When you think of Las Vegas, the first thing that comes to mind is probably not national parks. But believe it or not, Vegas is actually a great starting point for a road trip through some of America’s most amazing natural landscapes.
If you have 10 days to spare (after exploring all that Las Vegas has to offer first, of course) and you want nothing more but to immerse yourself in some of America’s best national parks, this itinerary will take you on a journey through 6 different national parks and 3 iconic landmarks, each more stunning than the last.
So pack your bags and get ready for an adventure through the American Southwest that you’ll never forget! By the end of this post, you will have the perfect 10-day national park itinerary from Las Vegas!
If you’re looking to build your own national park road trip itinerary, check out these 12 awesome national parks near Las Vegas spanning from California all the way to Arizona and Utah!
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Table of Contents
The Ultimate 10-Day National Park Itinerary From Las Vegas
There are so many great national parks near Las Vegas worth visiting. The biggest struggle is deciding which one to visit first! The second biggest struggle? Planning out how many days to spend at each park!
This 10-day American Southwest road trip combines a total of nine national parks and landmarks that span 3 states–Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. There’s a lot to see, but we’re going to try and help you see it all!
To get a feel for all the attractions you’re going to be visiting, here’s a quick breakdown of your 10-day Las Vegas national park itinerary:
- Day 1: Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National Park to Page, AZ
- Day 2: Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Monument Valley
- Day 3: Canyonlands National Park
- Day 4: Arches National Park
- Day 5: Capitol Reef National Park
- Day 6: Bryce Canyon National Park
- Day 7: Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park
- Day 8: Zion National Park
- Day 9: Zion National Park
- Day 10: Back to Las Vegas
Check out our Las Vegas national park road trip map below for a high-level look at what this road trip looks like:
And here’s an interactive map of the 10-day Las Vegas national park road trip that you can save to your phone for your travels:
10-Day Las Vegas National Parks Road Trip: Logistics
For our road trips, we typically like to pick up rental cars from a nearby airport (there’s often more availability at the airports compared to rental car shops in town). For this road trip, aim to pick up a rental car from the LAS airport.
We typically like to rent from Hertz. Their Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program is awesome (and completely free to join). You’ll get counter-free pickup at select locations, and even mobile alerts with your exact rental car and its location before you arrive. Check out rental car pricing and availability here.
For the car rental, you’re going to pick it up from LAS and drop it right back off at LAS after your 10-day road trip, where you’ll ultimately take your flight home.
American The Beautiful National Parks Pass
For most of the National Parks, you’ll need to pay a $25-35 entrance fee. This pass lasts for 7 days per park. If you plan on visiting multiple National Parks or National Monuments throughout a one-year time span, I’d highly recommend getting the America the Beautiful National Parks Pass.
This pass will cost you $80 and will get you into any of the 2,000 National Parks, National Monuments, or National Forests for an entire year.
I buy this pass every year. It’s the best bang for your buck if you plan on visiting at least 3 national parks within a 12-month timespan!
Since you will be visiting at least 5 national parks on this itinerary, your park entrance fees without the pass are estimated to be around $150. With the America the Beautiful National Parks Pass, you’ll be paying just $80. Plus, you’ll be able to continue using it for a whole year from the time of your purchase.
You can buy a pass online at REI or in-person at the entrance gates of any National Park.
Day 1: Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Las Vegas, Nevada
While you could very easily start this road trip anywhere in the United States, there are some benefits of starting in Las Vegas.
First off, you’ll be able to find a wide variety of affordable flights that’ll get you here–within close proximity of Grand Canyon National Park, your first national park stop.
Secondly, because it’s such a major city, you’re going to find better rental car prices here than at other smaller airports.
And lastly, it’s a super fun town! There are just about a million things to do in Las Vegas, including indulging in the resort life and luxury spas (which can be a great reward for yourself after 10 days of exploring and hiking)!
Traveling with kids and teens? Check out this post: 60+ Fun Things To Do In Las Vegas With Teenagers
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Distance from Las Vegas: 2.5-hour drive to the West Rim, 4.5 hour drive to North Rim and South Rim
The Grand Canyon is one of the most popular national parks in the United States. The national park spans more than one million acres and includes the Grand Canyon itself, which is one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
The canyon is over 277 miles long and 18 miles wide. HUGE!
