Tired of the Strip‘s neon lights and the crazy-making ding-ding-ding of slot machines? Head to Red Rock Canyon, a national conservation area with a 13-mile scenic loop drive that’s popular with cyclists and Sunday drivers. Barring rush-hour traffic, the canyon is only a 30-minute drive from the Strip. In the late afternoon before sunset is a gorgeous time to visit. Don’t show up mid-day during the dog days of summer, though, when it’s just too dang hot.
The Calico Hills are a mecca for rock climbers. The entire conservation area abounds with hiking trails among the iconic red sandstone bluffs out to seasonal natural springs. Swing by the visitor center before starting the scenic drive to get the lowdown on outdoor activities, including guided hikes and wildlife watching walks. Alternatively, check online for upcoming events, then call (702) 515-5367 for reservations and more information.
For a more unusual way to travel around the scenic loop, check out Scoot City Tours.