When people hear “Las Vegas,” their minds usually conjure up images of the bright neon lights of the Vegas Strip, multimillion dollar casinos crammed full with slot machines, blackjack tables, video poker machines, and roulette wheels. In the hopes of overcoming the stigma that Las Vegas has gained over the years as an adult’s only destination, developers have built the now famous, massive, family oriented theme park casinos complete with every type of thrill ride ever imagined. Here in this article we are going to look at five outdoor adventures that the Las Vegas area has to offer beyond the casinos and the strip.
These outdoor adventures are for everyone; singles, couples, families, young and old it doesn’t matter. Visitors to Las Vegas have several opportunities for great adventures past the bright lights of the famous strip. Of course, the Grand Canyon is only about a four hour drive away and many visitors take advantage of the canyon’s proximity. The beautiful Lake Mead is only forty-five minutes away and offers every type of water sport imaginable along with some of nature’s most spectacular river canyons in the country. However, we are looking closer to town so here we go.
Las Vegas tandem skydiving
For those visitors looking for that extreme adrenaline rush, look no further! Jumping out of an airplane at ten thousand feet will provide the adventure seeker with a sixty second freefall at speeds in excess of 120mph, then when your parachute opens you will enjoy a peaceful descent to the desert floor. During your plane ride up to your jump altitude you will be able to enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Las Vegas Strip, Lake Mead off in the distance, Red Rock Canyon and Mount Charleston.
This tandem skydiving adventure requires about five hours and will cost about two hundred dollars. When you arrive at your drop zone your outfitter will provide you with a jumpsuit, goggles, a soft helmet, and a harness. Previous adventure seekers have stated many times, “that it’s that sudden freefall once you step out of the plane that provides the adrenaline rush but the peacefulness that follows the chute opening is out of this world.” If you are looking for a real thrill ride try this one on for size!
Black Canyon river rafting tour
Are you one who enjoys water adventures? Then rafting on the Colorado River is for you. This unique all day rafting trip will launch you below Hoover Dam and take you through the magnificent scenery of Black Canyon. Rafters will be accompanied by knowledgeable guides, who will share the history of this magnificent geological area.
Your rafting outfitter will provide large, comfortable rafts equipped with all Coast Guard required safety equipment. They will also pick you up and drop you off at your Las Vegas hotel. This raft trip takes about eight hours but your outfitter does provide box lunches for all rafters. This rafting adventure will cost approximately $130.00, but be sure to wear your swim suits and bring your camera.
Launching at the base of the dam will provide rafters will spectacular photo opportunities while they float down the Colorado River. The towering walls of Black Canyon will leave rafters awe struck from their natural beauty. Along the river, rafters may have several sightings of desert big horn sheep, the great blue heron, and the mighty osprey soaring high overhead. During your trip down river your guide will find a shoreline spot to pull in for lunch and give rafters a chance to swim in the clear cool waters.
This rafting trip is a great way to spend a day in the Las Vegas area; floating down the Colorado River in its calm cool water while basking in the sunshine and blue skies of the Mojave Desert experiencing the spectacular natural scenery that Mother Nature provides through the Black Canyon corridor.
Red Rock Canyon tour
Located just outside of Las Vegas is one of the Mojave Desert’s most awe inspiring attractions in Red Rock Canyon. For about seventy dollars, your local tour operator will provide transportation to and from Las Vegas hotels to this locale. Visitors can choose from a relaxing six hour trip or the four hour afternoon express depending on your time table.
After visitors are picked up, the tour proceeds to the Red Rock National Conservation Area where visitors enjoy the 13-mile scenic loop. Tour stops will include the colorful Calico Hills, ancient Native American roasting pits, and the ancient petro-glyphs found at Willow Springs. The guided tour then proceeds to the Spring Mountain State Park, the ranch was previously owned by the famous aviation pioneer, billionaire Howard Hughes.
Over the course of your tour, guides will provide visitors with the history of the Red Rock Canyon including the Native Americans, European explorers, and the canyon’s unique geographical makeup as well as the areas diversified wildlife.
Visitors that enjoy natural beauty will truly enjoy what nature has bestowed upon the Las Vegas area here in Red Rocks Canyon, so be sure to bring your camera along.
El Dorado Canyon and gold mine trip
This exciting adventure allows visitors to explore the historic El Dorado Canyon on a four wheel drive ATV. These all-terrain vehicles provide an exhilarating way to tour the back canyons of this long forgotten area. Visitors are also provided a walking tour of the haunted Techaticcup Gold Mine. Visitors get to experience nature first hand, while riding through the towering multicolored rock formations and cactus forests under the azure blue desert sky.
Your local tour outfitter will provide fully automatic, late model 4WD ATVs, helmets, gloves and goggles along with professional instruction. This ATV adventure will cost about $150.00 while you spend about six hours exploring the Mojave Desert. With your choice of morning or afternoon departures riders are provided lunch or dinner in an Old West Town setting. Beginners and experienced riders alike will take a safety and operational orientation before hitting the trail with their professional tour guide. If you like the outdoors and the thrill of riding ATVs in the open air this tour is for you. Don’t forget your camera!
Mini Baja Buggy tour
For the most adrenaline-fueled, fast-paced desert tour in the Las Vegas area the Mini Baja Buggy takes the cake! Featured in Rolling Stone Magazine as the “Best-Near Death Experience” in the Vegas area, this Baja Buggy Tour is not for the weak of heart. The Baja Buggy outfitter provides transportation to and from Las Vegas hotels. All riders receive a thorough safety briefing and all safety gear is provided by the outfitters. There are options of morning or afternoon tours and, depending on the number of riders, the option of a one seat or two seat buggies.
Riders should be forewarned that this thirty minute buggy ride is not a roller coaster ride. Like driving a car you will hit what you aim at! All riders are required to wear a four point safety harness and a full face helmet at all times while on the course. This ride takes you over ten to fifteen miles of some very aggressive and challenging terrain so leave the camera at home on this one and enjoy your ride! You won’t forget it!