Going to Vegas? Live it up in the great outdoors

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Discovering 10 awesome outdoor adventures in Las Vegas

There’s a lot more magic in Las Vegas than you’ll find indoors. When you find yourself needing a break from the smoke-filled casinos with their crowds and clanging slots, spend some quality time in The Great Outdoors.

Outdoors is where you’ll find the real adventurous side of Las Vegas. You can zip line above The Strip, sky dive in the Grand Canyon, zoom above it all in a helicopter, fire a few rounds with an automatic rifle or simply get out and explore the downtown dining scene.

Put aside some time on your next trip to Vegas and treat yourself to some of these fresh-air experiences.

1. Grand Canyon Chopper Tour with Landing

Maverick Helicopters / Chris Neill / Focal Plane Imagery © 2009

Maverick Helicopters / Chris Neill / Focal Plane Imagery © 2009

Leave the crowds and casinos behind, strap in and soar above the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and the Grand Canyon’s West Rim on this thrilling aerial tour. Scope out Vegas landmarks along the way, enjoy commentary from your guide, and take advantage of convenient transportation from your hotel.

As you fly over the Grand Canyon, gaze at the multi-colored walls that are laced with crimson, orange, and black. Descend 3,500 feet into the canyon and land on a convenient outcrop 300 feet above the rushing Colorado River. From your rocky overlook, enjoy a snack and a cool beverage, and top off your experience with a champagne toast before heading back through the beautiful Black Canyon on your return to Las Vegas.


2. Hoover Dam Express


If you prefer to stay on solid ground, take a half-day tour of Hoover Dam with roundtrip transportation from your Vegas hotel. On this express tour, perfect for those on a tight schedule, explore the inside and outside of one of the biggest and most successful government projects of its time.

Along the way,  your professional guide provides commentary as you ride in a luxury coach with airline-style reclining seats, foot rests, a restroom, air-conditioning, and large viewing windows—ensuring you don’t miss a thing.

Once you reach Hoover Dam, hop out to admire Lake Mead’s sparkling blue waters and follow your guide inside the dam’s power plant. Learn about the 17 generators that help supply electricity to hundreds of thousands of households, find out how much dynamite was used in the dam’s construction, and check out the museum’s immersive exhibits that chronicle each step in the building process.


3. Vegas Night Strip Helicopter Tour Flight


Set aside an evening to get picked up by a luxury Mercedes Sprinter and sip a complimentary glass of champagne to toast to the unique extravagance of this sightseeing adventure. Board a luxurious 5-star jet helicopter, relax in your seat and soar above the Las Vegas skyline in style.

See the Las Vegas Strip from the air, taking in the dazzling lights and iconic landmarks of the famous hotels and casinos. Relax in style as you recognize that glorious landmark panorama from a perspective often exclusive to movies.

Admire spectacular views of the City of Lights, flying past Downtown, the towering Stratosphere Tower, and towards Bellagio, Caesars Palace, the Luxor Space Beam, MGM Grand, Planet Hollywood, and the Venetian. These glorious 15 minutes in the night sky are a highlight to any visit to Las Vegas.


4. Grand Canyon West Rim & Skywalk VIP Tour


Embark on a full-day adventure, complete with a luxury bus ride to the majestic Grand Canyon, a stop at the historic Hoover Dam, VIP access to the incredible Skywalk Bridge, and a picnic lunch at the Hualapai Ranch. This is a complete day of fresh-air exploration, away from the noisy, smoky casinos.

A luxury, air-conditioned motor coach whisks you away from the Strip and through the arid Mojave Desert on your way to the impressive Hoover Dam. Your guide shares fascinating facts about the dam’s innovative construction and engineering.

Arrive at the striking Grand Canyon, and marvel at one of the “Seven Natural Wonders of the World.” Step onto the horseshoe-shaped Skywalk Bridge extending 70 feet from the canyon’s edge. At 4,000 feet  above the Colorado River, the Skywalk Bridge is an extraordinary feat of engineering.

Savor an outdoor picnic lunch at one of the canyon’s breathtaking viewpoints—both Guano and Eagle points are within walking distance from the West Rim. Before heading back to the Strip, visit the Hualapai Ranch to discover the story of the Native Americans who once called it home.


5. Skydive Experience at the Grand Canyon


Soar above the enormous ochre-colored Grand Canyon during this exhilarating skydiving adventure that allows you to experience this natural wonder from a heightened perspective. Join a professional instructor as you fly tandem over this massive gorge, taking in epic views as you glide to the ground.

Meet your guide at the Paragon Skydive center and listen to a brief orientation, informing you of everything you need to know to safely skydive, whether this is your first time or 50th. Then it’s time to put on your gear and jump aboard a plane that zips you upwards, high over the canyon below. When you’ve reached altitude, dive out of the aircraft with your professional instructor attached to your back.

The electrifying rush that comes as you fall back to earth, accelerating to speeds of up to 124 miles per hour (220 km/h) is sure to take your breath away. Riding tandem allows you to simply enjoy the experience as your guide does all the work, activating your parachute so you can take in expansive views from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. At this slower speed you can enjoy the spectacular scenery from this incredible bird’s-eye view as you float back down to the ground.

From $299

 6. VooDoo ZipLine at the Rio Las Vegas


Get one of the best views in Vegas, admission to one of the hottest rooftop nightclubs off the Strip, and the ride of a lifetime—ziplining at dizzying speeds from the 50th floor of the Rio hotel to the 20th floor of the tower across the way. If your heart survives, come back and party the night away at the club.

