Need an idea of where to go without the hassle of lengthy travel? Southern Nevada has numerous spots to hike that are ideal for families. Local freelance writer Mya Constantino gathered a handful of places where you can get out of town without the strenuously long drive—all 4 hours or less from Las Vegas!
Eldorado Canyon Mine: Drive an ATV through El Dorado Canyon and then to Techatticup Mine—one of the oldest, richest, gold mines in Southern Nevada infused with remains of old world tools and aged artifacts.
Distance from town: 46 min (44.6 mi)
Entrance Fee (mining tour): $15 for adults (13 and older) $10 for kids (5-12) Kids under 5 are free
Water Skiing and Rafting
Willow Beach Marina: This longtime favorite spots to hike features 235 miles of open shoreline to explore! Take your family on a Black Canyon raft tour or kayak through the green gleaming waters of Emerald Cave two miles upstream. Camping is available.
Distance from town: 57 min (54.4 mi)
Entrance Fee: $25 per vehicle
Lake Mead: Kayaking lakes Mead and Mohave beneath towering mountains is the perfect get-away trip for anyone escaping the heat. Enjoy several shaded picnic areas and short desert hikes that’ll lead to some photo-worthy views!
Distance from town: 50 min (30.6 mi)
Entrance Fee: $25 per vehicle
Hiking and Picnicking
Mt. Charleston: This sky island is the kind of breath of fresh air you’ll need to survive that Vegas heat. Private camps, ski resorts, and lodging is available for the entire family! Go skiing or snowboarding at Lee Canyon in the winter or explore the several hiking trails and bask in stunning views of Kyle Canyon and Charleston Peak.
Distance from town: 51 min (39.2 mi)
Grand Canyon: Grand Canyon Park is officially 100 years old! Celebrate this milestone and immerse yourself in the several art and history exhibits, partake in a guided bicycle tour on the South Rim or have the kiddos become a Junior Ranger to learn more about the flora and fauna of the park!
Distance from town: 4 hours (252.6 mi)
Entrance Fee: $35 per car
Valley of Fire: Here, 40,000 acres of red Aztec sandstone outcrops highlight Indian petroglyphs dating back 3,000 years ago. Explore the Lost City Museum tour or hike up along Rainbow Vista for a 360-view over the Valley of Fire. Bring your camera for this one!
Distance from town: 53 min (48.4 mi)
Entrance Fee: $10 per person
Red Rock Canyon: Filled with canyons and breathtaking peaks, discover small bipedal dinosaur tracks in Aztec sandstone or take the kiddos to Lost Creek Trail (Children’s Discovery) to learn a few lessons on desert life and a seasonal waterfall. With 26 exquisite hikes and trails, a 13-mile scenic drive is well worth it! Call ahead for free educational tours and classes.
Distance from town: 23 min (17 mi)
Entrance Fee: $15 per vehicle
Boulder City: Step out for a picnic at Bicentennial park or fasten those helmets to bike along Bootleg Canyon. Don’t miss the bighorn sheep sightings at Hemenway Park! Once your explorations end, take a tour down Boulder City’s main street and dip into one of the many ice cream parlors, coffee pubs and diners.
Distance from town: 32 min (26.3 mi)
Entrance Fee: NONE
Zion National Park: Visit Zion for sandstone cliffs decorated in cream, pink, and red or views of ascending peaks of Navajo sandstone at Kolob Canyon. At sunset, top it off at the museum patio for a breathtaking overlook of Bridge Mountain and the East Temple!
Distance from town: 2 hours 36 min (159.9 mi)
Entrance Fee: $20 per person
Mya Constantino is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. She currently writes for VAMONDE Travel.