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Lesser-Known Sightseeing Options Within a 2-hour Drive from Las Vegas?

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by YOleven, Mar 21, 2015.

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  1. YOleven

    YOleven Tourist

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    Hi everyone.

    Just thought I'd see if anyone might have suggestions for sightseeing trips or destinations within a 2-hour drive (or so) from Las Vegas. Now and then during Las Vegas trips, we enjoy taking a break from the casinos and doing a little sightseeing. I think we've pretty much visited all of the usual suspects (Grand Canyon, Red Rock, Hoover Dam, Death Valley), so I thought I'd see if anyone might have any suggestions for something new and perhaps a little lesser-known.

    Thanks!
     
  2. larryg

    larryg Low-Roller

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    I don't think of any of the following choices as lesser-known, but you didn't mention them, so here goes.

    Zion National park falls in the or-so side of the 2-hour limit (more like 2 and one half hours). It's possible to do as a day tour, but is best appreciated with a minimum of one night.

    Mojave National Preserve is interesting if you really want to get away from it all. There are almost no facilities, so make sure you have spare water and food, a full gas tank and anything else you might need. My favorite part is hiking up Kelso Dunes. It also contains a ton of Joshua Trees.

    Mount Charleston (the area, not the mountain) is well known. In the summer, it's a great place to beat the heat. Some hiking trails have been closed since a major fire in 2013, but there are plenty still open.

    I'm guessing you've seen Valley of Fire, but you didn't mention it. If it's new to you, it's well worth a visit.
     
  3. Bommen

    Bommen High-Roller

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    +1. Zion is truly amazing and if you don't mind doing a little hiking then i recommend Angels Landing and The Narrows. Lodging can be found in Springdale just by the park entrance. If you never been to Valley of Fire you can stop by on your drive back to Vegas.
     
  4. Piggylane

    Piggylane Well-Known Member

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    Here are some of my favorites:

    Henderson Bird Preserve: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g45953-d2646057-Reviews-Henderson_Bird_Viewing_Preserve-Henderson_Nevada.html

    I gave you the TripAdvisor link so you can see what others say about it. One of the older reviews is mine. The water actually comes from a water treatment plant and the discharge from these ponds goes to Lake Las Vegas I think and eventually into Lake Mead.

    I'm generally critical about most things done by Government but this is done very well. You'll get a briefing on what birds are present that day, where they are nesting and the rules. During the winter is the best time as many birds over winter there. The pathways are flat, straight and it's an easy walk. A good 90 minutes in the sun and fresh air. A bit hard to find but if you have a GPS you should be OK.

    Lake Mead Boat Harbor http://www.lasvegasboatharbor.com/ has boat rentals, jet skis, a beach, a dinner cruise, etc. However, the best part is FEED THE FISH! Stop on your way and get some bread at Albertson's or Smith's and walk out onto the dock. There are hundreds of carp & striped bass waiting to be fed. It's a blast if you have kids or even if you don't. I've taken friends there dozens of times and everybody always enjoys the day. You do have to pay the $10 entrance fee to the http://www.nps.gov/lake/index.htm Lake Mead National Park which is also a good place to walk, hike, fish or beach but it's worth it.

    If you are up for a stroll and are interested, also at Lake Mead is the Rail Trail http://www.nps.gov/lake/planyourvisit/hikerr.htm Its 3.7 miles from the trail head (you park before the entrance to Lake Mead in Boulder) to the top of the Parking Garage. Figure another 0.5 miles to the AZ/NV border unless you're a wussy and take the elevators.

    At 59 and slightly overweight I've done the trip several times. My legs hated me the next day but I was so proud of myself! The last trip I saw two prergrine falcons (or the same one twice?) and made many doggie friends as this is a popular walking/hiking/biking trail with the locals too.

    One other thing to do is Mt Charleston. http://www.gomtcharleston.com/ It's a great drive up there, 52 miles of hiking, skiing, great place to picnic.

    Two special notes of caution:

    Lake Mead Marina Parking Lot. Twice when I have been there I've seen cars that were broken into. Don't leave anything out that anyone can see - GPS, phone, purse, bundles of cash, etc. Park Police respond after the fact but occasionally cruise through.

    Route 157 - Kyle Canyon Road - is a somewhat dangerous highway with lots of twists and turns and is heavily patrolled by the Police looking out for speeders.

    Nevada is a wide open, barren State (the most mountanous of the lower 48) but there is plenty of fresh air. I'm sure there are many other things to do. I'm constantly looking for them as I travel there often. I'd love input from others too!
     
  5. richardinbc

    richardinbc Low-Roller

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    Years ago I enjoyed doing the mine tour with this company. Its just down stream from the boulder dam. The road to it south of boulder City and of hy95.

    The Techatticup mine has quite a history. A lot of original equipment is still there.

    www.coloradorivertour.com
     
  6. GTBR1

    GTBR1 Tourist

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    Good day trip off the beaten path is Oatman, AZ, funky old mining town between Kingman and Bullhead City. Usually see wild burros and sheep along the road. Willow Beach just south of Hoover Dam on US-93 is another you can do on the same trip, great to jump in the Colorado River and freeze your a** off.
     
  7. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    Valley of Fire is not on the OP list. Its one of my favorite and only about an hour north of Vegas
     
  8. aaisack

    aaisack High-Roller

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    Another vote for Zion. It's about 2 1/2 hours away though. The scenic drive is pretty cool. You can just drive the length of it or pull over and explore at will.
     
  9. johnvic

    johnvic VIP Whale

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    Zion may have changed since you've last been there. You have to park and then take a free bus that drops you off at various stops.
     
    Super Bowl Weekend for a Bachelor Party!
  10. aaisack

    aaisack High-Roller

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    Good point. The scenic drive is a seasonal thing. Other times of the year you need to take the shuttle to get around.
     
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