When people think about Las Vegas, most immediately envision the bright lights on the Strip, the iconic Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign or Vegas Vic perched above Fremont Street downtown.
But some have a very different image of the Entertainment Capital of the World. Many visitors can’t wait to go river rafting, take helicopter rides, hike in picturesque canyons and delve into various other outdoor exhilarating adventures.
If you’re one of these people … or even if you’re just the adventurous type looking to experience Vegas in an entirely different way than you even knew existed, then let’s go on a virtual adventure and explore some of the excursions that are waiting for you in Las Vegas and its surrounding areas.
UP, UP AND AWAY
The sky’s the limit in Las Vegas … so see the city from high above and take a helicopter ride.
Maverick Helicopters offers helicopter and airplane flights featuring breathtaking views of the Las Vegas Strip, the Grand Canyon, and other scenic areas of the Southwest. Take a quick 12- to 15-minutes night flight over the Las Vegas Strip, with champagne included. Or take the 4 to 4 ½ hour Dream Catcher helicopter tour that includes amazing views of the red sandstone at Valley of Fire State Park, as well as champagne and other beverages at the Grand Canyon. For the ultimate day trip, the Canyon Dream tour includes a 40-minute airplane flight to the South Rim, followed by a 25-minute helicopter right over the canyon. The seven-hour day trip concludes with transportation into the Grand Canyon National Park where you’ll see inspiring vistas, panoramic overlooks and trails.
Papillon offers several helicopter tours from Las Vegas as well. Its Grand Celebration Tour will take you to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and includes a meal. It’s about 4 to 4 1/2 hours in duration. The Golden Eagle Air Tour is perfect for the photographer in you. It provides aerial views of the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead as well as the Grand Canyon. This tour lasts for 3 ½ to 4 hours. And for those who really want to experience one of the world’s true wonders, there’s the Grand Voyager tour. This seven-hour day trip includes helicopter and airplane rides where you’ll explore the bottom of the canyon, get a chance to stand at its edge, and take an adventure tour that includes a pontoon boat cruise.
You can also see Las Vegas from high above on a romantic and intimate balloon ride. Flights are about an hour in length and various packages are available for everything, including weddings in the sky.
DIP YOUR TOE IN THE WATER
The Lake Mead National Recreation Area is filled with boating, jet skiing, rafting and other water activities.
Go water skiing, tubing, wakeboarding or wake surfing with Adventure Vegas Water Sports, where you’ll enjoy views of the magnificent Hoover Dam and the natural beauty of Lake Mead as part of a family-friendly adventure at Lake Mead.
Do some more exploring with The Black Canyon River Adventure Tour, a fully narrated, 12-mile journey along the Colorado River. On your expedition, you’ll pass through canyon walls rise 2,000 feet above the river’s edge. Experience waterfalls, hot springs, geological wonders and wildlife such as desert big horn sheep, osprey, great blue heron and more with the help of an experienced guide with incredible knowledge of the history of the dam and area. It’s one of several excursions offered by Black Canyon River Adventures.
To see the scenic beauty of the Southwest up close, take a trip with Detours, which offers full-day guided trips to some of the region’s most stunning destinations. Discover the breathtaking landscape of Bryce Canyon National Park and the Virgin River Gorge and its panoramic views of 100-mile vistas.
You can also find excitement – and a little Wild West history – when you go underground. The Eldorado Canyon Mine Tour is a half-day guided adventure at the Techatticup Mine, the richest and oldest gold mine in the region. See how miners excavated for gold a century ago.
Grab your hiking boots and head to Red Rock Canyon and explore more than 30 miles of hiking trails. Picnic areas, cycling, hiking, climbing and horseback riding are available. You’ll also find camping sites, picnicking sites and hiking opportunities, not to mention an endless view of red sandstone formations, at Valley of Fire State Park.
See a different, and beautiful, side of Las Vegas and go on a unique excursion during your next visit!