15 Best Day trips from Las Vegas

Nevada has so much more to offer outside of Las Vegas. Day trips from Las Vegas are the perfect way to temporarily escape the hustle and bustle of the Sin City. Las Vegas has fun filled options for pretty much any type of person under the sun.

Hermit's Rest at Grand Canyon South Rim
Hermit’s Rest at Grand Canyon South Rim

Every Las Vegas itinerary should allow time for day trips to explore the rest of southern Nevada. These are the best and our favorite day Las Vegas weekend getaways.


15 Best Day trips from Vegas:

  1. Las Vegas Welcome Sign
  2. Hoover Dam
  3. Seven Magic Mountains
  4. Lake Mead
  5. Ghost town Chloride
  6. Grand Canyon West Rim
  7. Joshua Tree Forest
  8. Grand Canyon South Rim
  9. Valley of Fire State Park
  10. Red Rock Canyon
  11. Emerald lake
  12. Death Valley
  13. Zion National Park
  14. Bryce Canyon National Park
  15. Antelope Canyon

Las Vegas Welcome Sign

Every day trip in Vegas starts by visiting the world famous and most instagrammable sign of Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Welcome sign. It is not actually a day trip, just a stop when you start for your day trips.

Las Vegas Welcome sign
Las Vegas Welcome sign

Time required: 15- 20 mins

Entry: Free

Hours: 24 hours

The Las Vegas Sign is free to visit, but there will be a long line to take the photo. Best time to visit in early morning before 9am. The parking is really small which is difficult to find at busy hours. We stopped there at 8am on our way to Hoover Dam and we were second in line.


Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam stands at a whopping 726-feet tall and crosses the Colorado River between Nevada and Arizona. Most travelers visit the Hoover Dam on a day trip from Vegas. Choose from either the 30-minute or 1-hour guided tour that takes you on a raft to view the dam from below.

Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam

Time required: 30- 90 mins

Entry: Entry is free; Dam tour charges $15 per adult

Hours: 9am – 5pm

If you don’t want a tour, it’s free to walk along the top and take in the scenery. There is paid parking right next to the visitor’s center and free parking on the Arizona side if you don’t mind a bit of a trek. We didn’t have much time, so we just stopped to click few pictures.


Seven Magic Mountains

Seven Magic Mountains is an art instillation on the outskirts of Las Vegas less created by a renowned Swiss Artist Ugo Rondinone. It is comprised of 7 pillars of colorful boulders placed on top of one another in the middle of the desert and was created in 2016.

Seven Magic Mountains
Seven Magic Mountains

Time required: 25- 30 mins

Entry: Free

Hours: 24 hours

It was originally supposed to stick around for 2 years but is extended because of the huge number of visitors. Seven Magic Mountains is a perfect place to get the famous instagram photo on your trip to Nevada.


Lake Mead

Just 20 miles from Vegas, the 550 miles of shoreline offer endless recreational opportunities, making Lake Mead one of the best day trips from Las Vegas. While most of Lake Mead is best explored by boat, there are a few land adventures you can have as well.

Lake Mead
Lake Mead

Time required: 25- 30 mins

Entry: $25 per vehicle

Hours: 24 hours

If you’re up for a short hike, you can take a trail to visit the ghost town of St. Thomas. The town was buried when the lake was created, but lower lake levels have exposed the town once again. You’ll need to drive three miles down a dirt road from the Overton Arm area, and then it’s just a short hike to view the townsite.


Ghost town Chloride

Chloride has a history of being the longest continually inhabited mining town in Arizona, with the longest continually operating post office in the state. It was the first incorporated town in Arizona.

Town Chloride sign
Town Chloride sign

Drive around and look at the old houses, restaurants, jail, post office, metal yard art etc. There is an antique store, some tiny shops, a restaurant and the Jim Fritz Museum operated by the Chloride Historical Society. It is open every Saturday, and gun reenactments by the High Desert Drifters are the first and third Saturdays at high noon.

Time required: 30- 40 mins

Entry: Free

Hours: 9am – 5pm

Yesterday's Restaurant
Yesterday’s Restaurant

Yesterdays Restaurant is an oasis in the desert as they serve up more than 120 beers, more than 40 vodkas, an extensive wine list and everything from steaks and seafood to pasta. We stopped there for our brunch.


Grand Canyon West Rim

The West Rim is the perfect Grand Canyon destination for travelers hoping to avoid the crowds of the South Rim. Though it offers less iconic views of the Canyon, the Grand Canyon’s West Rim offers many unique spectacular vistas and experiences like Grand Canyon Skywalk. It is 3.5 hours drive away from Vegas hence more easily accessible to visitors.

