The Best Day Trips From Las Vegas

Las Vegas is known for its glitz, glamour, and endless entertainment options. But even the most dedicated casino hopper or show-goer might want a break from the bright lights and crowds every once in a while. Luckily, Sin City’s location in the Mojave Desert makes it a great launching point for exciting day trips to destinations throughout Nevada, Arizona, California, and Utah.

Whether your group is in the mood for hiking red sandstone cliffs, exploring ghost towns, or simply getting some fresh air and sunshine, there’s a day trip calling your name just a few hours away. And when it comes to navigating the desert highways between Las Vegas and these incredible destinations, let take care of all the transportation logistics.

Our professional reservations team can help you rent a charter bus in Las Vegas or a minibus, perfect for moving your entire group comfortably and safely. Call us at 877-563-2133 for a free, personalized quote tailored to your travel needs, and enjoy a stress-free day trip out of the city.

Valley of Fire State Park

Distance from Las Vegas: 1 Hour Northeast

This state park is often referred to as Nevada’s hidden gem, offering visitors the chance to explore 40,000 acres of Aztec sandstone that seemingly change color with every shift of the sunlight. The park gets its name from the vibrant red sandstone formations, though you’ll also see a variety of other colors, from cream to purple to grey, in the canyon walls, rock formations, and petrified trees.

If you’re looking for a social distance-friendly activity, hiking is one of the best ways to experience the Valley of Fire. The White Domes Trail and Fire Canyon Trail are both excellent hikes for beginners, and the Mouse’s Tank Trail, which is only 0.75 miles, features a historic watering hole that the Paiute tribe used for centuries. Your charter bus will be waiting for you when you get back with plenty of AC to cool everyone down.

Once you’re done hiking, you’ll want to check out the park’s ancient petroglyphs. These millennia-old rock carvings document the culture and daily life of the Anasazi tribe who lived in this valley long ago. The Atlatl Rock is a must-see—not only for the petroglyphs, but also because the rock formation looks kind of like a giant, lopsided loaf of bread!

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Distance from Las Vegas: 30 Minutes West

If you’re short on time or don’t want to make a long journey, Red Rock Canyon offers the perfect combination of hiking, scenic views, and easy access from Las Vegas. Just a half-hour drive from the Strip, this 195,819-acre area of the Mojave Desert welcomes over 2 million visitors every year.

Your bus rental can take you on the 13-mile scenic drive that winds its way through the park, past breathtaking canyons and sandstone peaks. Make a pit stop at the Calico Hills, where your hiking enthusiasts can explore the colorful rock formations, and the Sandstone Quarry—it’s one of the most impressive views of the canyon cliffs. If you want to get your heart rate up, the Calico Tanks Trail is a 2.5-mile hike that climbs up a series of sandstone steps and ends at a natural watering hole.

From February through November, all visitors who want to drive through the park or hike the trails must obtain a timed-entry pass. Reservations are available 30 days in advance and can be made at If you’re a group of 15 passengers or more traveling by bus or van, you’ll pay $17 for your pass, but groups of fewer than 15 passengers will pay a per-vehicle fee. If you want to avoid paying any fees, you can visit the park between November and February. Just make sure to pack jackets, hats, and gloves for everyone, as the desert can get downright cold in the winter months.

Hoover Dam

Distance from Las Vegas: 45 Minutes Southeast

The 726-foot-tall Hoover Dam is a truly impressive sight, and it’s only a 45-minute drive from Las Vegas. This concrete arch-gravity dam, which holds back the mighty Colorado River, sits on the border between Arizona and Nevada. It offers visitors the opportunity to explore the surrounding Mojave Desert and admire the views of the Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge high above the water.

Your bus can drop you off at the Hoover Dam Visitor Center, where your group can tour the dam’s museum and powerplant. You’ll learn about the dam’s construction and history, the power it generates for thousands of homes and businesses, and even the roles the surrounding Colorado River and Lake Mead play in the dam’s operation.

Lake Mead

Distance from Las Vegas: 40 Minutes East

Speaking of Lake Mead… this massive man-made reservoir was created by the Hoover Dam in the 1930s. And when we say “massive,” we mean it—at full capacity, it’s the largest reservoir in the United States! It’s also a great place to enjoy a variety of water-based activities and offers a change of pace from the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas.

