11 Fun day trips from Las Vegas

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Las Vegas is famous for its vibrant nightlife, casinos and world-class entertainment. But you could trade the dazzling neon lights and vibrant city for an awe-inspiring natural wonder and all possible in less than 24 hours, with these fun day trips from Las Vegas. 

We have wandered the bustling streets of the Las Vegas Strip, and we can understand the magnetism to it all. Sin city charms millions of visitors a year with its endless entertainment opportunities. But we sometimes need a breather from the hustle and bustle of it all.  

This is where a day trip from the sensory overload of Las Vegas comes in. Just imagine the rugged landscape of the Grand Canyon National Park, Red Rock Canyon, or the Valley of Fire State Park, just to name a few. 

We lead you on a journey beyond the city limits to explore 11 captivating day trip destinations that offers something for everyone.  

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Grand Canyon National Park

Visiting the Grand Canyon on a day trip from Las Vegas is easier than you may think. You may prefer a guided tour like we did or the flexibility of driving at your own pace.  

The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is the most popular. It’s about 275 miles from Las Vegas and should take around 4 and a half hours to reach. 

Alternatively, for a unique perspective of the Grand Canyon you could take a helicopter ride, which will offer a swift and sensational experience. 

Grand Canyon Day trip with our Tour guide from Las Vegas

On arrival at the park, be prepared to be captivated by the sheer grandeur of the canyon. The South Rim offers an array of viewpoints, including Mathers Point and Bright Angel.  

At each point the red and orange colours of the layers pop. These layers were formed over millions of years. 

If you have the time and looking for an adventure, you could immerse yourself in the canyons rugged terrain and wildlife, by taking on a hike along Bright Angel Trail. 

Other day trip options to the North and West Rim are available, with different perspectives from each point.  

The West Rim has the new addition of the Skywalk, which takes you out on a glass walkway overhanging the Grand Canyon.  

The North Rim is not open during the winter due to snow covering.  

We can’t wait to return to the Grand Canyon and hike the Bright Angel Trail and visit Horseshoe Bend. 

Written by Bev & Shams Adventures

Lake Mead

Distance: 32 miles

Time: 40 minutes drive

Heading out to Lake Mead is one of the best day trips from Las Vegas. Just 32 miles from Las Vegas, this is a true gem for nature lovers who love to spend their day in a relaxing and peaceful way far from the hustle and bustle of Vegas city life.

It’s an easy drive through US 93; it shouldn’t take more than 40 minutes to reach Lake Mead from Las Vegas.

You will definitely enjoy Lake Mead National Recreational Area if you admire the beauty of the desert.

Hoover Dam is one of the top attractions of this place. The lake water is deep blue, warm, and refreshing. The park rangers are always helpful and friendly. 

The best way to explore the lake is by paddle boat. You can discover the lake at your own pace in a relaxing atmosphere.

Kayaking and canoeing are also popular in Lake Mead for a natural serene experience. Navigation can be a little bit challenging with so many canyons and coves. If you’re not confident, it’s better to hire a guided tour.

Apart from various water activities like speedboating, jet skiing, there you can enjoy various recreational activities like camping, hiking and many more.

There are several walking trails that curve around the Lake Mead shore.

You shouldn’t miss the Historic Five Tunnels Historic Railroad Trail that offers scenic views much of the way.

Lake Mead National Recreational Area is a pet-friendly place. So, you can bring your four-legged friend too. Make sure to bring plenty of water for you and your pup.

You can also witness different types of flora and fauna all around. 

Tip: Make sure to bring enough food and water. Try to come here early to avoid the afternoon summer heat.

Written by: Trijit Mallick from Dog Travel Buff

Lake Mead your perfect day trip from Las Vegas
Lake Mead your perfect day trip from Las Vegas

Antelope Canyon

Distance: 280 miles

Time: 4 1/2 hour drive

One of the best day trips from Las Vegas is to Antelope Canyon. Antelope Canyon is a picturesque slot canyon and could easily be considered one of the prettiest in the world. It is about four and a half hours east of Las Vegas on the Utah-Arizona Border. 

