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Lake Mead National Recreation AreaNational parks

Our most recommended Lake Mead National Recreation Area National parks

From Las Vegas: Grand Canyon Skywalk Express Helicopter Tour

1. From Las Vegas: Grand Canyon Skywalk Express Helicopter Tour

Marvel at the beauty of the Grand Canyon with a bird's eye view on this helicopter tour. Enjoy VIP access to the Skywalk and immerse yourself in the breathtaking sight it offers. Depart the famed Las Vegas Strip on your direct helicopter flight to the Grand Canyon Skywalk. On your flight, you will experience a bird’s eye view of the Grand Canyon, Lake Las Vegas, Lake Mead, Hoover Dam and the Las Vegas Strip. Upon landing, get ready to witness a true engineering marvel, the Grand Canyon Skywalk. The Skywalk suspends more than 4,000 feet above the Colorado River, extends out more than 70 feet away from the edge of the West Rim, and features a glass bottom walking surface. Expedited admission to the Skywalk, VIP ground transportation and a Skywalk souvenir photo are included on this adventure. You will receive an estimated 45 minutes of ground time at Grand Canyon West before your return flight to Las Vegas.

From Las Vegas: Grand Canyon Helicopter Air Tour

2. From Las Vegas: Grand Canyon Helicopter Air Tour

This 70 to 75-minute air-only (non-landing) tour is a memorable helicopter experience to the Hualapai Nation on the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. The experience is enhanced by narrations in your language of choice coupled with an excellent selection of music that complements the beautiful sights; Lake Mead, the Hoover Dam, the great expanse of the Mojave Desert, and the Grand Wash Cliffs on the Hualapai Reservation. On arrival to the West Rim, you will be treated to the visual wonders of the Grand Canyon; a truly inspiring work of nature that most visitors consider breathtaking. Arrive at the terminal and receive your safety briefing before boarding one of our state-of-the-art EcoStar helicopters for your air journey to the Grand Canyon. Fly over Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam then enjoy spectacular views of the volcanic Black Mountains, Grapevine Mesa, the Mojave Desert, and then across the Grand Wash Cliffs as you enter Grand Canyon West. Fly below the rim of the Canyon for incredible views of the world-famous Skywalk and the Colorado River.

From Las Vegas: Valley of Fire Tour

3. From Las Vegas: Valley of Fire Tour

Experience the incredible Valley of Fire, once the spiritual center of a great American civilization. The rock formations and Indian art will amaze you as you discover the ancient art and artifacts on a 7-hour tour. Valley of Fire State Park, covering nearly 42,000 acres, is the oldest and largest state park in Nevada, and was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1968. Its name is derived from the red sandstone formations, created by the great shifting sand dunes during the age of the dinosaurs. These features, which are the centerpiece of the park's attractions, often appear to be on fire when reflecting the sun's rays. Located 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, at an elevation of between 2,000 and 2,600 feet, the valley abuts the Lake Mead National Recreation Area at the Virgin River confluence. The park entry on Valley of Fire Highway, designated as a Nevada Scenic Byway, passes through the Moapa River Indian Reservation. Although petroglyphs are found throughout the entire park, Mouse's Tank and Atlatl Rock are 2 areas in particular where they are relatively easily accessible. Valley of Fire has provided the setting for numerous films and television shows as well as many car commercials, including the 1966 film, The Professionals with Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin and Claudia Cardinale; the 1984-1987 CBS TV show, Airwolf starring Jan-Michael Vincent and Ernest Borgnine; the 1987 science fiction cult film, Cherry 2000 starring Melanie Griffith and David Andrews; the 1990 American science fiction action film, Total Recall starring Arnold Schwarzenegger; the 1994 American science fiction film, Star Trek Generations; Criss Angel's show, Criss Angel Mindfreak; the 2005 American action film, Domino starring Keira Knightley; the 2007 American science fiction action film, Transformers: Need for Speed: The Run, a car racing video game; and Lana Del Rey's Ride music video. This is truly a special place, and the filmmakers know it. Come and see it for yourself!

