When you think Las Vegas, you probably picture sensory overload, from flashing neon lights to all the noises of a never-sleeping crowd. But beyond the well-trodden Las Vegas Strip is a world of natural splendor and downright serenity that nature-lovers will adore. If you feel more at home among rocks and trees than on glittering city streets, check out these picks for an outdoorsy Las Vegas weekend.
Once you’re landed and settled, head to Culinary Dropout in the Hard Rock Hotel to fill up for a long day. This concept from Phoenix-based Sam Fox is full of hearty goodies to keep you energized. We definitely recommend the pretzel bites and fondue.
Pack up and drive to Red Rocks Canyon, a stunning natural conservancy only 20 minutes away. Here you’ll find hiking trails for all levels, from the beginner’s Calico Tanks Trail to the strenuous Turtlehead Peak Trail. If you prefer biking over hiking, explore the 13-mile scenic drive which features several lookout points.
For dinner, indulge at Harvest, the Bellaggio’s ultra-sustainable dining concept. Head Chef Roy Ellamar hails from Hawaii and brings a respect for the land that you’ll appreciate after a full weekend outdoors. From drinks that look like an herb garden to plates filled with local ingredients, it’s just the meal to wrap up a long day.
Wake up early and get ready for a full day. Your agenda includes a kayaking tour down the mighty Colorado River. Explore Lake Mead and Black Canyon, both incredibly scenic spots near the Hoover Dam, before taking a side excursion into the famed green waters of Emerald Cave. Tour company Blazin’ Paddles offers half-day, full-day and full-moon excursions depending on your preference.
Courtesy of Sundance Helicopters
Return to your hotel and freshen up before getting picked up for a helicopter sunset tour. Sundance Helicopters offers several flight tours, but you can’t beat the sunset tours. Fly to the Grand Canyon or to nearby Red Rocks Canyon for a gorgeous sunset and picnic. End the night flying over the lights of the Strip.
After showering, feed those hunger pangs at Good Pie. The Brooklyn-style pizza diner is low-key and delicious. With authentic, imported Italian ingredients, you’ll go to bed happy and satisfied.
This morning will bring you to nearby Boulder City, Nevada for a ziplining adventure. Flightlinez will send you out over Bootleg Canyon for over 1.5 miles of zip line over the course of four separate runs. Spot wildlife like bighorn sheep and hawks while you take in a stunning view like no other. It’s the perfect final activity to close our your weekend.
If you visit in the winter, you’ll also want to add skiing at Mount Charleston to your list of activities. And if you stick around longer than the weekend, add day trips to Death Valley or the Grand Canyon to your list.
Check out some of our other Las Vegas Weekend Itineraries!