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Lake Mead National Recreation AreaOutdoor activities

Our most recommended Lake Mead National Recreation Area Outdoor activities

From Las Vegas: Grand Canyon Skywalk Express Helicopter Tour

1. From Las Vegas: Grand Canyon Skywalk Express Helicopter Tour

Marvel at the beauty of the Grand Canyon with a bird's eye view on this helicopter tour. Enjoy VIP access to the Skywalk and immerse yourself in the breathtaking sight it offers. Depart the famed Las Vegas Strip on your direct helicopter flight to the Grand Canyon Skywalk. On your flight, you will experience a bird’s eye view of the Grand Canyon, Lake Las Vegas, Lake Mead, Hoover Dam and the Las Vegas Strip. Upon landing, get ready to witness a true engineering marvel, the Grand Canyon Skywalk. The Skywalk suspends more than 4,000 feet above the Colorado River, extends out more than 70 feet away from the edge of the West Rim, and features a glass bottom walking surface. Expedited admission to the Skywalk, VIP ground transportation and a Skywalk souvenir photo are included on this adventure. You will receive an estimated 45 minutes of ground time at Grand Canyon West before your return flight to Las Vegas.

From Las Vegas: Grand Canyon Helicopter Air Tour

2. From Las Vegas: Grand Canyon Helicopter Air Tour

This 70 to 75-minute air-only (non-landing) tour is a memorable helicopter experience to the Hualapai Nation on the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. The experience is enhanced by narrations in your language of choice coupled with an excellent selection of music that complements the beautiful sights; Lake Mead, the Hoover Dam, the great expanse of the Mojave Desert, and the Grand Wash Cliffs on the Hualapai Reservation. On arrival to the West Rim, you will be treated to the visual wonders of the Grand Canyon; a truly inspiring work of nature that most visitors consider breathtaking. Arrive at the terminal and receive your safety briefing before boarding one of our state-of-the-art EcoStar helicopters for your air journey to the Grand Canyon. Fly over Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam then enjoy spectacular views of the volcanic Black Mountains, Grapevine Mesa, the Mojave Desert, and then across the Grand Wash Cliffs as you enter Grand Canyon West. Fly below the rim of the Canyon for incredible views of the world-famous Skywalk and the Colorado River.

From Las Vegas: Emerald Cave Kayak Tour

3. From Las Vegas: Emerald Cave Kayak Tour

Experience an 8-kilometer guided kayaking tour in the spectacular Black Canyon on the Colorado River. Have the chance to observe golden eagles in their natural habitat and cruise into the shining Emerald Cove. Benefit from a shuttle service from Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Hotel and arrive in Willow Beach. Meet your guide and learn everything you'll need to know to be prepared for this amazing adventure. Paddle upstream through the steep, rocky walls of the canyon. Keep an eye out to spot desert wildlife like bighorn sheep, coyotes, bald eagles, and even golden eagles. Listen to interesting facts about the mighty Colorado River and the history of the Hoover Dam. Visit the Emerald Cove and find out why the water shines bright green, before making a stop to refuel with healthy snacks, fruit, and water.

Valley of Fire Tour from Las Vegas

4. Valley of Fire Tour from Las Vegas

See Nature's Works-of-Art Come with us to explore one of Nevada's most visually stunning sites! The surroundings are loaded with vibrant color, fantastic rock formations, and world-class petroglyphs. You'll see nature's work-of-art at Rainbow Vista, Atlatl Rock, and Fire Canyon with petrified sand dunes sculpted into amazing shapes and contours only wind, water, and time could create. Through your travels you'll experience the magnificent backdrop of the Mojave Desert and learn about many Native American cultures. Transportation: Luxurious yet rugged, The Tour Trekker is the first-of-its-kind, high-end, all-terrain vehicle, designed and licensed to be custom-built to be THE ultimate tour vehicle. The Tour Trekker seats 10 passengers comfortably, while preserving an intimate "small group experience." Each fully-loaded Tour Trekker offers guests a state-of-the-art designed interior that includes reclining leather captain seats, 15-inch DVD players, large tinted windows for unparalleled viewing, cross compartment A/C venting increasing passenger comfort and foam insulated walls for a quieter ride and superb climate control. The longer wheel base provides a smoother ride with dual rear wheel enhancing stability and safety.

