10 National Parks Near Las Vegas Worth Visiting

Las Vegas is one of the most easily accessible cities in the US. With cheap flights, convenient airports, walkability, and cheap hotel prices, it is easy to see why it is such a huge tourist destination. Las Vegas is known for its over-the-top flashy lights and casinos, but just outside of the city you will find some of the most beautiful nature in America, including national parks near Las Vegas.

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I have visited Las Vegas 4 different times just for its national and state parks! Naturally, I have found the cheap hotels to be a great hub for me to toss my bags while I explore the surrounding area.

Here are the BEST day trips to state and national parks near Las Vegas that you do not want to miss, all under 2.5 hours away!

10 National Parks Near Las Vegas Worth Visiting

Zion National Park 

Distance: 2 hr 30 mins – 160 miles

National Parks Near Las Vegas

National Parks Near Las Vegas, Zion National Park

First, the farthest day trip on the list but the most popular by far is Zion National Park. Zion National Park is the 3rd most visited National Park in the US according to the National Park Service and sees over 3.6 million visitors per year!

Unsurprisingly, I think Zion National Park is heaven on earth. Soaring 360-degree mountain views as you drive through the canyon, this is just one of many reasons to visit. 

Top Things to Do:

Zion is famous for its one-of-a-kind hiking trails. So, take advantage of these two top trails in the park.

  1. Angels Landing Hike
  2. The Narrows

Pro-Tip: Zion National Park implements a bus system which is the only way to enter the park and popular hikes. If you plan to visit, plan ahead and reserve a bus spot

Grand Canyon West 

Distance: 2 hr 5 min – 126 miles

National Parks Near Las Vegas

National Parks Near Las Vegas, Grand Canyon West

The Grand Canyon is arguably the most famous national park, but did you know that it’s so big it is spread into four distinct sections that are all hours of driving apart? That’s right! But, the West Rim of the Grand Canyon is the closest rim to Las Vegas and provides an easy driving experience. 

The most popular rim of the Grand Canyon is the South. The South is owned by the National Parks System, but the West Rim is home to the Hualapai Indians. This makes it home to many unique activities at the Grand Canyon.

In fact, I have visited the Grand Canyon a handful of times and have found the west rim to be my favorite. Its lower crowds, no railings, and unique attractions make it favorable to visit.

Top things to do:

Grand Canyon Skywalk

Guano Point

Death Valley National Park

Distance: 2 hr 15 min – 149 miles

National Parks Near Las Vegas

National Parks Near Las Vegas, brown and gray mountains under blue sky during daytime, death valley national park

Did you know that Death Valley National Park is home to the hottest temperature ever recorded at a whopping 134 degrees Fahrenheit?! 

While I would not recommend visiting during the summer months, Death Valley can make a great day trip from Las Vegas during the cooler months. Additionally, Death Valley is home to some of the best stargazing in the world, sand dunes, crater sites, and many hikes.

Top things to do:

Badwater Basin – 282 ft below sea level

Artists Palette. Artists drive is a one-way 9-mile paved road

green grass field near body of water during daytime

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Distance: 20 mins – 20 miles

National Parks Near Las Vegas

National Parks Near Las Vegas, red rock canyon

While not a national park, Red Rock Canyon’s close proximity and stunning views are not to be missed on a trip to Las Vegas.

Red Rock Canyon is home to some of my favorite hikes I have ever been on with vast views of Las Vegas at the summit. Hands down this area is one of the most scenic places in all of Nevada and sees over 2 million visitors a year!

Furthermore, Death Valley National Park is home to world-class rock climbing, horseback riding, biking, and off-roading. So, you are sure to find a unique Las Vegas experience here.

Fun Fact: Red Rock Canyon hosts a half-marathon that runs along the 13-mile in-park scenic route!

Top Things to do:

Calico Tanks Trail

Ice Box Canyon Trail

Valley of Fire State Park

Distance: 45 mins – 45 miles

National Parks Near Las Vegas

National Parks Near Las Vegas, valley of fire state park

Valley of Fire, I am obsessed with you. Next up, this state park is located a convenient 45 minutes away from the city and is my favorite spot on the list!

With lower crowds, unique red rock formations, wildlife galore, and loads of hiking to explore I have fallen in love with the Valley of Fire State Park. 