The slot canyon is famous for its tall, red sandstone walls and for its wave-like structure. The lines in the sand walls look like the ocean waves in pink and red hues. The canyon has formed from millions of years of wind and water erosion.  

If you have your own transportation, you can easily drive to Page, the closest city to Antelope Canyon. If you don’t have your own way of getting there, there are lots of ways to tour Antelope Canyon from Las Vegas with guided tours. 

Once you are in Page, you have to go into the canyon with a guided tour. Antelope Canyon is on protected Navajo land and only authorized guides are allowed to take people into the canyon. There are no self-guided hikes allowed. 

There are two different main parts in Antelope Canyon. The Upper Canyon is an easier walk and is more famous for the beautiful light beams that come into the canyon.

Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon

Lower Antelope Canyon tours are less expensive and touring the canyon is more of an adventure. There are ascending and descending ladders throughout the tour.

Despite being a more strenuous tour, Lower Antelope Canyon is not a bad walk as long as you can go up and down the steep staircases. 

Tours usually last one to two hours but can vary depending on how busy tours are that day. The walk through the canyon is just over one mile. 

While over in Page, another fun thing to see is the Horseshoe Bend Overlook. It is a part of the Colorado River where there is a sharp bend. It is very picturesque and worth a visit. There is a walk out to the overlook so it is a good idea to be prepared with water and sun protection.

Written by Candice from CS Ginger

Grand Canyon Caverns

Distance: 170 miles

Time: 3 hours

The Grand Canyon Caverns are in Peach Spring, Arizona, approximately 3 hours from Las Vegas, NV, and 2 hours from Grand Canyon National Park.

One of the largest, dry caverns in the United States and located on the historic Route 66. 

Near the caverns, you will also find a diner, gift shop, a classic Route 66 gas station and a Rodeo Ring that holds regular events. 

The caverns are located 200+ feet belong the surface, with 4 tours available depending on your age, physical fitness level and sense of adventure. 

The Cavern Tour is a ¾ mile walk exploring the caverns and take about 45 minutes. 

The Explorers Tour allows you to venture further into the Caverns and lasts 2 – 2.5 hours. 

The Wild Tour goes off the trail and descends deep into the caverns lasting 2-2.5 hours. 

Both the Explorers and Wild Tour require reservations and for the adventurer to be physically fit.

For those with a sense of adventure but don’t want to go crawling in the caverns “off trail,” there is the 60-minute Ghost Tour.  The Ghost Tour is by reservation only on Friday and Saturday nights.  

Looking for a lunch while you are visiting.  The Cavern Grill is open daily above ground.  The Cavern Grotto is in the caverns and is open on Saturdays and Sundays by reservations only.   

A great bonus for this trip from Las Vegas is that if you drive the “northern route” by taking US-93 to Kingman instead of US-95, you will drive over the bridge adjacent to the Hoover Dam. You would have the opportunity to view the dam from the car or even add an extra fantastic stop to your day.  

Written by Ragain from Ragain Adventures

Hoover Dam

Distance: 38 miles

Time: 45 minutes

Forty-five minutes from Las Vegas through the Mojave Desert, a visit to Hoover Dam is a great way to get a break from the hustle and bustle of the famous Las Vegas Strip. An engineering marvel, Hoover Dam is an incredible sight and remains one of the largest hydroelectric dams ever built. 

Since this is such an easy day trip, you will have plenty of time to wander inside and out, taking your time to enjoy the experience of the mighty Hoover Dam.

Your visit will start at the visitor center, where you can sign up for a guided tour. The visitor center has narrated exhibits that will help you learn more about the history of the Hoover Dam. You’ll find archived materials, and models that show the dam’s power systems and infrastructure.

