The razzle, dazzle, glitz and glamor of the Las Vegas strip is an extraordinary spectacle to experience and behold.
It’s exhilarating to drink in the lavish, extravagant visual displays, sounds and smells that come at you on a non-stop basis.
However, the constant flashing lights, the ching-ching of the slot machines and the scent of cigarettes and air freshener in the casinos can quickly overload the senses.
Vegas is a busy, bustling frenzy of human activity that attracts visitors from across the world but there is far more to see in the US state of Nevada than the city of Las Vegas.
Move Away From the Glitz of Vegas
The Nevada city of Las Vegas maybe a sparkling light in the desert for some but there is plenty more to see in Nevada.
If you have a day or even a half day with no plans and want to enjoy the beauty of southern Nevada, step off the strip for a bit and renew your adventurous spirit and thirst for something new.
Take a close look at these essential pit stops for tourists visiting southern Nevada. Interesting places to visit that are a short, scenic drive from Las Vegas yet a world away in every other aspect.
Fire State Park Nevada
The Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada’s oldest and largest state park, is located fifty-five miles northeast of Las Vegas in the town of Overton.
The unusual scenery found in the area makes this park a popular spot for filming movies. Scenes in famous television and theatrical productions such as The Professionals, Total Recall, and Star Trek Generations were shot here.
There are two entrance stations to Fire State Park which are unattended but have a self-pay system in place and directions to the full-scale visitor center.
Fire State Park Video Gallery
See the park for yourself, take a look at why Fire State Park appeals to adventurers and hikers who arrive in Nevada from all over the world.
Support the park upkeep and pay the suggested donation amount; the amazing sights and scenery that you experience will be well worth it.
Once at the park visitor center you will be able to talk to a helpful park attendant to have any questions answered and receive a map showing the different trails that lead around Fire State Park.
Be warned, these trails are not typical rock or dirt trails; they are made of red sand which will find its way into your shoes, so fasten them up tightly and leave the sandals at home.
How long you want to hike will certainly depend on when you visit. The weather in the winter can be quite mild; temperatures range from freezing to seventy-five degrees during that time of year.
Watch the Nevada Desert Highs
Daily summer highs usually exceed one hundred degrees and can reach one hundred twenty.
The sand is said to get so hot during the summer the heat can be felt intensely through your shoes, so that might be the time to choose shorter hiking routes with frequent water and rest stops.
Find out more about visiting Fire State Park on the government web site.
The Petroglyph Canyon
Along the Petroglyph Canyon trail the 3,000 year-old drawings are easy to spot. If you only have the opportunity to visit one area, this is an amazing site to see and an easy walk.
If you’re up for a bit of a climb, visit White Domes trail. The stone formations are amazing. Find out more about hiking in this canyon.
The park brochure states that rock climbing is limited to specific areas, so for those who can’t resist seeing what’s at the top, hike up one of the larger boulder formations to glimpse a panoramic view of the countryside.
Though the park itself closes at sunset, stay in the area a bit longer to witness the myriad of stars that can be seen in abundance in a sky that’s free from light pollution, this is a perfect spot for fans of star gazing to see the night sky above.
This gorgeous park is well worth the drive from Las Vegas, even for a short visit.
Camping, RV camping and picnicking facilities are available if you’re able to spend more time in this delightful spot.
Visit Mount Charleston
An even closer getaway is Mount Charleston, or the Spring Mountains National Recreation area, located in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.
Rising to 11,918 feet, Charleston Peak is the third highest in the state and the only peak in southern Nevada that rises above forest timberline.
There are fifty-one miles of trails in the Spring Mountains, as well as picnic areas, campgrounds, RV camping facilities and a ski resort.
Places to Stay Near Mount Charleston
Even if you just want to get away for a scenic meal, it’s worth the trip to visit Mount Charleston Lodge, which sits at 7,717 feet above sea level and is a thirty- five-minute drive from the Las Vegas strip.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks are served there, including World Famous Mt. Charleston Coffee, and a Mt. Charleston Mudslide.
This area is a favorite cool-down getaway for the locals in the summer and a good place to play in the snow in the winter.
If you can sneak away from your Vegas hotel room, stay for a night at The Resort on Mount Charleston. Yes, you can still gamble there, but you can also visit the spa, have a drink and a meal, or just sit slack-jawed and marvel at the view.
Unless you’re used to this scenery, the landscape is spectacular and will take your breath away.
This peaceful environment is a nice contrast to the sometimes overbearing atmosphere of The Las Vegas Strip which is typically a frenzy of busy people, lights, casino and enormous hotels.
The Globetrooper View
A little nature break away from the hustle and bustle can be a wonderful way to relax, renew and refresh before jumping back into the flash and glitz of Las Vegas.
Most visitors to Vegas probably don’t even realize that there is so much more to do in Nevada and that Vegas isn’t Nevada, there really is more in what is a actually a very large state.
Nevada is great for hikers, nature lovers and rock climbing enthusiasts so the state adventure trails are well worth a closer look.
Just keep an eye on the climate as temperatures can soar to uncomfortable highs during parts of the year.
Be certain to place exploring wider Nevada on your list of things to do when visiting the area.
Plan Your Adventure Trip to Nevada
Globetroopers who feel drawn to experience Nevada can join existing trips to the state of Nevada by following current expeditions.
Or you can propose bespoke trips and wait for other adventurers to join as travel partners and see all the state has to offer together.
Create a trip to Southern Nevada using the Globetrooper Trip Wizard.
Related Southern Nevada Videos
Enjoy these related videos which offer extra insight into hiking and adventuring in Nevada ( besides Las Vegas that is. )