Las Vegas
Day Trips

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5 best day trips from Las Vegas

Day trip to the Grand Canyon

1. Day trip to the Grand Canyon

If the casinos of Las Vegas start to feel too stuffy, take a day trip to the Grand Canyon. As one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, visitors can hike, mountain bike, ride horseback, rock climb or simply gaze in awe over the canyon’s grandeur. Take on the expansive desert plains on an ATV, white water raft the Colorado River, or take a dizzying helicopter ride — even go skydiving. Visit the South Rim for more gorgeous scenery at Lookout Studio, as well as the historic El Tovar Hotel where generations of presidents and notable celebrities have stayed.

How far is the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas?

The drive to Grand Canyon West is only 130 miles (209 kilometers) from Las Vegas by car. The South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park is more than twice the distance at 280 miles (450 kilometers). The North Rim of the park is roughly the same distance.

Day trip to Hoover Dam and Lake Mead

2. Day trip to Hoover Dam and Lake Mead

A massive concrete arch dam over the surging Colorado River, the Hoover Dam is a testament to American industry and human ingenuity. Herds of visitors flock to absorb the raw power of this hydroelectric dynamo from above, then take a relaxing boat tour down the river. If the churning waters have you feeling wound up, relax at the nearby Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The lake’s blue waters are perfect for cruising or jet skiing, as well as spying the local wildlife.

How far is Hoover Dam from Las Vegas?

Hoover Dam is only about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of Las Vegas, making it a popular day trip destination from the city. By car, the trip usually takes about 45 minutes.

Day trip to Valley of Fire

3. Day trip to Valley of Fire

The massive red sandstone and silica formations in the Valley of Fire have eroded over millennia into fascinating shapes, making the national park a popular destination from Las Vegas. Keep your eyes out for petrified logs, scampering animals, and geological wonders on your desert hike. Don’t miss the unique red rock formations of the Seven Sisters, circling the water basin of Mouse’s Tank, climbing at Atlatl Rock next to its petroglyphs, or exploring Fire Canyon’s Silica Dome and Elephant’s Rock.

How far is Valley of Fire from Las Vegas?

The Valley of Fire is approximately 53 miles (85 kilometers) northeast of Las Vegas and usually takes about an hour to reach by car.

Day trip to Red Rock Canyon

4. Day trip to Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon, one of the Mojave Desert's most stunning and colorful expanses, is home to countless geological wonders. Follow the 13-mile (21 kilometers) scenic loop that features frequent stops to see the dramatic rock formations basking in blazing reds and oranges. You have plenty of chances to hike, climb, boulder, or simply enjoy how the light shapes the rocks as the sun shifts throughout the day. Catching the view from the top of Wilson Cliffs is a must before you descend to Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, a working ranch once owned by the renowned business and engineering icon Howard Hughes. Before you make your way back, hike out to the cluster of fiery fossilized sand dunes known as the Calico Hills.

How far is Red Rock Canyon from Las Vegas?

About 23 miles (30 km) from Las Vegas, which takes 30 minutes by car or bus.

Day trip to Death Valley National Park

5. Day trip to Death Valley National Park

Death Valley is the largest national park in the United States, as well as the hottest and driest, making it a must-see destination for anyone looking for a day trip into the desert around Las Vegas. Visitors of Death Valley National Park should make sure to see Dante’s View, Badwater Basin, Zabriskie Point, Twenty Mule Team Canyon, where borax was once mined, and the ghost town of Rhyolite.

How far is Death Valley National Park from Las Vegas?

At 123 miles (198 kilometers), Death Valley is approximately two hours’ drive from Las Vegas to reach the entrance at Furnace Creek Visitor’s Center.

Las Vegas Day Trip FAQ

What transportation options are best for my day trip?

Due to the distances and landscapes involved, and the lack of other transportation options, we highly recommend taking a car for your trip.
  • • Las Vegas day trips by train

    Options for Las Vegas day trips by train are extremely limited and are usually the most inconvenient form of transport around the area.

  • • Las Vegas day trips by bus

    Bus tours are a great way to visit one of these destinations near Las Vegas. Travel times are typically about the same as for a car: Try a hop-on hop-off bus or guided tour to make the most out of the journey. Buses frequently go to Death Valley, Valley of Fire, Hoover Dam, and Red Rock Canyon. All buses stop at the Grand Canyon.

  • • Las Vegas day trips by car

    For traveling across the deserts around Las Vegas, a car makes the most sense and is the fastest and most flexible option. Death Valley, Valley of Fire, Hoover Dam, Red Rock Canyon, and the Grand Canyon can all be reached by car.


Should I take a guided tour for my day trip?

Due to the size and scale of the region and its many hidden secrets, a guided tour outside Las Vegas can provide visitors with an understanding they likely would not get on their own. Whether you’re learning about the intricacies of the Hoover Dam or discovering how the earth was shaped at the Grand Canyon, having an expert guide can make a world of difference on your trip.


What should I pack for my day trip?

As Las Vegas sits in the middle of the deserts of Nevada, it’s best to dress for arid climates and sparse shade. Wear loose, breathable clothing and a hat and sunglasses. Be sure to bring good sunscreen and carry plenty of water to stay hydrated. Of course, keep a light jacket or windbreaker on hand for when the desert temperatures drop at night.


Other Sightseeing Options in Las Vegas

Want to discover all there is to do in Las Vegas? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Las Vegas

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 3,454 reviews

I really like the experience and Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park is a must see. It’s our guide Ita - he is very informative during the trip , knows about the geography and history. He was also very helpful with taking all our pictures and showing us several stops to take photos at Zion . Then at Bryce , he gave us 1 hr and 20 min to roam around .He also drives safely and very respectful . You can go down and hike at Bryce but we didn’t go below very much since we didn’t bring any hiking shoes and sticks. And there’s no more railing below and we’re only beginners. Overall a must see site .

Pickup was on time. Communication was excellent. They email you all the info you need before the tour. The tour was great, Brandon our tour guide was excellent, very knowledgeable and accommodating. Mona our driver was sweet. Enjoyed this door and highly recommended. Be prepared for the long hours tho' cause this is a long 15 hours tour but worth it.

Matt was the best guide I ever had. He was knowledgeable about the area and entertained us the entire way to California. I will definitely book with him again. The van was clean and spacious with an assortment of snacks and water. The tour was the best part of our Vegas trip.

We loved our trip and our tour guide Steve was amazing! I wish the Hoover Dam stop was longer and that you actually got to look from the top of the dam. However, the view that we had from from the Pat Tillman, Mike O’Callaghan bridge was breathtaking.

Fantastic trip to an interesting part of this great country! Not to be missed