The Southwest

12 More National & State Parks Within Driving Distance of Las Vegas

12 national state parks near grand canyon las vegas driving distance

When you arrive in Las Vegas, the sheer amount of things you can do can be overwhelming. There’s a smorgasbord of exciting exhibits, events, and activities to see and do in the city and the surrounding area, but if you’re looking for a more calming experience—perhaps a quiet day spent in nature, hiking the trails, kayaking along the water, or exploring historical sites—there are several options close, by both in- and outside the city.

Las Vegas is within easy driving distance of a number of iconic state and national monuments, making it a great homebase for your southwest explorations. Starting with the closest spots, here are 12 of the most popular historic sites, conservation areas, national and state parks that you can reach from Las Vegas.

NOTE: Travel times are conservative estimates, and do not account for traffic delays or any construction you may encounter.

1. Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park

Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort is the historical site of a Mormon settlement founded in 1855—the first enduring site of its kind in the area. At this State Historic Park, you will find:

  • A reconstructed version of the original fort
  • Museum that contains historical artifacts, photographs, and exhibits
  • Visitor center
  • Rotating calendar of fun events

Fast facts

Location

Downtown Las Vegas, NV

Hours

Tuesday-Saturday, 8 AM-4:30 PM (closed Sunday & Monday)

Entrance Fee

$3 USD for museum admission

Free for children under 12

Additional info

No bikes or pets allowed.

Distance

Distance from Las Vegas Strip
~10 mins; 6 miles / 10 km

Distance from Grand Canon West
~2 hours; 120 miles / 193 km

Distance from Grand Canyon Village (South Rim)
~4 1/2 hours; 280 miles / 451 km

Distance from North Rim Visitor Center
~4 1/2 hours; 264 miles / 426 km

2. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

red rock canyon panorama

Red Rock Canyon is a conservation area best known for its large, red sandstone formations. Visible from the Strip, it is one of the easiest national treasures to access while staying in Las Vegas. At this National Conservation Area, you will find:

  • The famous Scenic Drive, a 13 mile drive or bike ride through the conservation area, with stops at the most iconic viewpoints
  • Designated trails to hike and bike along
  • Visitor center
  • Rock climbing
  • Camping

Fast facts

Location

Clark County, NV

Hours

Visitor Center
Daily 8:00 AM-4:30 PM

Scenic Drive
November-February 6:00 AM-5:00 PM
March 6:00 AM-7:00 PM
April-September 6:00 AM-8:00 PM
October: 6:00 AM-7:00 PM

Entrance Fee

$5-15 USD per vehicle

Additional info

Drivers traveling off designated roads are subject to fines.

Distance

Distance from Las Vegas Strip
~31 min; 17 miles / 27 km

Distance from Grand Canon West
~3 hrs; 207 miles / 333 km

Distance from Grand Canyon Village (South Rim)
~4 hrs; 297 miles / 478 km

Distance from North Rim Visitor Center
~5 hrs; 284 miles / 457 km

VISIT RED ROCK CANYON

Red Rock Canyon SUV Tour

$102

See the famous Red Rock Canyon up close!

Just a few minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, Red Rock Canyon is home to some of the Southwest’s most recognizable formations. See them all as you traverse the National Conservation Area’s 13-mile scenic loop on this unique tour.

Reserve Tour Now

3. Spring Mountain Ranch State Park

spring mountain ranch state park

Image credit: Renee Grayson via Flickr

Just a quick jaunt from Red Rock Canyon, State Mountain Ranch State Park is a historically significant area that boasts some of the oldest buildings in Nevada. At this historical site, you will find:

  • Self-guided tours of the Ranch and other buildings
  • Living history programs
  • Super Summer Theater performances
  • Hiking trails
  • Picnic area

Fast facts

Location

Blue Diamond, NV

Hours

June, July & August: 8 AM-8 PM
September: 8 PM-7 PM
October: 8 AM-6 PM
November, December, January & February: 8 AM- 4:30 PM
March & April: 8 AM-6 PM
May: 8 AM-7 PM

Entrance Fee

$2-10 USD per vehicle (including bikes)

Additional info

No climbing trees—the trees are more than 400 years old.