Las Vegas: Valley of Fire and Seven Magic Mountains Day Trip

4. Las Vegas: Valley of Fire and Seven Magic Mountains Day Trip

Discover the Valley of Fire state park and the Seven Magic Mountains on a full-day guided trip from Las Vegas. Scout out the most unique spots in the Valley of Fire and marvel at the Seven Magic Mountains art installation in the Mohave desert.  After being picked up from the Las Vegas Strip, enjoy a comfortable transfer to the Valley of Fire and visit the most beautiful spots, including Elephant Rock, Cabins, and Rainbow Vista, before heading off the beaten track to find two hidden spots. As you travel, your guide will provide insightful commentary about the sights and regions, such as the 4,000-year-old petroglyphs. Continue to the Seven Magic Mountains and admire this colorful art installation in the Mohave Desert. At the end of your trip, sit back and relax on your return transfer to the Las Vegas Strip

Las Vegas: Valley of Fire and Seven Magic Mountains

5. Las Vegas: Valley of Fire and Seven Magic Mountains

Journey through some of Nevada's most breathtaking landscapes have the chance to explore ancient petroglyphs and witness the incredible intersection of nature and art at Seven Magic Mountains on this day trip from Vegas. Your adventure begins with a scenic drive to Valley of Fire State Park, known for its stunning red sandstone formations and ancient petroglyphs. Begin at Elephant Rock, a towering rock formation that resembles an elephant. Admire the natural beauty of the park and snap some photos. Next, you'll head to Atlatl Rock, where you'll see some of the park's ancient petroglyphs, which were created by Native Americans over 2,000 years ago. The petroglyphs depict animals, humans, and other symbols, and offer a fascinating glimpse into the history and culture of the region. From there, visit Seven Sisters, a series of towering rock formations that resemble seven towering sisters. This is another great spot for taking photos and soaking up the awe-inspiring beauty of the park. You'll then have the option to hike one of three trails: Fire Wave, Rainbow Vista, or White Domes. Fire Wave is a short, easy hike that leads to a unique sandstone formation that resembles an ocean wave. Choose Rainbow Vista, which offers panoramic views of the park's colorful rock formations. Try the White Domes which takes you on a scenic journey through narrow canyons and slot canyons. After a morning adventure in the park, head to Seven Magic Mountains, a stunning art installation located in the Mojave Desert just outside of Las Vegas. See the bold, colorful display of seven towering pillars made from locally-sourced boulders stacked on top of each other created by Ugo Rondinone. Take in the bright, fluorescent-colored pillars, which rise up to 30 feet high and stand out against the natural desert landscape. The installation is a surreal sight and offers some incredible photo opportunities. Enjoy a must-see attraction for art lovers and nature enthusiasts alike. Finally, Wrap up your tour at around 2 or 3 PM and be dropped back at your hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.

From Las Vegas: Valley of Fire Small Group Tour

6. From Las Vegas: Valley of Fire Small Group Tour

Escape the city and get back to nature on a day trip to the Valley of Fire State Park. See the park's highlights, like 4,000-year-old rock carvings, Rainbow Vista viewpoint, and the Beehives and Elephant Rock formations. Keep your energy up and stay hydrated with snacks and bottled water.  Enjoy direct pickup from your hotel on the Las Vegas Strip (and most hotels nearby). Sit back and relax in a comfortable air-conditioned car or van (no busses!) on the way to Valley of Fire State Park. At your first stop, see large sandstone rock formations called 'Beehives' due to their shape. Next, travel nack in time 4,000 years, observing petroglyphs (rock carvings) made by ancient tribes at Atlatl Rock. Then, on to admire panoramic views of the multi-colored rock layers at Rainbow Vista. See the rarely occurring natural white domes that are 98% pure silica. Explore inside the Cabins, built in 1935 by the CCC to commemorate the park's opening. Capture pictures of the wind and rain-carved Elephant Rock formation. Relax on the drive back to Las Vegas for direct hotel drop off.

