While Las Vegas is full of beautiful resorts, pool parties, nightclubs, gaming, and more, you may want to explore a different side of the city the next time you visit. There are actually several scenic drives near Las Vegas that offer stunning views of the natural landscape. If you’re looking for day trips from Las Vegas not too far from the city, here are the best Las Vegas scenic drives.
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What are some unique drives to take from Las Vegas?
Get ready for adventure, beautiful scenery, and inspiring natural landscapes with these epic drives from Las Vegas:
1. Red Rock Canyon
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is truly a breathtaking place to visit — and surprisingly, only 40 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip! There are several hiking trails where you can stretch your legs and get some exercise before hitting the town in Las Vegas. However, one of the gems of this area is the 13-mile loop scenic drive.
Driving the loop through Red Rock Canyon gives you a chance to see the beautiful ribbons of red rock that run through the mountains, unique rock formations, and native wildlife that wander the grounds. There are also multiple viewpoints where you can stop and take pictures and admire the scenery.
2. Hoover Dam Bypass
The famous Hoover Dam is also a quick drive away from Las Vegas. You can get to the Hoover Dam Bypass from the Las Vegas Strip in under an hour. The famous Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge is part of the Hoover Dam Bypass, which is a 3.5-mile stretch that offers spectacular views of the dam and the Colorado River below.
If you’d rather skip the driving and simply sit back and relax, Gray Line offers Las Vegas tours to the Hoover Dam! Ride in a comfortable motorcoach, see the sites, and learn the history of the Hoover Dam with a guided tour.
3. Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Wondering where Las Vegas locals go to cool off from the summer heat? Lake Mead is right next to the Hoover Dam and offers a welcome oasis for swimming, water sports, boating, and fishing — however, a few scenic drives around the lake offer picturesque backdrops of the water against the mountains. Choose between Lakeshore Road and Northshore Road for awesome views, picnic areas, and perfect photo opportunities.
Looking for the best Las Vegas day trips to get away for a few hours? Check out Gray Line Lake Mead tours near Las Vegas and explore the Lake Mead and Hoover Dam areas.
3. Valley of Fire State Park
The Valley of Fire State Park is another excellent choice for a quick trip and scenic drive while visiting Las Vegas. It’s about a one-hour drive from the Las Vegas Strip and offers spectacular views of ancient geography, including colorful Aztec sandstone, limestone from the Jurassic period, petrified trees, and petroglyphs carved into rocks by early man.
Take the Valley of Fire scenic byway for a 23-mile drive through the exotic desert landscape. This paved road is open all year and packed with stunning photo ops, including:
- Elephant Rock
- Charlie’s Spring Loop
- Winding hiking trails
- Desert wildlife
- Ancient rock formations
4. Zion National Park
Zion National Park is a little further from Las Vegas, but definitely worth the trip. You drive along I-15 for about two hours, with impressive desert landscapes and stop-worthy attractions along the way. Located in Utah, you also get to see slightly different sites at Zion National Park, like the Virgin River, The Narrows, breathtaking waterfalls, and sparkling pools.
You can also explore Zion by taking the Zion Scenic Drive on Highway 9, which travels parallel to the Virgin River. The byway is just over 50 miles long and will take about an hour and a half, with stops along the way. Keep in mind that Zion is a national park, and there is a fee to use the scenic drive.
5. Grand Canyon West Rim
Of course, the Grand Canyon is the ideal destination if you want to see jaw-dropping landscapes. As one of the Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon should definitely be on your list of places to visit when in Las Vegas. The Grand Canyon West Rim is about 2.5 hours from Las Vegas and offers:
- The iconic Skywalk
- Eagle Point
- Guano Point
- Colorado River rafting
- A thrilling zipline over the canyon
- Hualapai Point
While driving in the area is an exciting experience, you don’t want to miss out on the Grand Canyon’s beauty and majesty. With Gray Line’s Grand Canyon West Rim tours, you can leave the driving to us and keep all the exploring for yourself!
6. Grand Canyon South Rim
Venture a little further from Las Vegas to the most popular Grand Canyon destination at the South Rim. About a four-hour drive from Las Vegas, this is where you’ll find:
- Iconic Grand Canyon lookout points
- Grand Canyon Village
- National Geographic Grand Canyon Visitor Center
- Yavapai Geology Museum
- Horseback riding
- Desert View Drive
If you have a car, you can drive 25 miles on Desert View Drive to reach awesome lookout points and 360-degree views of the canyon below. However, you can also book South Rim tours from Las Vegas with Gray Line to make the most of your visit.
Book Grand Canyon tours from Las Vegas with Gray Line!
When you book a Grand Canyon tour with Gray Line, you’ll never miss a thing. Just relax, take in the natural beauty, and let us guide you through the sites. Book your Grand Canyon tour from Las Vegas online now!