From Las Vegas: Hoover Dam Express Shuttle Tour

5. From Las Vegas: Hoover Dam Express Shuttle Tour

Escape the city for a while with a guided visit to the Hoover Dam on a day trip from Las Vegas. Take a guided tour in a shared group, and benefit from hotel pickup and drop-off in Las Vegas. Get picked up in Las Vegas and drive to the famous "Welcome to Las Vegas sign" for a brief photo opportunity of this world-famous landmark. Hoover Dam is one of the 7 man-made Wonders of the World. Travel by air-conditioned bus with large windows, so you won't miss a thing as you cruise by. As you pass Boulder City, admire the magnificent view of Lake Mead, one of the world’s largest man-made lakes. Learn all about the dam’s history from your expert guide’s commentary. Take advantage of once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities from the amazing Pat-Tillman and Mike O'Callaghan bypass bridge towering above the Hoover Dam. See the giant intake towers that bring water inside the dam to generate power for millions of people. Soak up the views from on top of this unforgettable slice of US history and make sure to snap some photos of one of the world’s greatest engineering feats. Walk through the original construction tunnels and visit the viewing platform overlooking a 30-foot diameter penstock. Feel the vibration created by water rushing through the pipes. Enjoy a self-guided tour of the visitor's center for a wealth of historical information about the Hoover Dam. Experience breathtaking views of Lake Mead and the Colorado River, from both the Arizona and Nevada side of the Hoover Dam. Snap some unique photos with Lake Mead as your backdrop from the popular Lake Mead Overview. At the end of your guided tour, enjoy the Nevada scenery on the way back. You’ll be dropped off back at your hotel in Las Vegas.

From Las Vegas: Moonlight Kayak Tour in the Black Canyon

6. From Las Vegas: Moonlight Kayak Tour in the Black Canyon

Come and join our Moonlight Kayak Tour! This is a 4 miles kayaking adventure. You will see the unique desert wildlife and western sunset, while you are floating on the mighty Colorado River. We will stop halfway at a beach where you can swim around or just soak it all in while we offer healthy snacks and bottled water for all participants. You will enjoy the stars by the bonfire and a short hike to the historical site of the Black Canyon with a mind-blowing view. On the way back you will paddle under the moon and the starry sky and have neon lights on your kayaks for a special experience. We provide all equipment (single or double kayak of your choice), glow sticks, neon lights and headlights as well. Our professionally guided Moonlight Kayak Tour is perfect for individuals, couples, families. Beginners or paddlers with experience are welcome as well. Is shuttle pickup provided from Las Vegas? Yes, we can pick you up at Mandalay Bay Hotel on the Strip or you can drive yourself and meet us at Willow Beach Arizona.

Las Vegas: Valley of Fire and Seven Magic Mountains

7. Las Vegas: Valley of Fire and Seven Magic Mountains

Journey through some of Nevada's most breathtaking landscapes have the chance to explore ancient petroglyphs and witness the incredible intersection of nature and art at Seven Magic Mountains on this day trip from Vegas. Your adventure begins with a scenic drive to Valley of Fire State Park, known for its stunning red sandstone formations and ancient petroglyphs. Begin at Elephant Rock, a towering rock formation that resembles an elephant. Admire the natural beauty of the park and snap some photos. Next, you'll head to Atlatl Rock, where you'll see some of the park's ancient petroglyphs, which were created by Native Americans over 2,000 years ago. The petroglyphs depict animals, humans, and other symbols, and offer a fascinating glimpse into the history and culture of the region. From there, visit Seven Sisters, a series of towering rock formations that resemble seven towering sisters. This is another great spot for taking photos and soaking up the awe-inspiring beauty of the park. You'll then have the option to hike one of three trails: Fire Wave, Rainbow Vista, or White Domes. Fire Wave is a short, easy hike that leads to a unique sandstone formation that resembles an ocean wave. Choose Rainbow Vista, which offers panoramic views of the park's colorful rock formations. Try the White Domes which takes you on a scenic journey through narrow canyons and slot canyons. After a morning adventure in the park, head to Seven Magic Mountains, a stunning art installation located in the Mojave Desert just outside of Las Vegas. See the bold, colorful display of seven towering pillars made from locally-sourced boulders stacked on top of each other created by Ugo Rondinone. Take in the bright, fluorescent-colored pillars, which rise up to 30 feet high and stand out against the natural desert landscape. The installation is a surreal sight and offers some incredible photo opportunities. Enjoy a must-see attraction for art lovers and nature enthusiasts alike. Finally, Wrap up your tour at around 2 or 3 PM and be dropped back at your hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.