Hoover Dam & Red Rock: An Unforgettable Self-Guided Tour

7. Hoover Dam & Red Rock: An Unforgettable Self-Guided Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! Once downloaded, your Hoover Dam tour begins at the enchanting Bellagio Fountain in the heart of Las Vegas. Roll down the strip and dig into the city’s wild past, replete with gambling, feuding, and backstabbing. Then cruise out toward the Hoover Dam and learn about the powerful Colorado River and the early efforts to control it. Plus, get to know the infamous Frank Crowe, who spearheaded the dam-building project. Stop for scenic views at the Lake Mead Viewpoint, then hear about the Colorado River Compact and the struggle to distribute this precious resource. Take an optional detour to the Historical Railroad Hiking Trail, which follows the path of old and now decommissioned railroad tracks. Or visit the Lakeview Overlook for further views of Lake Mead’s splendor. As you near the Hoover Dam, you’ll stop at Boulder Dam Bridge Overlook, offering an unparalleled view of the dam. Then, choose between driving across the dam or parking to walk along its mighty rim. Finally, you’ll arrive at the Hoover Dam Lookout, for another great look at this massive structure. Your tour concludes here. Your Red Rock Canyon Tour starts at the park entrance on the outskirts of Las Vegas. From there, you’ll head to the Calico Hills, mounds of hard, red rock that were once shifting sand dunes! You’ll then proceed to the Sandstone Quarry Overlook, where miners once harvested sandstone. Find out what made Red Rock Canyon’s sandstone so valuable and unique. Then hear about the plentiful wildlife you might encounter during your visit and how to spot them! Hear about battles between conservationists and developers, and discover how the conservation zone that protects the canyon was created. Next, stop at High Point Overlook, the highest point on the tour at 4,780 feet above sea level! If you want a detour, you can visit the petroglyphs and pictographs at Petroglyph Wall. They’re thought to be over 800 years old! Then swing past the Ice Box Canyon Trail, a trail flanked by narrow cliff walls that make it much, much cooler than the surrounding desert. Next is the Red Rock Wash Overlook, a haven for birdwatchers. Then learn more about the canyon’s fossils. Find out that what could be the oldest land animal fossil was discovered here! Finally, you’ll reach Red Rock Canyon Overlook, where your tour concludes.

Valley of Fire Scenic Tour from Las Vegas +Lost City Museum

8. Valley of Fire Scenic Tour from Las Vegas +Lost City Museum

Prepare to be captivated by the wonders that await you in Valley of Fire State Park. Immerse yourself in the park's rich history and natural beauty as you embark on a journey that will awaken you. Here are just a few of the wonders that should be on our itinerary: -Elephant Rock: Nature's Majestic Sculpture As you enter Valley of Fire State Park through the east entrance, be sure to keep an eye out for the magnificent Elephant Rock. This natural sculpture, aptly named for its resemblance to an elephant, stands as a testament to the raw power and artistry of nature. Its imposing presence is a constant reminder of the extraordinary forces that have shaped this ancient landscape. -Fire Wave: A Striped Masterpiece Prepare to be mesmerized by the Fire Wave, a geological wonder that showcases nature's artistic flair. With its stunning white and red zebra stripes, this captivating formation creates a surreal and ethereal landscape. Embark on a hike to this geological masterpiece and immerse yourself in its mesmerizing beauty. The Fire Wave offers endless photo opportunities, ensuring that your memories of Valley of Fire will be forever etched in your heart. -Atlatl Rock Hike: A Glimpse into Ancient Artistry Embark on the Atlatl Rock Hike and journey into the heart of ancient artistry. This 0.1-mile round trip hike leads you to Atlatl Rock, where you'll discover a treasure trove of prehistoric petroglyphs. Marvel at the intricate carvings and symbols that tell the stories of the Native Americans who once called this land home. Allow your imagination to wander as you immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Valley of Fire. -Valley of Fire Visitor Center: Gateway to Discovery Immerse yourself in the park's rich history, geology, and ecology through engaging exhibits and informative displays. Discover the stories of the ancient civilizations that once called this land home and gain a deeper understanding of the natural forces that have shaped these remarkable sandstone formations. The Visitor Center offers a range of resources, including postcards, books, and souvenirs, allowing you to take a piece of Valley of Fire's magic home with you. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Visitor Center is a must-visit destination to enhance your Valley of Fire experience. -Lost City in Museum Moapa Valley The Lost City Museum, originally known as the Boulder Dam Park Museum, was built in 1935 by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps. The National Park Service created the museum to exhibit artifacts recovered from local prehistoric archaeological sites, most of which were flooded when the Colorado River was dammed to form Lake Mead. The Museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the museum is one of seven state museums and has grown to include three exhibition galleries, a small screening room, a research library, and a museum store. Outdoor exhibits include a Native American pit house and reconstructed pueblos.

Las Vegas: Hoover Dam & Valley of Fire Day Trip with Brunch

9. Las Vegas: Hoover Dam & Valley of Fire Day Trip with Brunch

Immerse yourself in the story of the Hoover Dam and the Valley of Fire State Park on a guided combo tour. Discover several stunning viewpoints, stop at the Hoover Dam Museum, and savor a tasty brunch at the Bighorn Café before heading to the Valley of Fire. Be picked up from the convenience of your hotel and relax on the drive to Hoover Dam. At the first stop, explore the Hoover Dam Museum featuring a collection of artifacts, photographs, and personal stories from those who built the Dam. Next, get a chance to see some Bighorn sheep grazing at Hemenway Park. Then it's on to the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, where you'll be standing 900-feet above the Colorado River overlooking the dam. Learn how the dam was built and engineered from your local guide as you take photos from several vantage points, including panoramic views of Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the U.S. Sit down to refuel at Bighorn Café inside the Hoover Dam Lodge before continuing the tour. Later, journey to the Valley of Fire State Park and travel back in time to prehistoric days while visiting Elephant Rock. Explore exhibits about the history, geology, and ecology at the visitor center. Marvel at 4,000-year-old petroglyphs (rock carvings) made by the ancient tribes at Atlatl Rock and learn how years of sediment deposits created sandstone formations at the Beehives. At the end of the tour, get taken back to your hotel for drop-off.

