Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Death Valley National Park - A 1-1/2-hour drive on US Hwy. 95 north, then NV Hwy. 374 south, or through Pahrump to Death Valley Junction. Fantastic desert formations and geological displays. Points of interest include Zabriski Point, Furnace Creek, old mines, and Scotty's Castle.
Floyd R. Lamb State Park - 15 miles north on US Hwy. 95. This green oasis, a natural for bird-watchers, offers fishing and pleasant picnicking facilities on 16 acres of land adjacent to a 7-acre lake and horseback riding.
Grand Canyon National Park - South Rim. By car, take US Hwy. 93 south to Kingman, I-40 east to Williams, AZ, and Hwy. 64 north to entrance.
Hoover Dam - 45 minutes from Las Vegas, S. on Boulder Highway.
Hualapai Indian Reservation - Raft trips on the Colorado River available. Great photo views, however, no facilities. To travel on reservation land, entrance permits must be obtained at the Hualapai Wildlife Office in Peach Springs, AZ, for a minimal fee. (520-769-2227)
Mt. Charleston/Spring Mountains National Recreation Area - (US Forest Service). Just under an hour's drive north on US Hwy. 95 and west on NV Hwy. 157 to 8,000-foot elevation in Toiyabe-Humboldt National Forest, which provides skiing in winter and picnicking and camping in the cool pines during summer.
Spring Mountain Ranch State Park - A 20-mile drive west on Charleston Blvd. (NV Hwy. 159) to the massive red rock cliffs. 32 picnic tables. Guided tours of the ranch. During summer months, evening hours vary depending on special events. Entrance fee.
Valley of Fire State Park - 1-1/2 hours from Las Vegas or Lake Mead visitor center on I-15 toward Utah is the entrance to a wonder-world of wind carvings around and through spectacularly colored rock formations.
Red Rock Canyon Natural Conservation Area - A 20-mile drive west of Las Vegas on Charleston Blvd. (NV Hwy. 159). Excellent hiking, picnicking, rock climbing. Scenic 13-mile drive. Programs year-round. Good location for stargazing. (For more depth, read Leaving Las Vegas .)
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication