Escape from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, Death Valley or Valley Of Fire!
Las Vegas in unarguably a very fun city, but sometimes we all need to take a break. Luckily, there are many beautiful natural parks found around Vegas - the most unnatural place in the world! Here is a list of the most amazing places perfect for a day trip, located within a reasonable driving distance from Las Vegas.
The Grand Canyon is located in the north west of Arizona, about 275 miles (442 km) from Las Vegas. It takes about 5 hours to drive there, but the trip is really worth it! The Grand Canyon is one of the most unusual, unique places on Earth - it's a complex consisting of small canyons, hidden waterfalls, caves, forests, deserts and ravines. The canyon doesn't cease to amaze thousands of tourists with it's bizarre shape and color palettes that change all the time!
You can travel through the canyon many times and every time it would look different. At the bottom of the canyon flows Colorado River - it's nearly impossible to believe that the huge Grand Canyon was created thanks to this tiny muddy river! However, this impression is quickly dispelled if you descend to the bottom of the canyon.
The Colorado River is very fast, and has some of the most dramatic rapids that only the most adventurous rafters dare to ride. There are many ways to get to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas - by a rented car if you prefer to drive, or by taking one of Las Vegas to Grand Canyon tours that include bus, off-road jeeps, helicopter rides, train and even airplane flights.
Once at the Grand Canyon you can find plenty of things to do! If you are adventurous- try taking a raft trip down the Colorado River. If you have good stamina - try hiking and exploring it on your own. Mule rides are also a popular way to explore the canyon.
You could spend a night there at a real Old West ranch with real cowboys, and even ride horses and ATVs! Among new attractions at the West Rim of the Grand Canyon you can find Skywalk - a bridge hanging right above the canyon, that offers some of the most fascinating views! The floor of the Skywalk is made of glass so you can feel as if you are suspended in the air over the canyon!
Death Valley is located around 121 miles (195 km), or 2,5 hours drive from Las Vegas. It's the largest, and one of the most beautiful parks in the United States. The valley attracts tourists, photographers and scientists thanks to it's picturesque landscape, unusual wildlife and unusual geological structure.
There are several points of interest in Death Valley. In the southern part of Death Valley there is a flat, smooth plain called Racetrack Playa - it's the bottom of a dry lake, composed primarily of dry clay. This plain is home to the unusual phenomenon - "sailing stones" that move all by themselves. These stones leave visible imprints, looking as if the they are racing.
At the floor of Death Valley, that once was the bottom of a prehistoric lake, there are two areas of absolutely different salt formations. At Devil's Gold Course, salt crystals grow upwards. The salt formations create a tall, up to 28 inches (70 cm) bizarre looking labyrinth that is very difficult to walk on.
Someone once jokingly said that only a devil would be able to play golf there - and that's how this area got its name. At the nearby Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America, the bottom is covered with salt flats that look like a uniform grid, or rather a spider web.
Valley of Fire
Less than an hour drive from Las Vegas, there is a park of astounding beauty called Valley of Fire. Visiting this park leaves an impression of visiting an open-sky museum of sculptures, where the sculptors are Nature and Time. When the sun rays fall on the valley, it shines so brightly that it seems to be on fire - that's why this place was named Valley of Fire.
Valley of Fire will blow your mind with its relief, composed entirely of red sandstone. In these sandstone formations it's possible to see the most impossible images and shapes as your imagination gallops away into the realm of fantasy.
As you admire these mysterious monuments created by Nature, do not forget to look for ancient petroglyphs. These petroglyphs were left by the ancient Anasazi peoples. The Anasazis were fine judges of the art created by Nature - you can clearly see their signs of appreciation in the form of cave paintings and petroglyphs everywhere around Valley of Fire.
There are many other amazing natural places around Las Vegas where you could escape on a day trip. On the independent Las Vegas entertainment guide you can learn about day trips to Lake Mead, Red Rock Canyon, Zion National Park, as well as many other things to do in and around this wonderful city.