Las Vegas Day Trips | Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour

10. Las Vegas Day Trips | Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour

Discover three recommended sightseeing trips from Las Vegas to Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon West and Red Rock Canyon. A must if you plan to rent a car and explore past the Las Vegas Strip. Flexible Tour: Follow the suggested itineraries, or divide the commentary and create your own half, full or multi day sightseeing trips. Major Highlights: Grand Canyon West Rim Hoover Dam Red Rock Canyon Scenic Loop Spring Mountain Ranch Wild Burros Desert Tortoise Habitat Springs Preserve* Premium Outlet Mall Old Vegas Fremont St Ethel M Chocolate Factory Boulder City Lake Mead Joshua Trees Eagle Point Guano Point Mike O'Callaghan-Pat-Tillman Memorial (Bypass) Bridge Includes: Vegas to Grand Canyon West Rim From Las Vegas, the West Rim - also called Grand Canyon West - is the closest and most accessible area to view the Grand Canyon and the location of the optional glass SkyWalk (if you are brave enough). Driving time from Las Vegas is 2.5 hours each way, so it is a comfortable day trip and your journey will be filled with stories about the canyon, so you’ll know what to expect and be a little more knowledgeable about the geology, wildlife and people before you arrive. The canyon views are superb and it definitely gives you a true taste of the Grand Canyon, especially if you are not enthusiastic for the alternative - a 4.5 hour drive each way to the South Rim. Vegas to Hoover Dam The Hoover Dam is a short half-day trip from Las Vegas and to this day remains an impressive engineering achievement. There are two American engineering icons on display. The Hoover Dam and the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge which arches across the canyon that holds the Colorado River and looks down upon the Hoover Dam. You'll wonder at the height of the concrete walls, judge the water levels of Lake Mead, or get dizzy looking straight down from the bypass bridge. It's all amazing! Vegas to Red Rock Canyon It's amazing that the natural beauty of Red Rock Canyon is so close to the dazzling lights of Vegas. Red Rock Canyon is only 45 minutes from the Strip and the tour follows a specific route to provide you with a sample of the Mojave desert environment that borders Las Vegas. The route takes you along the base of the mountain range, and you'll have the choice to stop at several attractions including Spring Mountain Ranch and the Springs Preserve. At Red Rock Canyon itself, the 13 mile scenic loop drive has many viewpoints, seasonal waterfall oasis, and hiking opportunities. The Visitor Center has a new interactive display that includes the Desert Tortoise habitat and their caretakers, the “Tort Wranglers”. Watch for wild burros on the drive to Red Rock Canyon, especially around Blue Diamond. Or you might meet Jackson the formerly wild burro who now spends some days greeting, educating and making visitors laugh.

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Frequently asked questions about Lake Mead National Recreation Area National parks

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Other Sightseeing Options in Lake Mead National Recreation Area

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What people are saying about Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 252 reviews

A real experience! We would recommend this tour. The time slot at the Grand Canyon is tight, but you have enough time to capture the scenery. Photos will be taken on the Skywalk (cell phones are not allowed on the platform). Two of the photos can then be taken away free of charge. After the Skywalk you can take more photos with your own device in addition to the platform.

Darren was our tour guide for the day and was absolutely awesome!!! He was personable, knowledgeable, and overall facilitated a great day for us! He was accommodating with water and snacks, and took us to a delicious restaurant for lunch. The sites at both the Valley of Fire and the Hoover Dam were outstanding. 100% recommend Las Vegas D-Tours!!

Had a fantastic experience with Maverick. The Pilot was extremely knowledgeable and fun! The team at the Skywalk were also very friendly. We got to learn a lot on our day tour and got to see so many incredible views!

It was a really excellent program with an outstanding organization. Everything was well prepared. Our pilot was a real professional with a good humor. Thanks a lot!

This was an experience of a lifetime! Friendly helpful guide/pilot.