Between the North and South Rim, The South Rim is the more visited of the pair, with a wider range of viewpoints and things to do. It is home to many of the best activities in the Grand Canyon, which are open all year round. (The North Rim is closed during the wintertime.)
The vastness of the canyon may be seen from a series of viewpoints on Desert View Drive and Hermit Road. On your visit to the Grand Canyon, be sure to stop by a few of them during sunrise and sunset too!
Another South Rim bucket list item for hikers is to take on the South Kaibab Trail where you actually get to hike inside the canyon.
Highlights of the North Rim include Bright Angel Point, Cape Royal and Roosevelt Point.
Distance from Grand Canyon National Park: 2 hour 20 minute drive
Page, Arizona is home to Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, two natural landmarks that have become very popular tourist destinations over the past few years. Why? Because they offer stunning views of Arizona’s unique and natural landscape.
They are both very close to each other and are easily accessible from the small town of Page, Arizona.
Since you’ll be visiting both of them on Day 2, it makes sense to drive here ahead of time on Day 1 so you can easily enjoy Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend the next day.
WHERE TO STAY IN PAGE, ARIZONA: These two options are going to be the most comfortable (and are the least outdated hotels in town):
- Hyatt Place Page Lake Powell – This highly rated hotel is located in the center of Page, only a 10-minute drive away from both Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon.
- Wingate by Wyndham Page Lake Powell – This is another highly rated hotel located a 7-minute drive away from Horseshoe Bend and a 13-minute drive from Antelope Canyon.
Day 2: Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Monument Valley
Today is the day we get to see the iconic Antelope Canyon! You’ll need to book a tour in advance (this is a must). Pick a tour between the times of 11 am to 1:30 pm for the best lighting conditions during your tour.
First off, you’re going to need to choose between seeing Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon. Choosing between the Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon is fully dependent on what you want to see, how much time you have, and how much money you want to shell out for a guided tour.
Upper Antelope Canyon tours are more popular because they feature the light beams that photographers love. Because of this, the Upper Antelope guided tours tend to be more expensive and more crowded than Lower Antelope Canyon tours.
While Lower Antelope Canyon doesn’t have light beams, it’s still incredibly beautiful! You’ll be walking through a maze of colorful slot canyons that’ll make you feel like you’re in a natural labyrinth all your own. If you’re looking for more of an adventurous experience and do not care about light beams in your photos, opt for the Lower Antelope Canyon!
We went on a guided tour of Lower Antelope Canyon and it was absolutely breathtaking.
When it comes to choosing which tour company to go with, I personally don’t think it matters because honestly, each tour operator will offer a similar experience. You can browse through all the different Antelope Canyon tour companies and read the reviews before choosing the tour you want to go with!
If you’re interested in seeing both portions of the canyon, you can definitely opt to see both and compare the two canyon areas for yourself! This convenient half-day tour offers the chance to see both ends of the canyon in one go.
More on Antelope Canyon here: The Perfect Antelope Canyon And Horsehoe Bend Itinerary
15 minutes from Antelope Canyon
Horseshoe Bend is a fun little stop where you can truly admire the power of erosion caused by the river over time.
Visitors can access the bend by ‘hiking’ a short 0.6-mile trail from a nearby parking lot. Honestly, it’s more of a walk than a hike! There is a gradual incline on the path, so just be mindful of that when coming back up from the viewpoint.
Horseshoe Bend can take anywhere from 1-2 hours, depending on walking speed and how long you plan to linger at the viewpoints.
2 hour 15 minute drive from Horseshoe Bend
From Horseshoe Bend, take the 2 hour 15 minute drive over to Monument Valley, featuring some of the most impressive monoliths rising out of an otherwise flat landscape.
There are a few key reasons why Monument Valley is such an amazing place. Firstly, the landscape is just incredible. The red rocks and desert scenery make it feel like you’re on another planet entirely!
Secondly, the night sky is unbelievable. You can see so many stars and it’s just breathtaking. Lastly, the sunsets are out of this world. The colors are just incredible and it’s an amazing experience to watch the sun go down in such a beautiful place.
WHERE TO STAY NEAR MONUMENT VALLEY: About an hour northeast of Monument is the little town of Bluff. This is a good town to rest up before continuing on your national park road trip!
Day 3: Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Canyonlands National Park
Distance from Bluff (Monument Valley): 1 hour 40 minutes
Canyonlands National Park is located just a little over 1.5 hours from Bluff. This unique national park spans more than 337,000 acres and features expansive canyons, rivers, and mesas.
Hiking is one of the most popular activities in the park, and for good reason! There are plenty of trails to explore, ranging from easy strolls to more challenging hikes.
One of the most popular trails is the Mesa Arch Trail, which offers stunning views of the unique Canyonlands landscape. This is a photographer’s favorite at sunrise, as you can easily tell from a quick peek at Instagram.
If you’re looking for a more challenging hike, try the Syncline Loop Trail. This trail takes you through some of the most scenic areas of the park and is considered one of the best hikes in Canyonlands.
For those who want to explore the park without hiking, there are plenty of other options. One popular activity is taking a scenic drive through the park. The Island in the Sky Scenic Drive offers stunning views of the canyons and mesas, and is a great way to see the park without doing any strenuous activity.
If you’re looking for a more adventurous way to explore the park, try rafting or kayaking down the Colorado River. This is a great way to see the park from a different perspective and get some exercise at the same time.
Short on time? Be sure to visit the Island in the Sky and White Rim Road when you are at the national park!
Pro Tip: Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park are both easily accessible from the town of Moab, Utah. You can base yourself in Moab for a few nights and visit both these national parks before continuing on your national park road trip. If you’ve got more time, add in a visit to Dead Horse Point State Park!
WHERE TO STAY NEAR CANYONLANDS NP: Moab, Utah.
- Moab Springs Ranch – Gorgeous private bungalows you get to call home? Yes, please!
- MainStay Suites Moab near Arches National Park – delicious free breakfast comes with your stay.
Day 4: Arches National Park, Utah
Distance from Canyonlands NP: 30 minute drive
Arches National Park is located just 30 minutes away from Canyonlands National Park. This is easily one of the most popular national parks in the United States.
This drop-dead gorgeous national park is located in Utah and it is known for its beautiful red rock formations. The park spans more than 76,000 acres and includes more than two thousand natural sandstone arches.
Arches National Park definitely appeals to the more adventurous travelers as it’s a great place to visit if you are looking to hike, camp, and rock climb!
Having said that, it’s also a very family-friendly park because of the fact that most of its trails can be done by kids and elderly parents. Visitors of all ages can also take advantage of the many scenic viewpoints. Here are my four favorites:
- Delicate Arch Viewpoint: this is probably the most popular viewpoint at Arches National Park. The trail to get here is only about a mile long, but it is fairly steep in sections. From this viewpoint, you get a great view of Delicate Arch and the surrounding area.
- Fiery Furnace Viewpoint: this is a great viewpoint if you are up for a bit of a hike. The trail is about two miles long and is quite rocky with some steeper sections. From the top, you get unbeatable views of the Fiery Furnace area.
- Balanced Rock Viewpoint: this is a short, easy hike to a great viewpoint. The trail is only about 0.25 miles long, and it is mostly flat. This one is great for the whole family!
- Double Arch Viewpoint: this is another short, easy hike to an iconic viewpoint. The trail is only about 0.25 miles long, and it is mostly flat. From this viewpoint, the star of the show is Double Arch, of course!
Whether you are looking for an adventure or just want to relax, Arches National Park is the perfect destination. Don’t forget your camera because this park and all its majestic arches are sure to create lasting memories.
WHERE TO STAY NEAR CANYONLANDS NP: Moab, Utah.
- Moab Springs Ranch – Gorgeous private bungalows you get to call home? Yes, please!
- MainStay Suites Moab near Arches National Park – delicious free breakfast comes with your stay.
Day 5: Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
Distance from Arches National Park (Moab, UT): 2 hour 10 minute drive
Capitol Reef National Park is located a little over 2 hours from Moab, UT. This lesser-known national park features an eclectic mix of gorgeous canyons, cliffs, rivers, and forests.
