Traveling to Las Vegas
The Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) is located a quick 15 minute drive from the Strip. Flights go in and out of McCarran daily and it will be your best bet for travel.
You can also drive to Las Vegas from nearby cities like Los Angeles (4-5 hours drive) or St. George (2 hours drive).
What to Do in Las Vegas
Most people come to Las Vegas for the entertainment like the famous casinos, world-class shows and high-end restaurants. And it’s easy to see why!
Casinos like the Wynn, Venetian, Cosmopolitan and Bellagio are world famous. In 2021, the brand new Resorts World also opened up.
Here are some of my favorite things to do when visiting Las Vegas.
Walk around the Casinos
Every casino in Las Vegas has its own theme. Some of the more grand casinos like the Bellagio also have extravagant displays that make for some good sightseeing!
Here are my two favorite casinos to visit:
The Bellagio is one of the classiest casinos on the strip. Catered towards more adults, this hotel is based off of Bellagio in Lake Como, Italy. They are perhaps most famous for their Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. The Gardens are a beautiful display of flowers and art. Every year, they will change their display 5 times for Chinese New Year, Winter, Spring, Fall and Summer.
Resorts World is brand new and many visitors will have never seen it before. For this reason alone, it’s a great one to check out! There isn’t really a main theme of Resorts World other than a grand fantasy. I highly recommend checking this new property out!
Go to a Dayclub
Day clubbing was also made popular in the U.S. by Las Vegas. In recent years, some venues like Kaos have had their struggles, but they are finally turning around with the re-opening of Las Vegas in 2021. Here are some of my favorites:
Encore Beach Club
‘EBC’ is always a good pick. It is one of the largest dayclubs which means more space for you and your group. They also always have good DJs rotating in the peak summer months.
Brand new as of 2020, Stadium Swim is both an outdoor sports bar and dayclub in Downtown Fremont Street. They have DJs here but the focus is definitely sports! Whether you are watching UFC, NFL, or the Golden Knights, there is always a fun crowd here.
I always tell people that I love Las Vegas for hiking but this tends to surprise them. Las Vegas is so often connected with gambling, entertainment, and splurging that people forget it is surrounded by mountains and unique landscapes!
The Best Hikes in Las Vegas
Las Vegas has amazing hikes both near the city limits and if you drive a little bit outside of it. The landscape becomes a little more unique the more you leave Sin City, but all of these hikes are some of my favorites – even compared to all of the US!
Here are some of my favorite hikes in Las Vegas, ordered by the nearest distance to The Strip.
- Flagpole Loop – 20 minutes from The Strip
Flagpole Loop is the best dog-friendly, neighborhood hike in Las Vegas. Locals love this hike for it’s 360 views of the Strip and Red Rocks and it’s popular with both hikers and mountain bikers.
The hike itself is 4.8 miles and 600 ft elevation gain which is the perfect length for a good workout. Because it is so close to many parts of Las Vegas, it also won’t take the entire day.
Flagpole Loop is popular during sunrise or sunset for views of the entire Las Vegas area. I highly recommend coming here during sunset!
- Calico Tanks at Red Rock Canyon – 30 minutes from The Strip
Red Rock Canyon is the crown jewel of the proper Las Vegas area. Visitors from all over the world will pair a trip to Red Rocks with their casino adventures.
The park is easy to access and features a 13-mile one-way drive that takes you through the best stops.
There are many hikes to choose from but Calico Tanks will give you the best bang for your buck.
At only 2.2 miles, you can walk around the red rocks and explore with the entire family. It is long enough to feel like you’ve explored the area, but not so long where small children and elderly cannot do it.
Make sure to bring your camera out here. You won’t regret it!
- Gold Strike Hot Springs near Lake Mead – 50 minutes from The Strip
Did you know there are hot springs near Las Vegas?
Once you dive deeper into the hiking scene in Las Vegas, you will discover two popular hot springs hikes near the Colorado River. Although Arizona (Ringbolt) Hot Springs is fun, Gold Strike Hot Springs is my personal favorite as it features lots of fun rope climbs
The hike itself is strenuous as it is 7 miles of rope climbing, scrambling, and climbing on rocks. If you are up for the challenge, you will be rewarded with relaxing hot springs and beautiful views of the cold Colorado River.
Be sure to wear proper shoes with good grip and a change of clothes for the hot springs. Please also make sure to pack out what you pack in. Trash will ruin the allure of Gold Strike Hot Springs
- Mary Jane Falls Trail in Mount Charleston – 55 minutes from The Strip
Head almost an hour west of Las Vegas and you will forget that you were just in the desert. Mount Charleston sits at 7,500 ft and the elevation means you will get a very different landscape at all seasons of the year!
In the winter, Mount Charleston is often snowy and roads may be closed. Then in the spring you will see a wild bloom of wildflowers before the hotter summer season. Finally, fall brings beautiful colors that you would never expect so close to Las Vegas.
There are many hikes to choose from but Mary Jane Falls Trail is my favorite. It is only open from April to December but when the water is flowing it is an awesome hike!
At 4 miles and 1200 ft elevation, this hike is perfect for a couple hours. You will also get great views of the surrounding area – as well as the waterfall at the end.
- Fire Wave at the Valley of Fire – 1 hour from The Strip
Valley of Fire State Park is becoming more and more famous every year – and for good reason! Visitors flock to Valley of Fire to see the crazy rock formations, red color, and of course experience the epic desert sunsets.
The park itself is fairly small and can be explored in one day. Personally I love camping overnight and taking it a bit slower because there are a lot of hidden pockets that you will want to explore.
If you only have time for a few hikes, you need to hike the Fire Wave. The stripes on the rocks create a very interesting visual and truly feels like you are standing on a fire wave.
Make sure to bring plenty of water and sun protection as it gets very hot in the summer and there is no shade.
Read more at The Modern Female Hiker!