Las Vegas for the Outdoor Adventurer

What’s a girl to do?

I’ve been to Las Vegas several times and adore that hot city in the desert. Hubby, on the other hand, is not so keen. He’s never been, isn’t wooed by the emblematic Vegas experience that most Canadians are drawn to – the gambling, the shows, the shopping, and the food – so I know I need to get a little more creative in my persuasion.

Most people don’t realize that there is a whole state beyond the strip that is begging to be explored and for outdoor enthusiasts like my husband, this may be the best reason to visit the city. Topographically, Las Vegas offers it all; from the desert, to the mountains, to water, there is enough to see and do close to the city that the strip will be the last reason we visit.

If your partner is like my husband, try luring them to Las Vegas with these five activities:

Visit the Grand Canyon

Las Vegas, Nevada
Image courtesy of Tourism Media

The Grand Canyon is one of the top ten most popular destinations in all of the United States and has made it onto many a bucket list. There are several different ways you could have the Grand Canyon experience—on the ground or in the air. The skywalk, completed in 2007, is a circular, glass path that stretches out towards the canyon. However, if your partner is afraid of open heights, you may switch to a ground tour or a helicopter ride to visit one of the natural wonders of the world. Depending on the entrance point you choose to visit the Grand Canyon, it is between 130-280 miles away—certainly easy enough for a day trip.

Hiking the Red Rock Canyon

With nearly twenty different trails to choose from, I’m sure both travellers could find something to love. The trails range in difficulty (from easy to strenuous) so with a little research, it would be simple for you to choose your trails depending on how you feel that day. You would also have the opportunity to take in desert life and see the colorful rock formations.

The Hoover Dam

If your partner is feeling particularly intellectual, perhaps a visit to the historical Hoover Dam may provide some perspective. Constructed in 1936, this massive gravity-dam is what feeds Lake Mead and is a major tourist attraction. Its history is somewhat controversial and the stories of its inception would be fascinating. The sight and sound of that crushing water may be all it would take to convince anyone to visit.

Lake Mead

However, maybe your partner won’t be feeling too adventurous and would rather relax, lying on a beach in the sun. While there are exceptional swimming pools at the hotels on the strip where we could do this, the pools can be crowded and the scenery is, well, boxed in. Lake Mead, located only thirty minutes away from Las Vegas, is one of the largest manmade lakes in the world and offers a vast amount of recreational activities: beach lounging and swimming, hiking, and kayaking.

Racing in the desert

Las Vegas, Nevada
Image courtesy of Tourism Media

While being in the desert may not be a very appealing destination to some travellers because of its lack of scenery, it can still provide an exhilarating experience. For example, the Nellis Dunes are less than twenty miles north of the city where you can rent specialized dune buggies to rip around in the sand. The terrain is rugged which makes it an off-roader’s dream. You can give your partner the chance to feel like Dale Earnhardt just for a little while.

Although my husband may not expect a trip to Las Vegas with me to be one of outdoor adventures, I’m sure I could keep him busy and happy with these unassuming, more nature-oriented plans.

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About Author

Dalene Heck

Dalene, originally from Alberta, sold everything in 2009 to travel the world with her husband Pete. Since then they have slow-traveled through 40+ countries, and are still going! They were recently honored as Travelers of the Year by National Geographic, and Dalene has twice been named a Voice of the Year by BlogHer.

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