1. Wandering amid sculpted stone in the Valley of Fire
As the name suggests, this scenic
2. Warming up at Gold Strike Hot Springs
Every hike needs a rewarding destination, and it doesn’t get much better than this canyon scramble on the way to a relaxing soak in
3. Flying the friendly skies
Sure, you can jump out of a plane any time of year, but winter’s bright, clear skies make it prime time for killer views on the way down.
4. Unplugging at Mt. Charleston Cabins
If you think winter days are best spent surrounded by snowy pines in a woodsy lodge, grab your Pendleton blanket and head for
5. Scaling the cliffs at Red Rock Canyon
Glowing in terracotta tones on the western edge of the Vegas Valley, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is home to some of the best rock climbing in the US, as well as stunning geological formations, hiking trails, petroglyphs, and even a few fossilized dinosaur tracks. Winter brings cool days and plenty of sun — a great combo for climbers looking to take on the park’s sandstone cliffs with sport climbs or multi-pitch ascents. Check out routes with names like Epinephrine and Sour Mash, or go straight for the Original — a 14-pitch, 1,000ft route up Juniper Canyon’s Rainbow Wall.
6. Exploring the Mojave on horseback
Steer through canyon narrows cut by water and wind and see Red Rock’s bluffs painted by the sinking sun on
7. Getting behind the wheel of a dune buggy
Your 4WD SUV has nothing on these rough and rugged desert warriors that are perfectly suited for tackling sandy dunes and other off-road gnarliness. Just outside the city,
8. Tearing down Bootleg Canyon’s mountain bike trails
This Boulder City canyon just outside of Vegas has 36 miles of single track, ranging from beginner-friendly cross-country to white-knuckle downhill (how about the Elevator Shaft’s 22% grade?), all cutting through a seriously scenic southern Nevada landscape.
9. Soaring over the desert by zipline
Take in the southern Nevada terrain from a bird’s-eye perspective along four ziplines ($159+) that zoom over a mile and a half of canyon landscape just south of Las Vegas. The tour at
Pro tip: Keep an eye out for bighorn sheep on the morning tour, or go for the full-moon ride for a totally different experience.
10. Scoping out a ghost town
Rich with metals and minerals, southern Nevada mines brought big money and big crowds to the region in the late 1800s and early 1900s. But when the mines gave out, the miners moved on, leaving behind homes, roads, and communities to slowly decay in the baking heat. These days, those eerie, abandoned towns are tourist attractions that make for great places to catch a glimpse of the past. Check out
11. Strolling through Springs Preserve
Las Vegas was named for spring-fed meadows in the middle of the Mojave Desert, and this outdoor attraction in the middle of the city was built around the town’s original water source. Today’s
12. Cycling the River Mountains Loop Trail
13. Not frying in Death Valley
“Hottest, driest, lowest,” brags the website for this
14. Shredding the slopes at Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort
No one pictures alpine sports when they think Vegas, but less than an hour from downtown the Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort has three lifts and 30 trails with options for everyone from noob to pro (bring your avalanche kit and expect to hike for the latter). Located in the Spring Mountains district of