We know Las Vegas for its bright lights, fun gambling, high-fashion shopping, fine dining, and endless entertainment. But when you take the time to slow down and look at this bustling city, you see a natural beauty with red sand and a unique climate. A discerning eye will learn that it’s a fast-paced city surrounded by slow and healing nature.
Whether you’re born and bred in Las Vegas or are just driving through for a quick visit, after you see the fountains, walk the strip, and take in a magic show, journey out into nature and see the real magic of the desert. Here is our list of where to enjoy nature in Las Vegas.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Although part of the Mojave Desert, Red Rock Canyon sits just 17 miles from downtown Vegas. When visiting this breathtaking region, you’ll be treated to massive red rock formations, interesting desert plants, and vistas. The air smells of warmth, and you’ll hear nothing but your own thoughts and the calling of birds high above. This is a place to reset the mind, relax the body, and rest the heart. Stop by the visitor center to acquaint yourself with the surroundings, learn about the landscape, and see an informative exhibit.
If you’re more adventurous, you can choose from the many bike and hiking trails available. Plan ahead for horseback riding, or for an impromptu visit, stop at one of their many picnic areas and enjoy lunch.
A now popular destination is the Red Rock Scenic Loop, a 13-mile circuit that lets you enjoy the landscape from the safety and comfort of your vehicle. If you like photography or just want to get a closer look and appreciate some of the colorful rock formations, there are areas to stop off along the drive to take pictures. Once the area reaches capacity, rangers will turn drivers away, so be sure to arrive early in the day to enjoy a drive on the loop.
Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden
Everyone knows the Bellagio for its famous lights and water show set to music, but it also has a fabulous conservatory and botanical garden. The Conservatory is Bellagio’s opus, and it treats visitors to a specially constructed experience like no other. Engineers and horticulture specialists transform the 14,000-square-foot area into an ever-changing display featuring and coinciding with the changing seasons. The display also has an arrangement that features the Lunar New Year. When a new display is introduced, the staff replants and reuses as much living foliage as possible.
Summer Garden runs from the end of May to late August. Harvest is from early September to mid-November, and Holiday is from late November to January 1. It’s a colorful display you don’t want to miss, so be sure your visit doesn’t fall during their dark dates — from August 29 to September 3 and from November 14 to November 19.
Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs
Floyd Lamb Park is a green, grassy, lush, and tree-filled respite from the heat of the desert. Catch a break and read a book under the shade of a large tree as you drink tea in the warm breeze and the sun kisses your skin. Several ponds support plant and animal life. Take some binoculars so you can bird watch, or bring along your fishing rod and fishing license and do some fishing in one of several stocked lakes.
There are peacocks, geese, and ducks that look to human visitors for a yummy snack and will not hesitate to approach you. Take some treats and your camera for a new profile picture on your social media accounts. There is also an equestrian center on the grounds that offers horseback riding by appointment, but you can stroll all day long and enjoy a slow evening picnic as you gaze at the colorful Vegas sunset reflected on the lake.
Spring Mountain Ranch State Park
Spring Mountain Ranch State Park is next to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. The natural springs and grassy meadows attract visitors from all over who seek a small respite from the desert sands and prickly cacti. The historic grounds, once a working ranch and favorite luxury getaway for people like Howard Hughes and German actress Vera Krupp, has many hiking trails and invites visitors to explore some of the oldest buildings in Nevada. Stop in at the one-story red ranch house, which is beautifully preserved and serves as a sort of visitor center as well.
If you need a quick pick-me-up while there, go down just a few miles to the town of Blue Diamond. Cottonwood Station is a quaint and inviting cafe where you can grab a quick coffee, a refreshing drink, or a nourishing meal.
For a place the little ones will enjoy, take your family over to Springs Preserve. Just 3 miles from the Las Vegas strip, it is an award-winning destination for the family that’s dedicated to exploring green-living options, native desert plants, and Las Vegas’ history. Have the kids engage in some hands-on learning activities with interactive science and nature exhibits. Stop and watch an animal show or enjoy a walk or bike ride along one of the trails. There are themed garden areas and indoor experiences that will engage every member of the family.
Escape the outdoor heat at the Origen Museum or see the butterfly habitat. For the ultimate memorable experience, be sure to catch the flash-flood exhibit. You’ll have an authentic first-hand experience of this natural phenomenon.
Here at De Castroverde Law Group, we know the importance of getting away and connecting with nature. Even in the heart of Las Vegas, there are brief opportunities to ensure your mental health by enjoying life’s natural beauty. If you have questions or need representation, contact us for specialty service and lawyers who will fight hard to get the best outcome for your case. Do you agree with our list of places to enjoy nature in Las Vegas? Did we forget a local favorite? Stop by or leave a message and we’ll happily add your suggestions to our list.