Distance

Distance from Las Vegas Strip
~32 min; 22 miles / 35 km

Distance from Grand Canon West
~3 hrs; 142 miles/ 228 km

Distance from Grand Canyon Village (South Rim)
~5 hrs; 295 miles/ 475 km

Distance from North Rim Visitor Center
~5 hrs; 288 miles/ 464 km

4. Lake Mead National Recreation Area (NRA)

lake mead panorama

Lake Mead began to take formation in 1935, just a short time before the completion of the Hoover Dam. Over the years, the area was expanded to incorporate Lake Mohave and the surrounding land. Lake Mead NRA was the first of its kind, designated a National Recreation Area in 1964. Upon arrival at Lake Mead NRA, you will find:

  • Wi-Fi
  • Joshua trees
  • Slot canyons, coves, caves, and hot springs to explore
  • Boating, canoeing, kayaking, rafting, swimming & fishing
  • Camping
  • Hiking trails—including the Historic Railroad Trail
  • Overton Arm—a portion of Lake Mead that has a large number of Bald Eagles (for any bird watchers that might be among you.)
  • Boulder Beach
  • Hoover Dam

Fast facts

Location

Boulder City, NV

Hours

Park: 24/7
Visitor Center: 9 AM-4:30 PM daily

Entrance Fee

$15-25 USD per vehicle (depending on type)

Additional info

Three of the four desert ecosystems in the U.S.A.—the Mojave Desert, the Great Basin Desert, and the Sonoran Desert—all meet in Lake Mead NRA.

Distance

Distance from Las Vegas Strip
~38 min; 31.5 miles / 51 km

Distance from Grand Canon West
~2 hrs; 93.5 miles / 150 km

Distance from Grand Canyon Village (South Rim)
~4 hrs; 247 miles / 398 km

Distance from North Rim Visitor Center
~5 1/2 hrs; 295 miles / 475 km

VISIT LAKE MEAD

Lake Mead Cruise & Hoover Dam Tour

$109

Notice icon Hoover Dam Temporarily Closed to All Visitors

This tour is not operating due to the Hoover Dam closure. Public access is closed until further notice.

Breathtaking views of Lake Mead & the Hoover Dam

View the impressive Hoover Dam from two states and descend inside the Dam to see the massive generators on the Hoover Dam Discovery Tour before boarding the Desert Princess for a 90 minute cruise of Lake Mead.

Reserve Tour Now

5. Valley of Fire State Park

valley of fire panorama

The Valley of Fire State Park is Nevada’s oldest state park. The park is best known for its “40,000 acres of bright red Aztec sandstone outcrops nestled in gray and tan limestone”, but that’s not all—in addition to the gorgeous red sandstone formations, you will find:

  • Visitors center, including exhibits and souvenir shop
  • Campsites
  • Hiking trails
  • An Annual Atlatl Competition held near the end of March, as well as atlatl (ancient spear-throwing tool) demonstrations
  • Historical sites, artifacts, fossils, petrified ancient trees & petroglyphs
  • Rock climbing (limited to specific areas of the park)

Fast facts

Location

South of Overton, NV

Hours

Daily from sunrise to sunset

Entrance Fee

$10 USD per vehicle, $20 per night

Additional info

The use of drones or any remote controlled aircraft is prohibited.

Distance

Distance from Las Vegas Strip
1 1/2 hrs; 56 miles / 91 km

Distance from Grand Canon West
~3 hrs; 156 miles / 251 km

Distance from Grand Canyon Village (South Rim)
~45 hrs; 309 miles / 497 km

Distance from North Rim Visitor Center
~4 1/2 hrs; 239 miles / 385 km

VISIT THE VALLEY OF FIRE

Valley of Fire SUV Tour

$175

Explore the Valley of Fire, Nevada’s oldest state park!

Explore the Valley of Fire in a custom built Tour Trekker SUVs. Venture deep into the Valley of Fire to see Atlatl Rock, Rainbow Vista, the Buffington Pockets, and more on this half-day tour.