There are plenty of things to do in Capitol Reef National Park, including hiking, camping, partaking in ranger-led programs, and more. While you’re here, you absolutely can’t miss the Grand Wash and Capitol Gorge!
Some other highlights of Capitol Reef include the Fremont Petroglyphs, Cassidy Arch, Hickman Bridge, Chimney Rock and Cohab Canyon Overlook.
With one day in Capitol Reef, you can explore the sights along Highway 24, drive Capitol Reef Scenic Drive, and do one or two hikes. It’s enough time to get a great feel for what the park has to offer.
WHERE TO STAY NEAR CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK:
- Capitol Reef Resort – adorable hotel featuring incredible views, outdoor campfires, teepees and covered wagons!
- Red Sands Hotel – comfortable hotel with free breakfast.
Day 6: Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Distance from Capitol Reef NP: 2 hour drive
Bryce Canyon National Park is the main attraction for Day 6 of your 10-day national park road trip. This incredibly unique national park spans more than 35,000 acres and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States.
Bryce Canyon is home to a number of incredible natural features, including the adorable hoodoos that can be found all over the park!
Be sure to visit the Bryce Amphitheater and Sunset Point when you are at the national park! Whether you’re looking to hike, camp, or just take in the incredible views, Bryce Canyon National Park is sure to delight all sorts of outdoor enthusiasts.
Here are our three top hike recommendations in the park:
- Navajo/Queens Garden Loop – 3.5 miles roundtrip
- This hike, undoubtedly the most popular hike in the park, gets you up close and personal with the hoodoos in the park. I’ve done this hike twice, and there will be a third and fourth time… I’ll never get sick of this one!
- Figure Eight Trail– 6.3 miles roundtrip
- This hike combines the Navajo and Queens Garden Loop, Wall Street, and Peekaboo Loop into one jam-packed hike through the hoodoos. Opting for this combo hike will give you a more complete tour of the amphitheater.
- Fairyland Loop Trail – 7.8 miles roundtrip
- This hike is much longer than some of the other trails at the park, but it’s way less crowded and well worth the effort. You’ll be taken through walking paths that provide sweeping views and close-up views of the hoodoo formations. You can either start at the Fairyland Loop trailhead or at Sunrise Point. (From the Fairyland Loop trailhead, go counter-clockwise. From Sunrise Point, go clockwise. By doing it this way, you’ll get the less exciting parts out of the way first.
WHERE TO STAY NEAR BRYCE CANYON NP:
Day 7: Bryce Canyon National Park to Zion National Park, Utah
Bryce Canyon National Park
Start your Bryce Canyon day off right by catching the sunrise at Sunset Point. You can also enjoy the sunrise at Sunrise Point, or anywhere along the rim between Sunset Point and Sunrise Point, really. If you can manage to wake up early enough, I’d highly recommend this!
You can spend your late morning exploring Bryce Canyon a little bit more before heading over to Zion National Park! A morning hike would be a great way to start the day.
After your hike, hop back into your car. It’s time to see the park’s vista points by car! Soak up the views from Rainbow Point, Natural Bridge, Inspiration Point, and Bryce Point, all of which are accessible by car.
After getting your fill of all the photogenic vista points, it’s time to drive to Springdale, UT. Springdale will be your home for the next three days as you explore Zion National Park! The drive from Bryce Canyon to Zion should take around 1.5 to 2 hours.
Pitstop: Virgin Trading Post
Take a quick pitstop at Fort Zion for the Virgin Trading Post! Not only is it a great place to pick up quirky gifts/souvenirs, but they also have a restaurant here, serving up yummy burgers as well as amazing homemade pies and ice cream.
Just look at how fun this place looks! If you’re traveling with kids, there are even animals they can feed. Definitely worth a stop!
Zion National Park, Utah
Distance from Bryce National Park: 1 hour 20 minute drive
Zion National Park is one of my top three favorite national parks. I’ve taken two previous road trips from Vegas to Zion National Park and am dying to hop back in the car for my third!
This epic national park spans more than 150,000 acres–you can easily spend 3 days or more exploring the various canyons, cliffs, rivers, and forests.
