April and May offer great weather for exploring the desert around Las Vegas, before the heat of summer arrives. The Grand Canyon and Death Valley are only a half-day’s drive away, and closer to Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon and Lake Mead are just two outdoor options for visitors.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and Lake Mead National Recreation Area are less than an hour away from the Strip, and both feature scenic roadways. If you like to drive, rent a car to explore these areas. At Red Rock, the Loop offers a spectacular view of sandstone cliffs, and a drive along the Lakeshore Scenic Road will let you see Lake Mead from many vantage points. If you like to get out of the car to explore, both places have plenty of hiking trails. At Lake Mead, the Historic Railroad Trail (sometimes known as the Five Tunnels trail) is suitable for hiking or biking.
If you’d rather not drive, sign up for a tour. Las Vegas tour companies will transport you to your destination in any style you like. Whether you want to bounce around the desert in an off-road vehicle or see the view from a helicopter, a tour company will take you where you want to go and then return you to your hotel. This is a great option for trips that will take more than two hours in driving time–you get to relax while someone else worries about the logistics.
Photos courtesy of Terrisa Meeks