Red Rock Canyon with sun peeking over mountains

Las Vegas Outdoor Activities: Explore Red Rock Canyon, Lake Mead and More  

If your idea of a good time is hiking through areas of outstanding natural beauty, exploring stunning national parks, climbing or relaxing on a luxury houseboat, you’re in luck! While Las Vegas is probably not the first place that comes to mind, you can do all these things and more in Nevada. The big bonus is that all of these great options are close to the big city energy of Las Vegas.

Las Vegas is the largest city within the greater Mojave Desert and sits within the Las Vegas Valley. Entirely surrounded by mountain ranges, the area offers a beautiful mix of activities for those who enjoy exploring nature. Here are a few of the fun and exciting ways you can get out into nature and still stay close enough to civilization to have a rockin’ good time in Las Vegas.

Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon, a national conservation area, lies approximately 15 miles west of the city. It can be viewed from the Las Vegas strip and hosts three million visitors annually. There is something for everyone with plenty to do, including several hiking trails, scenic drives and climbing.

Hikes and Trails

With 26 hiking trails, Red Rock Canyon offers something for all abilities. A selection of hiking trails includes:

  • Moenkopi Loop – An easy 2-mile and 1.5-hour trail where you can spot fossils and local plant life, this trail allows you a leisurely stroll through the stunning natural features of the canyon.
  • Pine Canyon Creek – 2 miles, approximately 2.5 hours and a moderate difficulty level; this hike takes you through the wonders of the canyon and its plant life and geological formations.
  • Kraft Mountain Loop Hike – This one is for the adventurous amongst you and probably only best attempted by those with experience in climbing and hiking. Rated as strenuous, the Kraft Mountain Loop Hike starts at Sandstone Drive and takes a trail through Craft Mountain. This is well worth the challenge, featuring intense inclines and rock scrambling, at 3.5 miles long and taking an estimated 3 hours to complete.

More to Do In Red Rock Canyon

The national park also offers a variety of ways to explore the area; these include:

Nevada Hunting, Fishing and Shooting

Most of Nevada’s public land is open for hunting. Check the Nevada Department of Wildlife for further information on hunting, fishing and shooting and what permits are needed.

The Valley of Fire State Park

North of Las Vegas, the Valley of Fire State Park boasts 40,000 acres of sandstone and limestone formations. With a mix of hiking trails and camping, you can explore the area at your leisure.

Scooter Tours

Looking for a fun way to explore the land around Las Vegas? Scooter tours offer a gentle way to do that. Lasting 3 or more hours, prepare for a day out and about accompanied by experienced tour guides who will show you the most exciting spots in the region.

Lake Mead and Lake Mohave

Lake Mohave and Lake Mead are two connected reservoirs on the Colorado River. Lake Mohave was created when the nearby Davis Dam was completed in 1953; it is 67 miles long and connects to the Hoover Dam. With an average depth of 75 ft and approximately 200,000 acre-feet of water, the reservoir spans Arizona and Nevada. It’s connected to Lake Mead, the larger of the two reservoirs, which sits closer to the Hoover Dam and is to the north of Lake Mohave.

Both lakes sit in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and are surrounded by several hiking trails. There is plenty to do if you are interested in water sports, with boating, swimming, fishing and more available across four marinas on Lake Mead.

Rent a Houseboat and Relax in Style

After a long day’s hike or time spent exploring the fantastic landscape surrounding Vegas, there is no better way to relax than on a luxury houseboat. Cottonwood Cove Resort and Marina on Lake Mohave offers luxury accommodations, boat rentals, camping and has an RV park.

At Cottonwood Cove, we offer a selection of houseboats sleeping between 6 and 12 people, depending on which model you book. Each boat has fully equipped kitchen facilities, at least one bathroom, multiple bedrooms depending on the model, a dining area, a bbq area, TV, DVD and CD player, and a patio area with table and chairs.

Using the boat as a base, you can explore all that the lake offers.

Rent a Small Boat

You can also rent a small boat or watercraft from us here at Cottonwood Cove, allowing you to explore Lake Mead and the surrounding land. Whether you want to fish or simply enjoy the waterways, you’re sure to enjoy the temperate weather and beautiful scenery.

The Historic Railroad Trail

Close to the Lake Mead visitor center, the historic railroad trail is a gentle walk along an out-of-use railroad track. The trail is 7.5 miles through the beautiful Nevada countryside and offers views across Lake Mead, winding through 5 railway tunnels toward the Hoover Dam. The trail is pet-friendly and an absolute must for history lovers.

Wetlands Park Nature Reserve

Wetlands Park Nature Reserve is a must-visit for the bird lovers around you. Home to more than 280 species of birds, with walking trails and more, it’s a lovely spot to spend time with the family.

Drive a Supercar

If you’re an adrenaline junky, Speedvegas is the place for you. Offering a mix of go-karting, supercar driving experience and off-roading, Speedvegas provides a fun-filled day for the most adventurous.

Visit Las Vegas and Spend Time Exploring Nature

Vegas isn’t just about the strip; there is much to see and do in the surrounding area. Come visit us at Cottonwood Cove Resort and Marina and see all that Las Vegas and the surrounding area have to offer. If you have any questions, please call us today at 855-918-5253 or fill out the quick contact form on our website.

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