guides

50 State, National Parks and Recreation Areas from the Las Vegas Strip

Click on the interactive map to plan your route within a day trip from the Strip

By Donna, mom, editor, publisher January 12, 2018

Editor's Note: Travel responsibly. Follow the state's travel advisory. Check alerts & current conditions to learn about any current restrictions or closures. 

As found on the CDC website, CDC recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated because travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow CDC’s recommendations for unvaccinated people traveling internationally or domestically


Las Vegas is famously known as the "Strip." But the fun doesn't start and end at the "Strip'. It is also the gateway to these Nevada State and National Parks and Recreational Areas. These state, national parks, and recreation areas offer gorgeous views, scenic drives, nature hikes and tours, camping, and wildlife viewing. These parks may charge a fee for entry. Each park fee varies. Click on each park and recreation area for more information. 

  • Driving times are approximate and may vary with traffic and road conditions. 
  • Plan your travel accordingly as you explore the parks and travel back and forth from Las Vegas. 
  • Check on the weather on what is the best time to visit. 
  • Dress appropriately and drink lots of water. 
  • Consider lodging when time constraints your visit. 

Tip: Enlarge the map by clicking on the top right and locate the park you plan to visit.

Find the list on Nevada State Parks and filter by amenities. 

📔Take the Passport Challenge. The Nevada State Parks Passport booklet can be picked up at any state park. Visitors who have their booklets stamped at 15 different parks will earn a free annual pass to all Nevada State Parks.

🆓Nevada State Parks offers free admission on "Discover Nevada State Parks Day," on the 2nd Saturday of June. And also on "Nevada Public Lands Day," held on the last Saturday in September.

1. Spring Mountain Ranch - 30 minutes 

2. Ice Age Fossils State Park- 30 minutes

3. Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort - 30 minutes

4. Mt Charleston - 1 hour

5. Valley of Fire - 1-hour 30 minutes

6. Big Bend of the Colorado River - 1-hour 30 minutes

7. Kershaw-Ryan State Park - 2 hours 30 minutes

8. Cathedral Gorge State Park - 3 hours

9. Spring Valley State Park - 3 hours 30 minutes

10. Cave Lake State Park - 4 hours

11. Beaver Dam State Park - 4 hours

12. Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park - 4 hours

13. Walker River State Recreation Area- 5 hours

14. Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park - 5 hours

15. Fort Churchill - 6 hours

16. South Fork State Recreation Area- 7 hours

17. Washoe Lake - 7 hours

18.  Rye Patch State Recreation Area - 7 hr

19. Cave Rock. Sand Harbor, Spooner Lake, Van Sickle at  Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park - 7 hours

20. Wild Horse State Recreation Area - 8 hours

National Parks and Federal Recreation Areas. 

The National Parks have been called "America's  Best Idea." We are part owners of America's more than 400 national parks. Plan to spend outside, exploring, learning, and playing.

✅Mark your calendar for these entrance fee-free dates in 2021 for National Parks: 

Please note that some places are not managed by the National Park Service and maybe not included in the Free Entrance Days in the National Parks.

The Bureau of Land Management 2021 Fee Free Days

  • January 18 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day)
  • February 15 (Presidents Day)
  • June 12 (National Get Outdoors Day)
  • August 4 (Great American Outdoors Day)
  • September 25 (National Public Lands Day)
  • November 11 (Veterans Day)

For federal recreation areas, there is an annual pass that allows unlimited entrance to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including all national parks that normally charge an entrance fee. The America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass costs $80 for one full year from the month of purchase (through the last day of that month). The pass can be purchased in person or online. There are also free or discounted passes available for senior citizens, current members of the military, families of fourth-grade students, and disabled citizens. 

21. Red Rock National Conservation Area, Nevada - 30 minutes

22. Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada - 30 minutes

23. Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument, Las Vegas, NV - 30 minutes *No fees or passes are currently required

24. Seven Magic Mountains, Las Vegas, NV - 30 minutes *No fees or passes are currently required

25. Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area - 30 minutes

26. Mojave National Preserve, California - 2 hours

27. Death Valley National Park, California - 2 hours

28. Castle Mountains National Monument - 2 hours, *no facilities within, no fees or passes are currently required

29. Zion National Park, Utah, 3 hours

30. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, 3 hours

31. Joshua Tree National Park, California - 4 hours

32. César E. Chávez National Monument, California - 4 hours, *No fees or passes are currently required

33. Horseshoe Bend - 5 hours

34. Grand Canyon South Rim, Arizona, 5 hours

35. The Wave Arizona - 5 hours *separate permit required and not included in the fee-free days and the annual pass

36. Channel Islands National Park, California - 5 hours, *No fees or passes are currently required to visit but fees may be collected by concessionaire boats (Island Packers) and planes (Channel Islands Aviation) or private boats.

37. Lake Powell and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Arizona/Utah - 5 hours

38. Great Basin National Park, Nevada - 5 hours

39. Cabrillo National Monument, California - 6 hours

40. Capitol Reef National Park, Utah- 6 hours

41. Sequoia & Kings Canyon, California, 6 hours

42. Rainbow Bridge - 7 hours

43. Yosemite National Park, California - 7 hours

44. Arches National Park, Utah, 8 hours

45. Saguaro National Park, Arizona, 8 hours

46. Mesa Verde/Four Corners, Colorado, 8 hours

47. Pinnacles National Park, California - 8 hours

Click for the Trip Planning Guide and Checklist to help plan your trip.

Tribal Recreation Areas

These places have their own reservation tickets.

48. Grand Canyon Skywalk/ West Rim, Arizona - 2 hours 

49. Antelope Canyon - 5 hours 

50. Monument Valley, Arizona - 8 hours 


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This article was first published on Jan. 11, 2018, and is regularly updated. Last update: April 14, 2021. Disclaimer: The information contained in this post, to the best of the author's knowledge, was accurate at the time of publishing. We do our best to ensure and maintain the accuracy of this information.