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Top 15 Places to Visit Near Las Vegas by Car

One of the most well-known tourist destinations in the United States, Las Vegas encourages guests to participate in gambling, entertainment, and nightlife at casinos. Still, the region has much more and the Las Vegas Strip stretches a few miles.

1. Red Rock Canyon

A short drive west of the city at only 17 miles from the Strip, Red Rock Canyon is a natural sightseeing place with great red rock formations, canyons, and trails. The best way to enjoy it is from a car, a car with a picnic basket, or even just exploring on foot all day.

2. Hoover Dam

Situated 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam is one of the most remarkable feats of American engineering; a concrete arch-gravity construction across the Colorado River at the boundary between Nevada and Arizona. Walk or drive the Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge; it is so confusing because it has been called the "Bridge to Nowhere."

3. Nevada’s oldest and one of the most beautiful state parks is Valley of Fire

Only 50 miles northeast of us, it has amazing red Aztec sandstone formations along with 3000-year-old rock carvings. Against the background of what may well be the surface of Mars, this is a great place for photography, hiking, camping, and animal viewing.

4. Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Just an hour's drive east of Vegas, the biggest man-made body of water in the United States offers a plethora of water sports, fishing, boating, swimming, and leisure time tanning on the gorgeous shoreline with breathtaking background.

5. Another attraction is the Mt Charleston

Located 45 miles northwest of Vegas, to get away from the hot summer weather up and in the mountains where you can take a hike, fish, picnic, rent a cabin, or ski. Do not go past the Nevada State Routes 157 and 158 that provide some stunning valley observation.

6. Grand Canyon

Although better, if visited on a one-day trip, one of the world’s natural wonders is a must-visit place located 2.5 hours’ drive southeast near Peach Springs. If you want to sightsee this location, you can stop at Pequot ghost town or just see the ghost town from a helicopter or airplane tour from Vegas.

7. Zion National Park

This is another famous park in Utah, with stunning features such as Red and Cream colored cliffs, pines, and dramatic canyons among others, this park is about a 2 ½ hours drive northeast, and whatever path you take, it is breathtaking. It is not only great for the adventurous hiker who wants to tackle steep trails but also equally good for families and photographers looking to enjoy wildlife in beautiful surroundings.

9. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

One must go nearly five hours northeast of southern Utah and be captivated by the breathtakingly desolate beauty that greets the photographer in the shape of old river canyons, pink cliffs, and gushing waterfalls virtually at every turn.

10. Death Valley National Park

Do you know about the hottest spot on Earth? Travel north-west for about 2.5 hours to reach Death Valley National Park, which extends across the California-Nevada border, and see the desert molded by severe circumstances of ultra-aridity and intense heat.

11. Mojave National Preserve

Located nearly 2.5 hours northwest of Joshua Tree is this massive expanse of rugged, ancient dunes, volcanic cinder cones, and dense stands of Joshua Trees; outstanding hiking options range from relatively flat trails that traverse the Preserve’s rugged peaks rising from the Mojave Desert floor.

12. Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park

To get here by car is a 6-hour drive northwest and then east to be in the heart of the North American’s goliath trees – the sequoias of Sequoia National Park and along the plunged valleys of Kings Canyon National Park.

13. Yosemite National Park

Other attractions are the Half Dome and El Capitan which are massive granite rocks or perhaps the stunning Yosemite waterfalls in the Yosemite Valley. Proceed by car to the NW for about 7 hours to wander for days within the wooded temples, the alpine meadows, and the tall precipices shaped over thousands of years.

14. Joshua Tree National Park

It is only under 3 hours south-east and north-east from here to come across funky boulder piles, interesting mounds of Cholla cactus and the trees for which the park is named, and Joshua Trees across the Mojave and Colorado deserts that would merit at least a leisurely day’s exploration.

15. Mesquite and Virgin River

It only takes one and half hours of drive northward to give the straight highway trip across Nevada’s small towns; start with casino hopping and make a stop at the riverside at Bunkerville with its cottonwood trees; have lunch at Bunkerville before proceeding to Virgin for some wine tour.

Given the abundance of natural splendor and mystery that is within an automobile’s driving distance of Las Vegas alone, one can find it a perfect starting point for various road trips and/or day tours across the United States of America. No matter which way you turn from downtown, just a few hours down some deserted interstate with amazing desert to pique the interest of any outdoorsman are some of the most incredible parks, monuments, and ranges that perfectly demonstrate the patchwork of geology Nevada, California, Arizona, and Utah represent.