Reserve Tour Now

6. Gunlock State Park

gunlock state park

Image credit: Utah State Parks

Gunlock State Park is a relatively small park located near the Gunlock community. Both locations are named for William “Gunlock Will” Hamblin, the first settler in the area. At this state park, you will find:

  • Waterfalls
  • Boating, fishing, and swimming
  • Primitive campground and picnic area

Fast facts

Location

Gunlock, UT

Hours

Daily from 7 AM-8 PM

Entrance Fee

$10 USD for day-use, including watercraft launches
$5 USD per day for Seniors 62+

Additional info

It is a “primitive campground”—vault toilets, no potable water.

Distance

Distance from Las Vegas Strip
~2 hrs; 124 miles / 200 km

Distance from Grand Canon West
~4 hrs; 246 miles / 396 km

Distance from Grand Canyon Village (South Rim)
~5 1/2 hrs; 291 miles / 468 km

Distance from North Rim Visitor Center
~3 1/2 hrs; 165 miles / 265 km

7. Snow Canyon State Park

Rather than the type of precipitation one might expect in Utah, Snow Canyon State Park actually gets its name from Lorenzo and Erastus Snow, two prominent community leaders and Mormon settlers. Made up of cinder cones, lava tubes, lava flows, and sand dunes, Snow Canyon State boasts some majestic views, as well as:

  • Hiking trails
  • Picnic areas
  • Day use areas
  • Campground
  • Restrooms with showers

Fast facts

Location

Irvins, UT

Hours

Daily from 6 AM-10 PM

Entrance Fee

$10 USD per vehicle (up to eight people)
$5 USD per vehicle Seniors 62+ (Utah residents with UT driver’s license)
$5 USD pedestrian/cyclists (up to eight people)

Additional info

2019 was Snow Canyon State Park’s 60th anniversary!

Distance

Distance from Las Vegas Strip
~2 hrs; 132 miles / 212 km

Distance from Grand Canon West
~4 hrs; 254 miles / 409 km

Distance from Grand Canyon Village (South Rim)
~5 hrs; 282 miles / 454 km

Distance from North Rim Visitor Center
~3 hrs; 156 miles / 251 km

8. Quail Creek State Park

Image credit: Utah State Parks

Quail Creek opened to the public as a State Park in 1986. It is home to a 600-acre reservoir and two dams, as well as:

  • Biking and hiking trails
  • Camping
  • Boating, swimming, and fishing
  • Slalom ski course in winter

Fast facts

Location

Hurricane, UT

Hours

Daily from 6 AM-10 PM

Entrance Fee

$10 USD per vehicle (up to eight people)
$5 USD per vehicle Seniors 62+ (Utah residents with UT driver’s license)

Additional info

Distance

Distance from Las Vegas Strip
~2 hrs; 137 miles / 220 km

Distance from Grand Canon West
~4 hrs; 258 miles / 415 km

Distance from Grand Canyon Village (South Rim)
~4 hrs; 264 miles / 425 km

Distance from North Rim Visitor Center
~3 hrs; 138 miles / 222 km

9. Sand Hollow State Park

Image credit: Utah State Parks

Sand Hollow State Park is one of Utah’s newest parks, dedicated in 2003. It is a 20,000-acre park, featuring amenities such as:

  • Biking, hiking, and equestrian trails
  • Boating
  • Multiple campgrounds
  • Sand Mountain—an off-highway vehicle (OHV)/ATV recreation area

Fast facts

Location

Hurricane, UT

Hours

April-September: Daily from 6 AM-10 PM
October-March: Daily from 7 AM-9 PM

Entrance Fee

Day Use: $15 USD per vehicle (up to 8 people)
Senior Day Use: $10 USD Seniors 62+ per vehicle (up to 8 people)
Walk In: $5 USD per person

Additional info

Distance

Distance from Las Vegas Strip
~2 hrs; 137 miles / 220 km

Distance from Grand Canon West
~4 hrs; 259 miles / 417 km

Distance from Grand Canyon Village (South Rim)
~5 hrs; 263 miles / 423 km

Distance from North Rim Visitor Center
~3 hrs; 138 miles / 222 km

10. Lake Havasu State Park

Image credit: Arizona State Parks

Lake Havasu State Park was acquired in 1965. Thanks to its mild winters, it is a year-round attraction that offers:

  • Boat rentals
  • Beaches
  • Campgrounds
  • Picnic area
  • Arroyo-Camino Interpretive Garden
  • Wildlife viewing at two Wildlife Refuges
  • Lake Havasu Museum of History

Fast facts

Location

Lake Havasu City, AZ

Hours

April-September: Daily from 6 AM-10 PM
October-March: Daily from 7 AM-9 PM

Entrance Fee

Friday-Sunday + Holidays: $20 USD per vehicle (up to 4 people)
Monday-Thursday: $15 USD
Individual/Bicycle: $3 USD per person

Additional info

Fireworks are prohibited.

