Laughlin, Nevada, evokes the thrill of bluffing at the poker table and the promise of winning the jackpot. Spinning roulettes and singing slot machines signify you’ve arrived at the “Vegas on the cheap.” However, as enthralling as the casino scenes may be, there’s even more excitement to be had outside of the game room walls.
Escape the artificially lit casinos and venture into the toasty desert sunshine. The steady flow of the Colorado River reflects the towering resorts, while the mountain view golf courses are waiting for you to take a swing. Raise the stakes on your next Laughlin vacation by giving these five outdoor adventures a shot:
Laughlin Golf Courses
Christmas Tree Pass
Squeeze in time for a Sunday drive along Christmas Tree Pass. It’s a 12-mile gravel road that begins just outside of Laughlin and snakes along the Newberry Mountains. Perfect for a mini road trip, this scenic drive boasts epic views of the Colorado River Valley and the Mojave Desert.
Delve deeper into the desert and get a little rugged at nearby Grapevine Canyon in the Spirit Mountain Wilderness. Located roughly 10 miles northwest of Laughlin via Christmas Tree Pass, the trailhead meanders along a dry river bed, surrounded by petroglyph-covered cliffs. Research suggests that these native drawings of animals and designs are 150 to 800 years old. Search for ancient etchings, relish the views of the Colorado River, and hunt for wild grape patches along the way.
Laughlin River Run
The thunderous roar of revving motorcycle engines takes over town each April for the Laughlin River Run. As the largest biker event on the West Coast, this annual rally attracts thousands of motorcyclists. Drag races, poker runs, and bike shows are just a few of the events during this multi-day biker bonanza. Roll up on your own two wheels or dabble as a first-timer in the sea of leather jackets.
Of all places, the original 1831 London Bridge resides in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. In 1962, the City of London sold the structure to the founder of Lake Havasu City, who then reconstructed the bridge on Lake Havasu. Drive an hour and a half south of Laughlin to Havasu and set your sights on this quirky piece of Britain.
Drop the poker chips and revel in this desert oasis. When it comes to this southern Nevada city, you’ll discover some of the most memorable experiences outside of the casinos and Laughlin hotels.
What other outdoor attractions strike your fancy in Laughlin?
Viewfinder Tip: Some Laughlin River Run events require tickets, so be sure to reserve yours in advance.