Eagle Point from Skywalk at Grand Canyon West Rim
Eagle Point from Skywalk at Grand Canyon West Rim

Time required: 3 – 4 hours

Entry: $65 per adult with access to Skywalk

Hours: 9am – 6:30pm

Grand Canyon West Rim needs a separate entry ticket and America the Beautiful pass cannot be used here. Once you’ve entered the Hualapai area of Grand Canyon, a reliable and frequent shuttle bus service helps you easily see all the different sites:

  • Eagle Point: Includes an amphitheater, art and gift store, and the Skywalk.
  • Guano Point: Historical tram that once stretched 8,800 feet into a guano mine, as well as 360° views of the Canyon from Highpoint Hike.

Joshua Tree Forest

The Joshua tree is actually a species of yucca (Yucca Brevifolia), that can reach a height of 50 feet and is believed to live for up to 1,000 years although they are difficult to date accurately – as they are not proper trees, there are no annual growth rings.

Joshua Tree Forest
Joshua Tree Forest

Time required: 15 – 20 mins

Entry: Free

Hours: 24 hours

You will cross Joshua Tree Forest on the way to Grand Canyon West Rim. By Milepost 169, the forest of Joshua trees is dense, and you’ll see a sign that reads, “Joshua Tree Parkway of Arizona.” There is a small parking at the front, take a stop and explore the area for few minutes and click some pictures.


Grand Canyon South Rim

Grand Canyon South Rim is the most popular rim at Grand Canyon National Park. The South Rim offers the National Park experience with convenient visitor services like a hop-on-hop-off shuttle bus service, concierge and food services, and a wide range of hotel options within minutes of the park entrance gate.

Navajo Point at Grand Canyon South Rim
Navajo Point at Grand Canyon South Rim

Time required: 1 to 3 days

Entry: $35 per vehicle valid for 7 days/ America The Beautiful pass

Hours: 24 hours

South Rim view points can be accessed by car or you can choose to use free National Park buses. Some visitors choose to hike or rent a bicycle available at the Visitor Center.

Grand Canyon South Rim is open year-round and hosts free Ranger Talks, museums, shops, geological and historical information, as well as the Grand Canyon IMAX Experience, Grand Canyon Railway, and much more. Visitors choose to stay at the hotels inside Grand Canyon South Rim to explore it even more!


Valley of Fire State Park

Fire wave formation at the Valley of Fire State Park
Fire wave formation at the Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire is Nevada’s oldest and largest state park. The best route with a nice view of the road with red rocks each side is through the Mouse Trap road to the Rainbow Vista parking lot. You can take a small stop to will see the view of some rock areas on each side of the road; feel free to climb up to get some great views!

Valley of Fire State Park drive views
Valley of Fire State Park drive views

Time required: 2 – 3 hours

Entry: $10 per vehicle per day

Hours: 8:30am – 4:30pm

Continue to drive to the lot near the Fire Wave trail. Once you park, walk across the road from the main parking lot and take the trail to the Fire wave. It offers different views and photo spots to get those stunning instagram captures. Popular activities include camping, hiking, picnicking and photography. The park offers a full-scale visitor center with extensive interpretive displays. The park is open all year.


Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon State Park features scenic desert cliffs, buttes and spectacular rock formations. Red Rock Canyon is located 17 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip on Charleston Boulevard/State Route 159. Red Rock offers options for many adventurous activities like a 13-mile scenic drive, miles of hiking trails, rock climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking, road biking, picnic areas and nature observing.

Red Rock Canyon
Red Rock Canyon

Time required: 1 day

Entry: $10 per vehicle per day/ $5 per person

Hours: 6am – 5pm

The beauty of the desert, combined with the geologic features make this park a camper’s favorite destination. If you like to camp, camping is first-come, first served; there is no reservation system.  A must-see in the area are the petroglyphs, only a short trek from the Willow Springs Picnic Area, the drawings are estimated to be over 800 years old. Wildlife you may encounter includes roadrunners, hawks, lizards, mice and squirrels. The campground can fill up on weekends in the spring and fall, especially if the weather is nice or on holiday weekends, so arriving on a Thursday evening or Friday morning is recommended.


Emerald Lake

Experience the Colorado River’s beautiful Emerald Cave on a scenic kayaking tour. The excursion is provided by many vendors who also provide hotel pickup/ drop option. It’s a very beautiful option to enjoy your day with nature far away from hustle and bustle.

Emerald Cove
Emerald Cove

Time required: Half day

Entry: Starts from $100 per person

Hours: 6am – 5pm

From your kayak, you’ll go North from Willow Beach Marina on the Crystal clear Colorado River to the picturesque Emerald Cave. The round-trip duration is 4 miles. There are stops along the way for breaks and wildlife sightings, swim and to take pictures. There is also a short hike of 15 mins above the River on a bluff with amazing views and history of the River Gaugers. Cheapest booking rates are provided by Viator.


