Las Vegas probably isn’t the first place you think of when you picture getting away for an adventure vacation. However, to overlook Sin City is to forget that it’s surrounded by some of the most staggering natural landscape anywhere on the planet. And, of course, when you’re done adventuring, you can always party.
Getting to Las Vegas is really easy. Norwegian offer a direct winter service from London Gatwick to Las Vegas international Airport ( or McCarran International Airport, if you absolutely insist). From there, the famous Las Vegas Strip is a 10 minute taxi ride away.
The lights. The casinos. The shows. The constant music pumped out through hidden speakers on the street. It’s true, Las Vegas may not immediately strike you as a hotspot of adventure but, like all the best things in life, this is a city that rewards a little exploration.
The dessert and mountains that surround Las Vegas offer up some genuinely amazing mountain bike trails. Roughly a 30 minute drive east of the Las Vegas strip is Red Rock National Park, which is home to, among others, Calico Basin, Blue Diamond and the theatrically named Cowboy Trails. All offer good riding for intermediate riders, although both beginners and experts will find enough to keep them interested as well.
East of Vegas is the world famous Bootleg Canyon bike park, which offers some 35 miles of singletrack suitable for everybody, be they complete beginners or the very best in the world.
The terrain around Las Vegas also affords some truly spectacular trail running and hiking opportunities. Sloan Canyon is a 30 minute drive South of Las Vegas, and is home to eight volcanoes that are, mercifully, now all extinct.
The views are amazing, if completely alien looking. It’s positively Martian at times. If you’re lucky, you’ll come across some petroglyphs – ancient rock carvings – en route, which act as a good excuse to take a well earned breather.
Also, given Las Vegas is famously built in the desert, you may be surprised to find out that a two hour drive can have you skiing and snowboarding. Over the county line in southern Utah (via Arizona, if you’re being pedantic) is Brian Head ski resort. It’s a relatively small, family resort, especially when compared to the likes of Park City further north in Utah, but Brian Head still enjoys that special snow that Utah is famous for.
Depending on when in the season you go, a lift pass is just $39 a day in the week, for which you can enjoy both mountains that make up the Brian Head resort.