Distance

Distance from Las Vegas Strip
~2 1/2 hrs; 153 miles / 246 km

Distance from Grand Canon West
~2 1/2 hrs; 129 miles / 208 km

Distance from Grand Canyon Village (South Rim)
~3 1/2 hrs; 231 miles / 372 km

Distance from North Rim Visitor Center
~7 hrs; 413 miles / 665 km

11. Zion National Park

zion national park panorama

Originally proclaimed Mukuntuweap National Monument in 1909, then renamed “Zion” in 1917 and finally designated a National Park in 1919, Zion is Utah’s first National Park. It has thousands of species of flora, hundreds of different types of fauna, and 250 million years of geological history. In addition to this, it also offers:

  • Horseback riding tours
  • Hiking and biking trails
  • Birding
  • Canyoneering
  • Junior Ranger Program and other Ranger-led activities
  • River trips
  • Stargazing
  • Kolob Canyons
  • Human History Museum

Fast facts

Location

Near Springdale, UT

Hours

24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Visitor Center: 8 AM-7 PM, closed on December 25

Entrance Fee

Private Vehicle: $35 USD. Valid for 7 days.
Motorcycle: $30 USD. Valid for 7 days.
Per Person: $20 USD. Valid for 7 days.

Additional info

Cell service is generally available at park entrances but becomes patchy in the interior where there are large areas of no cell service.

Distance

Distance from Las Vegas Strip
~3 hrs; 164 miles / 264 km

Distance from Grand Canon West
~5 hrs; 286 miles / 460 km

Distance from Grand Canyon Village (South Rim)
~5 hrs; 249 miles / 401 km

Distance from North Rim Visitor Center
~3 hrs; 122 miles / 196 km

12. Kershaw-Ryan State Park

Image credit: Nevada State Parks

Kershaw-Ryan State Park was established in 1926 after being donated by rancher James Ryan, where the latter part of the name comes from. “Kershaw” comes from the original 1873 settlers, Samuel and Hannah Kershaw. Here you’ll find:

  • Camping
  • Hiking trails
  • Horseshoe throwing
  • Volleyball area
  • Bird watching
  • Wading pond

Fast facts

Location

Caliente, NV

Hours

8 AM-sunset daily

Entrance Fee

$5 USD per vehicle

Additional info

There is no lifeguard on duty.

Distance

Distance from Las Vegas Strip
~2 1/2 hrs; 158 miles / 254 km

Distance from Grand Canon West
~4 1/2 hrs; 279 miles / 449 km

Distance from Grand Canyon Village (South Rim)
~6 1/2 hrs; 432 miles / 695 km

Distance from North Rim Visitor Center
~5 hrs; 259 miles / 417 km

Conclusion

If you’re looking for an escape from the Las Vegas action, check out these 12 historic sites, conservation areas, and national and state parks:

  1. Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park
  2. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
  3. Spring Mountain Ranch State Park
  4. Lake Mead National Recreation Area (NRA)
  5. Valley of Fire State Park
  6. Gunlock State Park
  7. Snow Canyon State Park
  8. Quail Creek State Park
  9. Sand Hollow State Park
  10. Lake Havasu State Park
  11. Zion National Park
  12. Kershaw-Ryan State Park

With all of these destinations less than 3 hours away from the Las Vegas Strip, you and your friends or family can enjoy some relaxing time outside of the 24/7 energy Sin City boasts.

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About Ria Borja

Ria is a Customer Experience Manager at Canyon Tours and an avid lover of the outdoors. When she isn't helping other travelers check destinations and dream vacations off their bucket lists, she's busy exploring the Southwest. Her favorite place to visit is (unsurprisingly!) the Grand Canyon.

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