There are two tour options available: a 30-minute tour of the power plant, or a one-hour tour that includes the dam, the power plant, and the dam passageways.

No children under 8 years old are permitted in the hour-long tour. Each tour starts with a short film showing the building of the Hoover Dam.

Hoover Dam is just a short distance from Sin City, making this an easy day from Las Vegas
Hoover Dam

Do not forget to stop at the Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge from the Nevada side of the dam. It gives another grand perspective, and you can also stand on the state line between Nevada and Arizona. Then, go over to the Arizona side of the dam to the Hoover Dam Lookout, for more incredible views. 

If those lookouts are not good enough for you, consider taking a Hoover Dam helicopter tour for some incredible aerial views! 

The easiest way to get to Hoover Dam is by vehicle. However, if you do not have a car available, several companies offer day trips, and some even include additional stops.

Written by Debbie from World Adventurists

Valley of Fire

Distance: 46 miles

Time: 1 hour

Valley of Fire is an easy but absolutely EPIC day trip from Las Vegas, as it is only about 1 hour from the strip, but offers insane, otherworldly views and hikes. 

From the strip, simply merge onto I-15 heading north until you hit Valley of Fire highway, and then follow that for 12 miles until you reach the State Park. 

Valley of Fire is filled with massive red sandstone formations and red rocks piled up on each other. You’ll find strange and exotic formations to admire from afar or explore up close.

One of the most well-known spots in this park is the incredible Fire Wave. This spot has striations of different red, orange, pink and white colors swirling around, and combined with the deep red rocks in the background, it feels like you are on Mars!

Beyond the Fire Wave, there are other spots with more gentle, pastel striations (such as the aptly named Pastel Canyon, where you can see many shades of pastel colors swirling in the canyon walls). 

Day trip to the Valley of Fire from Las vegas
Day trip to the Valley of Fire from Las vegas

One particularly fun aspect of hiking through Valley of Fire is the sandstone. It’s very, very grippy, which makes for exceptionally fun exploring! Thanks to the grippy rocks, it is easy to climb up and explore a lot of the rock formations, and get up to some beautiful vantage points overlooking the park. 

In addition to the red rocks, fire wave, and striations, Valley of Fire also has thousands year old petroglyphs! You can see them throughout the park, but a great place to see petroglyphs up close is on Petroglyph Canyon Trail. 

There is a ranger station and bathrooms at the entrance, but otherwise no facilities deeper in the park.

Make sure you bring plenty of water with you! Cost per car is $10. 

While there are not any restaurants in Valley of Fire State Park, there are several picnic areas where you can enjoy your lunch while admiring the view.

Written by Stephanie from The Unknown Enthusiast

Bryce Canyon National Park

Distance: 260 miles

Time: 4 hours

Bryce Canyon National Park is the perfect easy day trip from Las Vegas for all hikers and outdoor lovers. It is a 260-mile drive from Las Vegas to Bryce, mostly on I-15, and should take you just over 4 hours.

Bryce makes a great trip to get out of the city and enjoy the nature and stunning sights of the Southwest.

There is so much to do in the National Park, but you can see the highlights of Bryce in one day. 

If you are interested in hiking, Bryce has some of the best hikes in Utah. Navajo Loop and Queens Garden Trail and Peekaboo Loop are two amazing hikes that take you down into the red rock of Bryce Canyon.

For an easy hike, you can hike along part of the Rim Trail from Sunrise Point to Sunset Point. 

Bike riding is another way to experience the sites of Bryce Canyon. Rent an electric bike or bring your own.

Bike down some of the nearby biking trails, or bike the trail from Bryce Canyon to the nearby Red Canyon. 

Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce also has a 38-mile round trip scenic drive with many stops to see the views. Inspiration Point, Bryce Point, Natural Bridge, and Rainbow Point are just some of the 13 viewpoints on Bryce’s drive.