Death Valley

Death Valley is the largest national park south of Alaska; it is North America’s driest and hottest spot (with fewer than two inches of rainfall annually and a record high of 134°F), and has the lowest elevation on the continent—282 feet below sea level. Apart from this, Death Valley is a place of amazing beauty with many colorful rocks and canyons, miles of pristine sand dunes, unique evaporative salt features and even a diverse range of wildlife.

Dante's View at Death Valley
Dante’s View at Death Valley

Time required: 1 – 3 days

Entry: $10 per vehicle per day/ $5 per person

Hours: 6am – 5pm

Death Valley is certified as the third International Dark Sky Park; it has some of the darkest skies in the world making it the best place to go stargazing. You can even spot Milky Way from Death Valley during June to early August every midnight. You can even spend the night in the park in a hotels or book a campsites; which are available year round. Summers are extremely hot with temperatures being over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, so we recommend going in the fall or spring.


Zion National Park

The park lies on the northwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau about 30 miles (50 km) northeast of the city of St. George. Zion’s landscape is filled with rainbow-colored rock layers chiseled into sharp peaks, high mesas, and deep, twisting canyons. Zion is renowned as one of the world’s best places for canyoneering. The national park invites adventurers to get down into fantastic watery slots and river-filled canyons.

Zion National Park views
Zion National Park views

Time required: 1 – 3 days

Entry:  $35 per vehicle / $20 per person

Hours: 24 hours

The six-mile Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, running north through the national park’s scenic heart, is one of Utah’s most spectacular road adventures. Skyscraping sandstone formations, including the Great White Throne and Temple of Sinawava, soar above the Virgin River. Expect gorgeous scenery along the entire route. Take the free park shuttle to experience the canyon since the road is closed to traffic most of the year.

One day will give you the chance to drive the roads of Zion National Park with the towering canyon all around you, and you will also have time to do some famous short hikes with more grand views of the canyon!


Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park in Southwestern Utah is famous for the largest collection of hoodoos, distinctive rock formations at Bryce, in the world. Bryce Canyon is America’s 12th most popular park. Crowds are common at most scenic overlooks and a number of trails, especially in summer, but the atmosphere is quieter than at Zion.

Formations at Bryce Canyon
Formations at Bryce Canyon

Time required: 1 – 2 days

Entry:  $35 per vehicle / $20 per person

Hours: 24 hours

It takes a minimum of 3 hours to drive to the 13 viewpoints along the park’s 38-mile round-trip scenic drive. In addition, there are hiking trails, ranger programs, horseback rides, campgrounds and picnic areas to greater enhance and extend your visit. The canyon is easily accessible by car (or by shuttle in the busy season) via the scenic drive and especially at sunrise and sunset has an ethereal atmosphere.  The Lower Emerald Falls walk brings you to the most amazing vista , don’t forget to add it.


Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon is located on Navajo land and Navajo guides are required for entry.  It is an absolutely stunning tour that is picturesque for your perfect instagram posts. It is one-of-a kind experience!! The hikes are narrow in certain areas, so you have to be a little flexible at times. It’s not too bad, though! You can choose to do upper canyons or lower canyons or both. Various tour providers are available with competitive prices.

Upper Antelope Canyon
Upper Antelope Canyon

Time required: 1 – 2 days

Entry:  $35 per vehicle / $20 per person

Hours: 24 hours

Antelope Canyon was formed over many hundreds of years by water that ran through sandstone, giving it its unique geography. Upper Antelope Canyon, which is also known as “The Crack,” is the most popular of the two slot canyons that make up Antelope Canyon. It is also the most-visited slot canyon in the American Southwest and the most-photographed in the world.


Travel Tips

  • Buy ‘America the Beautiful’ pass. This is an annual pass which gives entry to almost all the National Parks of United States like Grand Canyon, Red Rock Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Antelope Canyon and many more. Individual entry costs $35 per vehicle, on the contrary ‘America the Beautiful’ pass costs just $80 per vehicle for an entire year.
  • Download offline maps as you may not find network at some areas.
  • Carry water and snacks to tackle hunger during the hikes as no restaurant will be available at the closest distance.
  • Carry sunscreen, sun glasses and hats as temperatures during summer months tend to be really high, sometimes around 100 degree Fahrenheit.
  • Wear comfortable clothes, carry hiking sticks and first aid.
  • Use ‘All Trails’ app to find details on different hiking routes in the State Parks and National Parks of America.

We tried to include all the details you need to have lots of adventurous day trips from Vegas. If you have any questions, post them in comments, on our Facebook page or email us and we will try to answer as soon as we can. Happy Exploring!! 🙂

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