Hiking can be one of the most stimulating and fun exercises you can do. Even better, it’s often free (or very cheap if there’s a park pass needed) and can be easier on your knees than running. If you want to get a taste of the fresh air, try out one of these great hiking trails near Las Vegas.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area flanks the West side of Vegas and provides quick access to the majesty of the Mojave Desert. Over one million visitors come to this area every year, drawn by the amazing red rock features and tucked away hiking trails. Day use passes are only $7 per car and annual passes can be purchased for $30. There are over twenty well-maintained trails that criss-cross the area, from the easy two mile Moenkopi Loop that has panoramic views and fossils to the moderately difficult La Madre Springs three mile hike. If you’re not up for hiking, there’s also gorgeous scenic drives and overlooks that allow you to take in the indescribable beauty of the desert.
The Spring Mountains National Recreation Area stretches from the high-desert region northwest of Las Vegas to the peak of Mt. Charleston. Just a short drive allows you to spend some time in the pine tree forests that feel a world removed from the heat of the Valley. You can even ski there in the winter! There are over 50 miles of trails. The easier Sawmill Loop is one of the more popular trails, though you can head over to the three mile Mummy Springs trail if you’re looking for more of a challenge (and access to a beautiful bristlecone pine forest).
The Springs Preserve is a newer feature in Las Vegas, but it’s quickly become treasured as a cultural and ecological center of the city. Special science exhibits will bring a deeper appreciation to your understanding of the desert, while eco-friendly inspiration at DesertSol will show how conservation efforts can be integrated with both form and function. There are also miles of easy, walkable trails that are packed with even more learning opportunities.
Where are your favorite places to get outside in the Valley? Do you have any more recommendations for hiking trails near Las Vegas?
Image by O Palsson via Flickr