You can also park at the Visitor’s Center or in Bryce Canyon City and take the shuttle into the first few lookout points in the park.

Bring a picnic lunch to Bryce, or stop for lunch in the nearby town of Bryce, Utah.

If you have the time, stay in Bryce until sunset to watch the red rocks glow in the canyon. 

Written by Val from Voyages with Val

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Distance: 17 miles

Time: 20 minutes

The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is 195,000 acres of beautiful landscape within the Mojave Desert in Nevada. 

It is located 17 miles west of the Las Vegas strip, so it is a quick drive and an easy day trip during your Vegas holiday. 

It is a great addition to special itineraries, including a 50th birthday trip to Las Vegas, perfect for celebrating important milestones.

There is a scenic 13-mile one-way driving loop around the park that offers many picturesque stops and lookouts, twenty-six different hiking trails, horseback riding, rock climbing for every ability, mountain biking, picnicking, camping and many opportunities to observe and photograph nature in all her glory.

Red Rock Canyon
Red Rock Canyon

This geological masterpiece gets its red color from the Aztec sandstone in the formations of the peaks and valleys that were formed millions of years ago. 

There is iron oxide in the rock that has ‘rusted’ and resulted in a photogenic red-orange hue.

Reservations for park entry are required during peak times.  Entrance to the park is per vehicle and the America the Beautiful Pass is accepted. 

The Visitor’s Center with an Information Desk is right inside the park entrance at the start of the loop road.  In addition to a well-placed observation platform and a live tortoise habitat, there are many indoor educational displays that offer information about the geology, history and wildlife of the area.

Written by Michelle from Moyer Memoirs Empty Nest Travel Adventures


Distance: 117 miles

Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Beatty, Nevada, is a unique and one-of-a-kind destination to visit from Las Vegas. The small desert town is located in southern Nevada, surrounded by the Amargosa River and rugged rust-colored mountains. Just under a two-hour drive along 95 N, Beatty can be the perfect day trip from Las Vegas.

Only eight miles from the entrance of  Death Valley, Beatty is also referred to as the “Gateway to Death Valley.” Many pass through or stay in Beatty when visiting the national park. However, there are so many other fun and exciting things this small town has to offer.

One of the must things to do when visiting Beatty is to explore the nearby ghost town. On the outskirts of the city is where you can discover the abandoned ghost town of Rhyolite.

Rhyolite was built in 1904 and was a bustling and thriving gold mining town. However, once the production of gold declined, the entire town shut down and was left abandoned in the desert.

Today, you can visit and see the remaining remnants of Rhyolite that was left behind over a century ago.

Located right next to Rhyolite, you can find the Goldwell Open Air Museum. The open museum has a collection of 7 large outdoor sculptures, including a ghost rendition of the Last Supper. It’s pretty incredible to view these large and eccentric sculptures that sit on 7.8 acres of open desert.


After a day of adventure and working up an appetite, there are a couple of local restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat. Try an award-winning bowl of chili from the Happy Burro Chili & Beer. This small restaurant has a limited menu but lots of character with its fun and quirky décor.

Or another great option is Smokin’ J’s BBQ. They serve all the classic BBQ favorites for a reasonable price.

Before your day trip comes to an end, you must stop by Death Valley Nut & Candy for some road trip snacks!

It is the largest candy store in Nevada and has aisle after aisle of delicious candy, chocolate, nuts, and beef jerky. Also, inside the store, there is an ice cream stand and a café for sandwiches, smoothies, coffee, and more.  

A day trip to Beatty from Las Vegas is worth the trip! Beatty is full of rich history and plenty of awesome things to do.

Written by Alisha from Travel Today Work Tomorrow 


Distance: 126 miles

Time: 2 hours

Although Las Vegas has plenty of attractions to keep visitors busy for quite a while, there is also so much to explore within driving distance.

While many people make a trip to see the Grand Canyon, another option is to drive two hours south to Oatman, Arizona.

Oatman is a quirky little ghost town that was once a thriving mining area. The main mining company closed in the 1920’s and the rest followed soon after.

While many old mining towns simply disappear, Oatman has managed to stay alive and has become a favorite spot for tourists to visit.

While famous people such as Clark Gable and Carol Lombard have frequented Oatman, the most popular celebrities are the wild burrows that roam the streets. It’s estimated there are several thousand in the area and they are well aware that visitors often have food!

You can buy small packets of pellets to feed the burrow and although they are not pets, many of them are quite tame and will allow even children to pet them.


Do be cautious around them though, and never have food within reach. They will steal your hot dog, your ice cream cone, and even the muffin you’re carrying in a brown paper bag if you’re not careful!

Speaking of ice cream cones, be sure to stop by Oatman Hotel and enjoy some of their homemade flavors.

The Gold Rush Candy Shop is another favorite place to visit. If grabbing a meal in Oatman is on your agenda, you may want to plan to eat a late lunch or early dinner to avoid the crowds.

One of the highlights of visiting Oatman (besides the burrows) is the Wild West bank robbery show that happens each day at 1:30 and 3:30.

It’s quite fun to watch and you’ll get a kick out of the guys that put on the show! 

Written by Karee, Our Woven Journey

Zion National Park

Distance: 167 miles
Time: 2 hours & 50 minutes

Zion National Park is arguably one of Utah’s most popular and most visited national parks. The park offers a ton of outdoor activities, to include hiking, camping, canyoneering, backpacking, climbing and more.

It offers a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the Las Vegas Strip. With incredible canyon views and impressive natural rock formations, you certainly won’t be disappointed! 

Zion National Park is located in southwest Utah near the town of Springdale and is just under a 3-hour drive from Las Vegas. To get there, follow I-15 N for about 2 hours, or 132 miles, to UT-9 E and continue on UT-9 E for about 45 minutes, or 32.4 miles.

If you plan on leaving Las Vegas early in the morning, Oscar’s Café is in the heart of Springdale, opens at 7:30 AM and has yummy food to start your day off right.

One of the best things to do in Zion National Park is hiking! If you’re visiting for just one day, you’ll definitely want to check out the Zion Canyon Overlook Trail. It’s located in the upper East Canyon and provides iconic views of Pine Creek Canyon, lower Zion Canyon and the Route 9 switchbacks.

The hike is family-friendly and just around one mile round-trip, so it fits easily into any itinerary!

For an easier/moderate day of hiking, you can pair the Zion Canyon Overlook Trail with one or more of the following: Watchman Trail, Emerald Pools Trail, Pa’rus Trail, or Riverside Walk (which leads to the beginning of The Narrows).

Zion National Park will be a fun day trip from Las Vegas
Zion National Park

If you’re looking for a longer, more challenging day of hiking, check out The Narrows or Angels Landing. These are both very popular and tend to get crowded quickly; in fact, The Narrows is Zion’s most popular hike, and Angels Landing is one of the world’s most renowned hikes! If you decide to do one of these, make sure to get there earlier in the day to avoid the midday crowds.

When visiting Zion, you should pack lots of water, snacks, clothes for layering, sunblock, etc. and wear appropriate hiking clothes and boots. If you’re hiking The Narrows, splurge and rent the recommended gear.

Zion also offers several beautiful spots to enjoy a sunrise or sunset. The Zion Canyon Overlook Trail is stunning at sunrise when the light hits the peaks and everything turns orangish-red. 

Another option is watching the sunrise behind the Human History Museum, which provides a great view of the Towers of the Virgin. 

For sunset, hike the Pa’rus Trail. Although you can no longer walk on the Canyon Junction Bridge (it’s actually illegal now), the view along the trail is still breathtaking. 

For dinner, try out Zion Pizza & Noodle Co. and order the fire sticks; they’re delicious!

