Exploring Old Western Towns Near Las Vegas

Nelson, Nevada, USA. Old wooden houses, vintage fuel pumps and rusty car wrecks in the Nelson ghost town located in the Eldorado Canyon and surrounded by Eldorado Mountains.

If you’re visiting Las Vegas, you might be aware of its vibrant nightlife, spectacular shows, and bustling casinos. But did you know that just a short drive away from this modern metropolis lie echoes of the old West, waiting to be explored?

Ghost towns and old western towns near Las Vegas offer a captivating glimpse into the region’s rich history and heritage. Here are some of the best day trips to experience the charm of nostalgia-filled towns near Las Vegas.

Are there ghost towns near Las Vegas?

Yes! There are several ghost towns near Las Vegas, most of which are worth taking a day trip to explore. A few of the most popular ghost towns near Las Vegas include:


Less than two hours from downtown Las Vegas, you’ll find Rhyolite, one of Nevada’s most photographed ghost towns. Once a thriving mining hub, today, Rhyolite offers visitors an intriguing peek into Nevada’s past.

Gold Point

Gold Point is another fascinating ghost town near Las Vegas. It’s a well-preserved example of the mining towns that once dotted the Nevada landscape. Step back in time as you walk through its deserted streets and abandoned buildings.


Just 45 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, Nelson is a gem of a ghost town. Here, you can explore old mine shafts, vintage vehicles, and even a deserted plane wreck. Nelson provides a unique backdrop for those memorable holiday photos.

Book a Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour

What old cities are near Las Vegas?

There are plenty of day trips from Las Vegas that can take you on a journey back in time. Here are some of the best old western towns near Las Vegas and what you can expect to see at each one:

Boulder City

Just 30 miles from Las Vegas, Boulder City was built in the 1930s to house workers constructing the Hoover Dam. The town has maintained its charming, small-town feel and offers several historical attractions.


Pahrump is an hour west of Las Vegas and has a rich history dating back to the 19th century. Today, it’s known for its wineries, Spring Mountain Motor Resort, and Country Club.


Located in the Virgin River Valley, Mesquite is a small city with a rich history. You can explore the Virgin Valley Museum to learn about the area’s pioneer history and Native American roots or visit the local golf courses and casinos.

Are there things to see outside of Las Vegas?

Not only can you explore old western towns and former mining settlements near Las Vegas, but there are plenty of other attractions just a short drive away. From natural landmarks to historical monuments, there’s something for everyone in the region.

You may want to head out from the Strip if you’re

  • Needing a break from the bright lights of Vegas
  • Looking to explore outdoor activities like camping, hiking, and biking
  • Interested in checking out cultural attractions like historical museums, national parks, and monuments

Some of the best things to do in Las Vegas are actually on the outskirts! Don’t be afraid to venture off the Strip.

Book a tour of Lake Mead and Hoover Dam

What are the best day trips from Las Vegas?

Las Vegas is a fantastic base for exploring many of the Southwest’s iconic attractions. Among the top day trips you can take from Las Vegas are:

  • Grand Canyon: The Grand Canyon is one of the most popular day trips from Las Vegas. Gray Line Las Vegas offers a comprehensive tour that includes a stop at the Hoover Dam, lunch, and an optional Skywalk visit.
  • Red Rock Canyon: Just a 23-minute drive from Las Vegas, this area boasts a stunning landscape of red rock formations, making it an ideal spot for hiking and photography
  • Valley of Fire State Park: About an hour’s drive from Las Vegas, this park is known for its vibrant sandstone formations and petroglyphs
  • Hoover Dam: Another must-visit, the Hoover Dam is an engineering marvel that also offers beautiful views of Lake Mead
  • Death Valley National Park: This national park is famous for its desert landscapes, salt flats, and Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America
  • Cathedral Gorge State Park: A geologic preserve and public recreation area with distinct, dramatic landscapes
  • Zion National Park: A bit further from Las Vegas but well worth the trip, Zion National Park offers stunning red cliffs, waterfalls, and hiking trails

For those who prefer organized tours, book your Grand Canyon helicopter tour with Grayline Las Vegas. We will take care of all the details and provide a stress-free experience to ensure you get the most out of your adventure.

Explore the Old Las Vegas West with Gray Line tours

Road leading to Nelson ghost town located in the Eldorado Canyon and surrounded by Eldorado Mountains.

Whether you’re looking for a full-day tour, or simply want to get out of the city and explore some old western towns, there are plenty of options surrounding Las Vegas.

And when it comes to booking the best tours in the area, Gray Line Las Vegas has you covered. With our comprehensive selection of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, we’ll make sure you have an unforgettable experience.

Contact us today to learn more about our day trips from Las Vegas!