A geologic haven, Valley of Fire State Park was once completely underwater and the sandstone formations left behind are from the Jurrasic period. Undoubtedly, it truly feels like another world.

Additionally, Valley of Fire is also very easy to navigate. With few roads inside and most hikes and parking lots along the major roads, Valley of Fire provides an easy and unearthly day trip from Las Vegas that is sure to “wow” you!

Visiting Valley of Fire State Park? Read Valley of Fire Itinerary: The Perfect Day Trip from Vegas

Top Things to do:

Fire Wave – 1.5-mile out-and-back trail

White Domes Hike – 1.25-mile loop hike

Check out Valley of Fire: The Perfect Day Trip From Las Vegas Itinerary!

Mt. Charleston 

Distance: 45 mins – 39 miles

National Parks Near Las Vegas

Winter, Christmas, Vegas, Las Vegas, Snow, Cold, National Parks Near Las Vegas

Mt. Charleston is a nearby escape from the heat. Sitting at 7,510 ft, Mt. Charleston sees an average high of only 80 degrees during the summer and dropping as low as 20 degrees during the winter.

Lush green forests, snowcapped mountains, and the popular scenic byway drive are all popular reasons to visit!

Top things to do:

Mary Jane Falls Trail – Moderate 3.9 mile out and back trail with 1,135 ft elevation gain. Offers wondrous caves, waterfalls, and lower crowds

Scenic Byway Drive

Hoover Dam

Distance: 50 mins – 32 miles

National Parks Near Las Vegas

Hoover dam, las vegas, National Parks Near Las Vegas

Built in 1931, the Hoover Dam is an important water supply for many western states. The Hoover Dam is a fun full-day or half-day trip from Las Vegas! Choose between guided tours or self-exploration for your Hoover Dam adventure. Note, the Hoover Dam offers great self-guided tours due to all the signage around the area.

Top things to do:

Mike O’Callaghan-Patt Tillman Memorial Bridge

Visitors Center

Lake Mead State Park

Distance: 30 mins – 20 miles

National Parks Near Las Vegas

Lake Mead, Nevada, Aerial View, Landscape, Scenic

Located just a short drive from Hoover Dam, Lake Mead is a premier relaxation area for residents of Las Vegas. Lake Mead is a reservoir formed by the Hoover Dam.

Lake Mead provides so many fun activities to utilize for the day. Take a swim in the freshwater, take a hike in the surrounding mountains, or go boating!

Lake Mead is also home to a beautiful campground right along the water. If you are up for it, I highly recommend checking it out!

Top things to do:

Swimming

Lake Mead Cruise

Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area

Distance: 20 mins – 17 miles

National Parks Near Las Vegas

wide-angle photography of black vehicle traveling on desert during daytime

A less-traveled park near Las Vegas, Sloan Canyon is the perfect place for solitude, discovery, and history.

This off-the-beaten-path location is filled with over 300 rock art panels and petroglyphs. Also, with no entrance fee, this place is definitely worth checking out.

Top things to do:

403 Trail and Park Peak Loop – moderate 5.2-mile loop with 859 ft elevation gain. Offers stunning views of Las Vegas.

Petroglyph Canyon Trail – moderate 4.1-mile loop with 557 ft elevation gain

Mojave National Preserve

Distance: 1 hr 10 mins – 68 miles

National Parks Near Las Vegas

photo of mountain near trees

Next up, head to California for your next Las Vegas day trip! Mojave National Preserve is a fun day trip to get away from crowds, see Joshua tree forests, climb sand dunes, and experience volcanic formations. In fact, the Mojave National Preserve is a massive 1.6 million acres making it the third-largest unit in the national parks system!

Although one day is not nearly enough to spend in Mojave National Preserve, you can cover a lot of ground and still be left wanting more! 

Top things to do:

Hole-in-the-Wall Rings Trail – moderate 1.3-mile loop with 127 ft elevation gain. Has some fun and unique climbing elements during the hike.

4-Wheeling!

As you can see, Las Vegas has some amazing National and State parks nearby that are all unique and worth checking out. Have you visited any of these parks? What park are you most excited to visit? 

I’m Danika! A travel obsessed, Disney adult, with a knack for budgeting.

In 2020 I was furlough from my “dream” job at Disney and have pursued my first love of travel ever since. I have traveled to 33 states and 28 countries spanning 5 continents.

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