Be sure to visit the Emerald Pools, do the Narrows hike, Observation Point hike, and Angel’s Landing hike when you are at the park! In addition to these heavy-hitters, you can also do the following hikes during your next 3 days in the park:
- Watch the sunrise along the Pa’rus Trail (no shuttle required) – 3.5-miles roundtrip. This easy, paved walk hugs the river and has great views for both sunrise and sunset. It is the only trail in Zion that is open to bicycles and pets, and it is also one of the few wheelchair-accessible trails in the park.
- Observation Point (Shuttle Stop #7 – Weeping Rock) – 8 miles roundtrip
- For jaw-dropping panoramic views of Zion, it’s hard to beat this one. Observation Point is one of my absolute favorite hikes to do in Zion National Park! It’s a bit less popular than some of the other heavy-hitters in Zion, which makes it an extra peaceful excursion, especially if you can wake up early enough to take the first shuttle into the park.
- Watchman Trail (no shuttle required)– 3.1 miles roundtrip.
- This is a great introductory trail that gives you some really great views from the top.
- Explore Kolob Canyons
- This area is super underrated, way less busy than the main canyon, but absolutely gorgeous nonetheless. Kolob Canyons has a separate entrance and is about 45 minutes from the main entrance in Springdale, Utah. There are fewer hikes to choose from here, but you still have some pretty great options:
- Taylor Creek Trail (5 miles roundtrip) – brings you into an enchanting finger canyon along a creek, passing the ruins of a few historic cabins, before ending at Double Arch Alcove.
- Timber Creek Overlook (1.1 mile roundtrip) – good if you only have 1-2 hours; this is a short hike along a ridge with some incredible views.
- Sunset walk on the Pa’rus Trail (no shuttle required). If you didn’t get a chance to stroll on the Pa’rus Trail in the morning, take a post-dinner walk here. Stop at the Canyon Junction bridge to see the sunset with the Watchman in the background.
WHERE TO STAY NEAR ZION NATIONAL PARK: So many great options in the Zion area! Springdale (the town at the mouth of Zion National Park) offers tons of great accommodation options.
- Cliffrose Lodge – for those seeking luxury, travelers love Cliffrose!
- Zion Canyon Lodge – the hotel I stayed at, also great!
Day 8 & 9: Zion National Park, Utah
Because there’s simply so much to see at Zion National Park, I added in 2 extra days to further explore Zion. Trust me, this is NOT too many days. If anything, it’s the perfect amount of days for Zion NP!
The Narrows Hike
One of these days should be all about hiking The Narrows. The Narrows at Zion National Park is one of the United States’ most iconic trails and one of the world’s best slot canyon hikes.
Everyone needs to experience this epic hike for themselves!
We recommend going 3-4 miles in (making this a 6-8 mile round trip day hike) to the famous Wall Street section. Wall Street is the narrowest section of the hike, where millions of years of river erosion have formed incredible 1500-foot walls around you.
Make sure to pack snacks and even a full lunch to enjoy during the hike!
Depending on what time you start The Narrows hike, it may or may not be peaceful at first. There can be people everywhere. The further in you walk, the fewer people you will see. Many people just want to sample the Narrows, so eventually, crowds will begin thinning out. Better for us!
No matter what, don’t forget to rent water shoes and a walking stick from Zion Outfitter. You won’t get far without it! Alternatively, you can bring/use your own trekking poles for balance.
If you’ve still gone some energy in you, hope back onto the shuttle to see some other scenic viewpoints! I recommend stopping at the Court of the Patriarchs.
Phew, you’ve had a long day. Time to grub and head back to your hotel for a good night’s sleep.
Angels Landing Hike
The next day, you get another chance to bag another epic Zion National Park hike–Angels Landing!
Get an early start, check out, and eat a quick breakfast to ensure you make it on one of the first shuttles into Zion NP. This is one hike you don’t want to be sharing with hundreds of other people.
Angels Landing is a 5-mile roundtrip hike featuring some super epic views and one-in-a-lifetime experiences. It’s one of the most popular hikes in the park, so it can get very crowded (there is sometimes an hour wait to get to the top and an equally long line to get down). Highly recommend getting an early start on this one.
The Angels Landing hike brings you onto a fin-like mountain ridge that juts out to the center of the main canyon. The trail follows this ridge to a final vista point roughly 1,500 feet above the canyon floor. It truly is a view to be seen with your own eyes!