If you’re able to spend more than just one day here, check out How to Plan Your Epic Three-Day Zion Adventure for more ideas.

Written by Sara | Travel A-Broads

 Research and plan your day trip from Las Vegas 

Once you have decided on which day trip from Las Vegas you wish to take, you should do some research and plan the trip. 

One of the biggest stresses, is the unfamiliar setting and getting lost, not packing the right gear and experience delays.  

By planning your trip in advance, you will be organised, which will only make the trip less stressful.  

Firstly, start with planning the logistics. How will you get there, can you drive? Or will taking a bus tour make planning the logistics of the unfamiliar terrain stress free.  

When we visited the Grand Canyon for a day trip from Las Vegas, we booked onto a guided bus tour. With a guided tour, all the logistics are planned, but it is less flexible as you may only have a limited time at each destination the tour has already set.  

In our case, we only had 1 hour in Mathers Point, before heading to Bright Angel on the South Rim for an hour and a half. In our opinion, it didn’t feel long enough, but it was a stress-free way of getting to experience what the Grand Canyon had to offer.  

While it was a short insight, it was the most suitable option for us, the bus driver and fellow travel companions on the bus were so friendly.  

Here are a few great guided tours that we would recommend: 

Driving is another great option. This gives you more flexibility, as you can take your time exploring the destination, without having to rush to catch the tour bus or public transport. But for many, like us, it was an unfamiliar location and a long drive, which swayed us towards the bus tour.  

Some remote destinations are not covered by public transport, so either a guided tour or driving is a must. If you plan to travel via public transport, select the ideal day trip from Las Vegas that is covered by public transport.  

During the planning and research stage, you should also consider the opening times, parking options and fees and admission fees. Some activities may require advanced booking, parking may only be cash only or limited. So doing the research, will prevent disappointment and create an organised trip.  

When it comes to packing, being a minimalist is important. Pack lightweight and versatile clothing and comfortable and practical shoes.  

Sun protection is a must, layer on the sun cream, wear a hat and sunglasses. The worst thing that will spoil a vacation is sun burn. Pack enough water and snacks for the day trip and if you plan to go hiking, you must have a map and GPS device to help you navigate. 

Stay up to date with the weather conditions, as these could change. Take waterproofs if rain is forecasted, check the conditions of the road if you’re driving. In cooler climates a jumper or a jacket will keep you warm.  

Pack a water bottle and food for the journey. Staying hydrated in different climates is so important, but so is fuelling your body. Pack enough for the journey, take some extra water and food in case of an emergency.  

We love packing a picnic, not only will it keep us to our tight budget, but we can find a nice spot with scenic views and enjoy our budget friendly meal on the go.  

Finally staying safe is priority during a day trip from Las Vegas. Stay hydrated, adhere to all safety guidelines and be mindful of your surroundings.  

By having a plan and packing the essentials, you will enjoy your trip without any mishaps.  


It’s clear that Sin City extends beyond the neon lights of the Strip, with plenty of day trips for both locals and visitors to enjoy.  

Explore the natural beauty of the Grand Canyon and Red Rock Canyon to the engineering marvel of the Hoover Dam, each destination has its own unique adventure.  

By getting away from the hustle and bustle, you’ll discover a different world and enriching experience. These day trips from Las Vegas promise to ignite your sense of wonder and leave lasting memories.  

Have you ever ventured beyond the glittering lights of the Las Vegas Strip? If so, which day trip destination captured your heart the most? Which of the day trip options mentioned in this article are you most excited to explore? Are there any hidden gems you’d recommend to fellow travellers? Are there any other day trip destinations near Las Vegas that you’ve discovered and would love to share with our community? We invite you to share your experiences within our community. Just hit the reply button or join us on our Social Media channels.  

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Easy day trips from Las Vegas
Easy day trips from Las Vegas
11 Fun day trips from Las Vegas
11 Fun day trips from Las Vegas
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