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The Las Vegas strip is a fantastic bucket-list destination, but there is so much to explore outside the Las Vegas strip.
Visiting Las Vegas and exploring the strip for the first time is a bucket-list-worthy destination. However, I urge you to
not just stay on the Las Vegas strip but to explore off the strip, as there are so many spectacular wonders to be explored beyond the strip. Why? Because, Vegas is more than just gambling.
What will you need?
A Rental Car
I would not recommend taking an Uber ride to explore the locations I will cover because there is a chance that you will have limited phone reception as we did. I would hate for you to get dropped off by your Uber driver and not have a phone reception to call for a driver to return to the strip and therefore get stuck in the desert. That is
NOT the Vegas experience you want. So a rental car will be a must.
A Travel Backpack
We knew a few of the locations we would explore included rock climbing, hiking, exploring the desert, and taking pictures, so having a small waterproof backpack that could carry all our snacks and gears would be best. It was just the right size to keep the following;
- (3) Bottled water
- (3) Gatorade
- (6) Apple Sauce packs
- (6) Nutella pretzel packs (not a must but my favorite snack 😉
- You’ll need an excellent camera. We used our iPhone 11 for the most part and had my Canon EOS M50— which is not too big, but the perfect size for taking pictures and vlogging the experience.
- We also took my GoPro Hero 7 as well.
- (6) Portable chargers to recharge our cellphones if we were to go low on battery life.
Where to Explore?
Seven Magic Mountains
Seven Magic Mountains is a spectacular sight to see. These boulders are about 30 mins outside of the Las Vegas strip. These spectacular crayon-colored boulders were created by New York’s Art Production Fund and the Nevada Museum of Art, which opened May 2016. These boulders add a magical touch to the desert look and a picture-perfect spot to add to your list while exploring off the Las Vegas strip.
Entrance Fee: Free
Red Rock Canyon
Red Rock Canyon is about 35-45 mins outside of the Las Vegas strip. These spectacular sandstone formations are a sight to see and a beauty to be adored. At Red Rock Canyon, you can hike, rock climb, bike, or enjoy outdoor recreation activities. The 13-mile Scenic Drive takes you on a journey through parking areas, hiking trails ranging from novice to expert, and beautiful overlooks of the canyon. You want to ensure you have on the proper hiking shoes, water or Gatorade, snacks, and a hat to cover your head from the heat (especially if you visit in September as we did). The temperature can be hot and cause dehydration, so planning for this visit with the essential items suggested above will be extremely helpful.
Entrance Fee per vehicle: $15
Valley of Fire
What can I say, Valley of Fire is a magical place. The rainbow rocks, the bold red colors, the scenic drive, all will leave you in full amazement of its beauty. It is a sight to see. Valley of Fire is approximately 45 mins outside the Las Vegas strip. These 40,000 acres have hiking trails, picnic areas, RV camping, and so much more.
Entrance Fee per vehicle: $10
Entrance Process: There is a small drop box at the entrance where you pick a yellow envelope, write your car information, put $10 cash inside, seal it, and drop off it the dropbox. Be sure to keep the receipt section to hang on your rearview mirror. If you lose this receipt, you will need to pay another $10 to the attendant before leaving the park.
The Hoover Dam is located about 35-45 mins outside the Last Vegas strip and it is a magnificent structure. This concrete arch-gravity dam was built between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression. It was built to supply electrical power and water supply.
You can purchase a tour on the Vegas strip at various vendors with varying price points. We opted for a tour guide from the Vegas Strip. The Hoover dam is considered a government facility, so the security there is strict; no snacks are allowed in the building, no liquids, except water. The tour begins with a brief video of the history of the Dam, followed by a very tight elevator ride down into the Dam, then a detailed walkthrough history of its construction, followed by a self-guided view of the observatory area that leads to the top of the Dam.
Entrance Fee: Varies based on selected tour
So the next time you visit Las Vegas, consider going outside Vegas for some adventure!
If you enjoyed this blog post, check out our post on The BEST Natural Springs in Central Florida.
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