Check your nerves at the door, and then head up to the VooDoo Rooftop Nightclub on the 51st floor of the Rio Las Vegas. Marvel at the stunning 360-degree view of Sin City and the surrounding mountains, especially beautiful at night with the neon lights twinkling below. Go down a floor to the rooftop patio, store any loose items in a locker, and then board the tandem chair—alone or with a friend to cling to—and prepare for the adrenaline rush as your ride begins.

Whoop, scream, and kick your feet as you’re launched 400 feet in the air, cascading down 800 feet from the Masquerade Tower to the 20th floor of the Ipanema Tower. Then, prepare for your return trip, zipping backwards to your starting point at 20 miles per hour for a total ride of 1/3 mile

Afterward, enjoy some time at the nightclub if it’s evening, or come back with your receipt later to dance the night away on the patio. Watch the bartenders manipulate bottles and cocktail shakers in dazzling ways as they prepare their specialty smoking cocktail, the Witch Doctor—a huge rum cocktail with dry ice.


7. Bryce Canyon & Zion National Park Full-Day Tour

Robert Glusic/Corbis

Robert Glusic/Corbis

Explore the geological treasures of the Southwest with a guided full-day tour through the breathtaking Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. Led by professional guides, see the brightly marbled colors and spectacular sheer canyon walls of Zion. Then explore Bryce Canyon’s maze of crimson spires and hoodoos.

A luxury SUV or mini-coach whisks you away for a scenic drive through the beautiful high desert to stunning Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. Nibble on a light morning snack as your professional guide spouts fascinating information about the region’s unique geology and gorgeous landscapes. As you hike along the canyon’s rim, stop at various lookout points and marvel at Mother Nature’s wonderful creation—including burnt-orange limestone formations, horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters, and one-of-a-kind shaped hoodoos (multi-colored rock spires).

When you’re ready to rest your feet, hop back in the air-conditioned vehicle to Zion National Park, just a little over an hour away. Enjoy a picnic lunch and keep a lookout for local wildlife such as big horn sheep, elk, rabbits, and maybe even a mountain lion in the distance. Arrive at Zion National Park, where you explore a scenic wonderland of sandstone canyons, cascading waterfalls, and lush hanging gardens before your return ride to Vegas.


8. Downtown Food & Walking Tour


Discover a side of Vegas with distinct urban character—Downtown. Get a taste of Downtown’s exciting food scene with restaurants rich in flavor and devoted to farm-to-table fare. Stop by eateries like Carson Kitchen, Glutton, and Itsy Bitsy.

Your expert guides provide an insider view of Downtown’s past, present and future as you spot landmarks and try signature dishes at neighborhood restaurants with artisanal creations.

Where nabbing a seat is as hard as snagging a royal flush, avoid the line as your guide escorts you right into the acclaimed Carson Kitchen, founded by the late Kerry Simon, the celebrity rock ‘n’ roll’ chef. See all the action of the open kitchen and try whimsical Americana dishes with garden-fresh, seasonal ingredients.

At Glutton, enjoy chef-owner Bradley Manchester’s cuisine with vibrant flavors and palate-pleasing textures. Located in an industrial-chic mid-century building, this place has a neighborhood vibe and specializes in craft cocktails along with a concise menu of small and large plates.

Don’t let the name fool you at Itsy Bitsy, this comfortably sized Japanese-style tavern specializes in customizable ramen and Japanese street food, melding old-world artistry with new attitude.

In between bites on tours in which all participants are age 21 or older, you’ll quench your thirst at Inspire. Enjoy the best view on Fremont East, three stories above Fremont Street, at the city’s largest climate-controlled rooftop lounge and beer garden.

$125 / $165

9. Ultimate Hiking Experience


Test your endurance and agility during a scramble-heavy hiking adventure in beautiful Valley of Fire State Park. Let a friendly guide collect you and your companion from your Vegas hotel and escort you to some of the most challenging and rewarding hiking territory in the area.

After a beautiful drive through rugged southwest terrain, enter Valley of Fire State Park and take on adventurous rock scrambles that call upon all your best efforts. Your thrilling adventure is documented by your experienced tour guide, who doubles as a photographer. Enjoy a collection of 25 images to help make your memories last.

After your rock scramble, embark on a guided petroglyph walk to see ancient images carved by hand right into Mother Nature’s sandstone walls. Each carving tells a fascinating story about the culture and behavior of the people who inhabited this magnificent landscape ages ago.

See some of the greatest natural creations and rock formations in the United States, while learning about the history, present and future of the area. Enjoy healthy snacks to keep your energy up, and partake in some extreme poses as your guide photographs your adventure. End the day with a relaxing ride back to your hotel.


10. 2-Person Gun Range Experience


Take a buddy and share in the ultimate VIP shooting experience. Take turns practicing with a few automatic weapons and blast your frustrations away. Say hello to your “little friends” and shoot the M4, AK-47, FS2000, SAW, RPD, and MP5—all within the safety of a private range.

A luxury Mercedes Sprinter shuttle van picks you and takes you to an ultra-modern, state-of-the-art shooting range. Feel like a VIP as you are briefed on safety and technique from a National Rifle Association-certified gun instructor, guaranteeing a safe and memorable experience for every level of shooter.

When you’re not busy getting your blood pumping shooting fully automatic machine guns, you and your companion lounge in a VIP suite complete with service from attentive hostesses.


What  is your favorite outdoor activity in Vegas?

Expedia compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site, such compensation may include travel and other costs.

Expedia Local Expert

Our articles are designed to make sure you spend more time having fun, exploring, and living like a local and less time trying to figure out the logistics on the go. We share our pointers for maximizing your time and stretching your dollar, offering ideas and advice for attractions, things to do, and itineraries. Our writers are lovers of travel and are eager to share their know-how with you. Read on, and travel better!

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