Explore Springdale, UT
Walk around the town of Springdale and have dinner at Oscar’s Cafe. There are plenty of unique gift shops and restaurants to keep you busy!
Finally, don’t miss out on the opportunity to go stargazing one of these nights. The night sky in Springdale is truly spectacular.
Day 10: Drive Back To Las Vegas, Nevada
Your 10-day national park road trip from Las Vegas is coming to an end! Take your time getting back to Las Vegas. You can explore Las Vegas a bit once you get back, and maybe even get that massage we discussed earlier in this post!
At this point, you’ll return your rental car and hop on your flight home.
Other Parks And Landmarks Near Las Vegas Worth Visiting
While not national parks, below are some awesome state parks and national recreation areas near Las Vegas worth visiting.
Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
Distance from Las Vegas: 1 hour drive
Located only 50 miles away from the Strip, Valley of the Fire SP sits patiently waiting for you in the Mojave Desert. Valley Of Fire State Park is by far my favorite hiking destination in the Las Vegas area. The natural formations in this park are drop-dead gorgeous!
Named for its distinctive red sandstone formations, Valley of Fire is a must-see for every hiker or adventurer that happens to be in Las Vegas. While you’re here, check out Native American petroglyphs (from the Anasazi people), the famous Atlatl Rock, and other stunning viewpoints.
If you only have time to do one hike, make it the Fire Wave, White Domes, and Seven Wonders Loop. Seriously, make time to visit Valley Of Fire SP–you won’t regret it.
If you’d rather visit Valley Of Fire without having to worry about the logistics or the itinerary, consider going on a 6-hour guided tour from Las Vegas.
Looking for a combo tour? Consider the full-day Valley of Fire and California Mojave Desert Tour.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Distance from Las Vegas: 30-minute drive
Lake Mead National Recreation Area is one of the most popular recreation areas in the Las Vegas area. It is located on the Colorado River, about 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Lake Mead is a big deal around these parts because it’s actually America’s first and largest national recreation area. It’s a complete desert oasis with 700 miles of shoreline, epic sunsets, Joshua trees galore, and all that water to play in.
If you’re looking for a relaxing day outdoors, you can sunbathe, fish, swim, boat, bike, hike, enjoy the scenic drives, and even go tubing. Alternatively, you can just pack a picnic and just eat, relax, and soak in the desert views surrounding you!
If you want to spend some time on the water but don’t want to put in the effort to drive a boat yourself, don’t miss the opportunity to go on one of the Lake Mead cruises! Many of these cruises will take you past Boulder Rocks into Black Canyon and to the edge of Hoover Dam.
The recreation area offers a wide variety of activities for visitors, including camping, hiking, fishing, boating, and swimming. There are also several schools within the recreation area that offer classes on topics such as canoeing and kayaking.
Distance from Las Vegas: 30 minute drive
Hoover Dam is located in Black Canyon, just minutes away from Las Vegas. Named one of the Top 10 Construction Achievements of the 20th Century, Hoover Dam continues to draw crowds 80 years after its creation.
For those of you who don’t yet understand the significance of Hoover Dam, it is the highest concrete dam in the Western Hemisphere, standing at more than 725 feet above the Colorado River. Additionally, it’s a National Historic Landmark.
The best way to enjoy it? Hop out of your car and walk around! While there are more than enough things to see and enjoy at Hoover Dam, visitors can even walk across the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge.
The 1,905-foot-long man-made bridge connects both Nevada and Arizona roadways, so the fact that it’s named after two heroes from each state is quite fitting.
Don’t have a car or would rather not be bothered with the logistics? Visit the Hoover Dam on this 6.5-hour tour from Las Vegas (with lunch included).
Pro Tip: If you’re looking for a jam-packed day trip that knocks out 3 landmarks in one day, consider doing the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead combined with a trip to the Valley of Fire National Park!
Colorado River Kayaking
Distance from Las Vegas: 30 minute drive
Escape the bustle of Las Vegas and opts for a refreshing day out in enchanting scenery from the water’s edge along the Colorado River!
On this half-day kayaking trip along the Colorado River, you will make your own way to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area to set off on a 4-mile kayaking trip.