Las Vegas: Horseback Riding Tour with Breakfast

8. Las Vegas: Horseback Riding Tour with Breakfast

Leave the Las Vegas slot machines behind on this horseback riding tour in the the Nevada Desert only minutes from the Strip. Enjoy a delicious breakfast and get a photo taken with your horse to remember your day.  Be greeted by your guide at the horse ranch and meet a well-trained horse that suits your riding skill level. Receive a short introduction from your guide on riding and learn how to mount and dismount your horse with ease.  Jump into the saddle and begin your horse riding experience in the pristine desert. Look for local wildlife like coyotes, foxes, geckos, falcons, and hawks. Keep an eye out for the over 30 varieties of plants that are native to the area.  Sit down to a breakfast with a cheese omelet, potatoes, and banana bread.Beverage included. Return to your starting point at the end of the tour. 

From Las Vegas: Valley of Fire Tour

9. From Las Vegas: Valley of Fire Tour

Experience the incredible Valley of Fire, once the spiritual center of a great American civilization. The rock formations and Indian art will amaze you as you discover the ancient art and artifacts on a 7-hour tour. Valley of Fire State Park, covering nearly 42,000 acres, is the oldest and largest state park in Nevada, and was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1968. Its name is derived from the red sandstone formations, created by the great shifting sand dunes during the age of the dinosaurs. These features, which are the centerpiece of the park's attractions, often appear to be on fire when reflecting the sun's rays. Located 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, at an elevation of between 2,000 and 2,600 feet, the valley abuts the Lake Mead National Recreation Area at the Virgin River confluence. The park entry on Valley of Fire Highway, designated as a Nevada Scenic Byway, passes through the Moapa River Indian Reservation. Although petroglyphs are found throughout the entire park, Mouse's Tank and Atlatl Rock are 2 areas in particular where they are relatively easily accessible. Valley of Fire has provided the setting for numerous films and television shows as well as many car commercials, including the 1966 film, The Professionals with Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin and Claudia Cardinale; the 1984-1987 CBS TV show, Airwolf starring Jan-Michael Vincent and Ernest Borgnine; the 1987 science fiction cult film, Cherry 2000 starring Melanie Griffith and David Andrews; the 1990 American science fiction action film, Total Recall starring Arnold Schwarzenegger; the 1994 American science fiction film, Star Trek Generations; Criss Angel's show, Criss Angel Mindfreak; the 2005 American action film, Domino starring Keira Knightley; the 2007 American science fiction action film, Transformers: Need for Speed: The Run, a car racing video game; and Lana Del Rey's Ride music video. This is truly a special place, and the filmmakers know it. Come and see it for yourself!

Las Vegas: Sunset Horseback Riding Tour with BBQ Dinner

10. Las Vegas: Sunset Horseback Riding Tour with BBQ Dinner

Get away from the neon lights of Las Vegas with a guided horseback tour through the mountains just outside the city. Explore a scenic trail with your guide, take plenty of fantastic photos, and enjoy a BBQ dinner in the evening. Meet the calm and beautiful horses, saddle up, and get ready for your adventure. Explore the Rainbow Gardens trail with a scenic backdrop of mountains and canyons. Admire numerous picturesque vistas and learn more about local history from your guide, such as the stories of the first pioneers that founded the city of Las Vegas. Afterward, head back to the site for a hearty BBQ dinner of ribs served with all the fixings and pie for dessert.

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Frequently asked questions about Lake Mead National Recreation Area Outdoor activities

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What people are saying about Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Beautiful views,would recommend if you go during winter months to dress warm,gloves and hat/scarf! The location in winter months is in the desert so plan on either driving or very reliable transportation. We relied in Uber/Lyft,the way to location with Lyft was great but getting Uber or Lyft return took almost 1/2 hour! Grace our guide was very nice! would do all over (maybe in warmer months)!

It was my first time riding an ATV. Dain was an amazing guide. He didn’t allow me to give up when I wanted to quit. He gave me some great pointers that allowed me to continue. Awesome experience, I can’t wait to try it again. Thank you!

It was an amazing ride, we enjoyed the quiet, the mountains and all the awesome info our guide gave us about the area, we would definitely recommend it and will do it again next time we are in Vegas!!! Thank you so much!

Had a fantastic experience with Maverick. The Pilot was extremely knowledgeable and fun! The team at the Skywalk were also very friendly. We got to learn a lot on our day tour and got to see so many incredible views!

From start to finish it was awesome. Very knowledgeable and polite guide. Scenery is amazing. Worth every single penny. Must do while you are in Vegas!