your way to Death Valley, you could stop at China Ranch, where a working family harvests dates. Another place to visit is the Spanish mission-styled Scotty’s Castle, known for its 1927 Welte theatre organ. The park has its headquarters in Furnace Creek that has a visitor’s center and lots of lodging for those who want to stay longer.
Grand Canyon, which is also one of the world’s seven natural wonders, is only around four to five hours away by car from Las Vegas, though you can get there in less than an hour by helicopter or airplane. The most visited part of this place and also the widest, deepest and most accessible is the South rim. In addition to its scenic spots and historic man-made architecture, such as the El Tovar Hotel and Desert View Watchtower, this is where you will find the Visitor’s Center, restaurants, gift shop and lodging. A lot of visitors want to discover the Grand Canyon on their own, but there are many guided tours via airplane, helicopter, bus, jeep and other means of transportation.