As you go along, be sure to soak up the awe-inspiring scenery! Your guide will likely have everyone pause for a swim, point out the wildlife, and teach you all about the area’s history.
Eldorado Canyon Mine, Nevada
Distance from Las Vegas: 45 minute drive
Tour the Techatticup Mine based in Eldorado Canyon to see the oldest, richest, and most famous gold mine in Southern Nevada (it ran from 1861 until 1942).
Located only 45 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, visitors can take a formal tour of the mines and caverns, as well as rent canoes and kayaks to navigate the Colorado River.
There are even fun movie backdrops where you can do photoshoots, movie shoots, or make music videos. You can even get married here!
Want to pair a tour of the Eldorado Canyon Mine with an exhilarating ATV ride? Check out this combo tour here, where you’ll have the opportunity to explore Eldorado Canyon and the Techatticup gold mine while off-roading on ATV or UTV.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Distance from Las Vegas: 25 minute drive
Located only 17 miles from the Strip, Red Rock Canyon is the perfect outdoor excursion for travelers who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas.
Red Rock Canyon features a one-way 13-mile scenic drive (must-do), various hiking and trails, plants, wildlife, geology, camping, and much more.
In terms of hiking, there are both easy and challenging trails to choose from, making this a great option if you want to burn off all those buffet calories. Some of the most popular hikes here include:
- Calico Tanks Trail (2.2 miles roundtrip)
- Turtlehead Peak Trail (4.6 miles roundtrip)
- Ice Box Canyon Trail (2.3 miles roundtrip)
If you’d rather not deal with the logistics of how to get there (or want to visit the park without hiking), consider these fun, guided tours:
ARE YOU ROAD TRIP READY? YOUR QUICK CHECKLIST:
License and registration | This is a no-brainer, but always good to check you have all documents before it’s too late and you get too far away from home. Do NOT leave home without them. They are road trip essentials!
Spare Tire | In addition to carrying a spare tire with you, don’t forget to check your current tire conditions before you set off as well.
Jumper Cables / Car Jump Starter | A must-have for any road trip! If you’re looking to invest in something exponentially more powerful/convenient than simple jumper cables, get the NOCO Boost HD Car Battery Jump Starter Box. This tool was sent from heaven and serves as a car jump starter, portable power bank, LED flashlight, and 12-volt portable power–all in one!
iOttie car mount | This is my partner in crime on any road trip. It’s got an amazing grip and popping your phone in and out of the mount could not be easier. If you’re renting a rental car and you’re not sure if it has a navigation screen, bring a phone mount with you. The iOttie attaches by suction, so it’s easy to transport from car to car.
Roadside Emergency Kit | You never know what kind of car trouble you may encounter on the road. This convenient little kit contains 42 roadside emergency components, including jumper cables, an aluminum flashlight and batteries, 2-in-1 screwdriver, duct tape, poncho, cable ties, bandages, towelettes, and zipper-lock bags.
Trunk Organizer | With any road trip comes lots and lots of stuff to pack. Keep your road trip essentials organized with a trunk organizer. Not only will this make it so much easier to find what you need, but it will also lead to more space in your trunk for you to pack other necessities.
Portable Cooler | Coolers are a must for any road trip. Not only will you be able to keep beverages cold and refreshing, but you will also be able to keep perishables fresh. A portable hard cooler will allow you to pack picnic lunches, bring cheese and jams, and more.
And that about wraps up this 10-day national park road trip from Las Vegas! I love all the national parks in the Southwest, and I truly believe that all of them are worth visiting at least once in your life.
So get out there and explore! And don’t forget your camera to capture all the amazing views.
Looking for more Las Vegas travel tips? Read more:
- 45 Must-Have Road Trip Essentials For Your Next Road Trip
- 12 National Parks Near Las Vegas to Visit This Year
- Los Angeles To Las Vegas Road Trip: 25+ Awesome Stops (ROUTE 66)
- 49 Fun Things To Do In Las Vegas With Teenagers
- 58 Fun Things To Do In Las Vegas Other Than Gambling and Drinking
- 13 Best Stops On A Las Vegas to Yosemite Road Trip (With Winter Route)