Your group can spend the day boating, fishing, kayaking, and swimming in the lake, or you can relax on the beach and soak up some sun. If you’re feeling adventurous, there are also numerous hiking trails throughout the surrounding area, including the popular Historic Railroad Trail, which will take you past abandoned railway tunnels and old train cars.

Admission to Lake Mead is $25 per vehicle and is valid for 7 days. Alternatively, you can purchase an annual pass for $45 to enjoy the lake and surrounding area as many times as you’d like throughout the year.

Mount Charleston

Distance from Las Vegas: 1 Hour Northwest

If you need a break from desert heat, head to the cool mountains. Mount Charleston is the highest peak in southern Nevada, rising to an elevation of 11,918 feet. The area surrounding the peak offers miles of hiking trails, scenic views, campgrounds, and even a ski resort that is open from December to March.

Take a hike on the Mary Jane Falls Trail to see a 200-foot waterfall, or drive the 13-mile scenic loop road that circles around the summit. Your charter bus rental will have plenty of storage space for backpacks and snacks so you can enjoy your hike in comfort.

If you’re visiting during the winter, pack your skis and snowboards, as Mount Charleston receives an average of 240 inches of snow every year. And if you’re here in the summer, don’t forget your jackets! Temperatures at the summit are often 30 degrees cooler than they are in the valley below.

Cathedral Gorge State Park

Distance from Las Vegas: 2.5 Hours Northeast

This state park is a little further away than some of the other destinations on this list, but its unique landscapes are well worth the drive.

Cathedral Gorge gets its name from the spire-shaped rock formations that look just like the inside of a gothic cathedral. The formations were created over thousands of years by erosion, which sculpted the soft bentonite clay into a truly unique and beautiful scene. Your group can explore the formations on foot, or you can take a drive through the park and enjoy the views from your charter bus’s panoramic windows.

Admission to the park is $10 per vehicle, and the fee is valid for 7 days. If you’re an avid hiker or camper, you can purchase an annual pass for $75 for unlimited entry to all Nevada State Parks for a full year.

Seven Magic Mountains

Distance from Las Vegas: 30 Minutes South

Located just outside of Jean, Nevada, about 30 minutes south of Las Vegas, this colorful art installation is a popular selfie spot for tourists and locals alike. If your group is all about colorful pics for their next Instagram post, add this stop to your itinerary.

This public art project, created by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, is made up of seven 30- to 35-foot towers of colorful stacked boulders. They don’t sound that interesting, but trust us—they look cool in person! You’ll find plenty of open space around the towers for groups to spread out and enjoy the scenery, and your charter bus will have plenty of room to store tripods, reflectors, and other photography gear.

Zion National Park

Distance from Las Vegas: 2.5 Hours Northeast

Zion National Park may technically be in Utah, but the journey from Las Vegas is a scenic one through the Mojave Desert. If your group is in the mood to admire towering sandstone cliffs, the panoramic views of Zion Canyon won’t disappoint.

The Virgin River winds its way through the canyon, creating a breathtaking landscape. Visitors can admire the natural beauty of the park by hiking along the 2.2-mile Emerald Pools Trail, which includes three distinct waterfalls along the way. Or, for a more challenging adventure, consider hiking the famed Angels Landing Trail—a 5.4-mile trek with chains and railings to help hikers reach the summit.

You can also experience the canyon from the comfort of a bus. The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive takes visitors past numerous overlooks, and your charter bus driver can make a few pit stops so your group can take pictures and admire the scenery.

If you plan on spending more than a day in the park, consider renting a cabin or tent camping. But book your campsites early—Zion’s campgrounds are known to sell out quickly.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Distance from Las Vegas: 4 Hours Northeast

This awe-inspiring National Park in southern Utah is home to the world’s largest concentration of hoodoos—or spire-shaped rock formations formed from centuries of erosion. The park’s unique landscape offers an amazing experience for geology-lovers and casual outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Bryce Canyon is a great place to hike. The Navajo Loop Trail and Queen’s Garden Trail both offer beautiful views of the hoodoos, but you can always opt for a scenic drive instead if you don’t want to walk. The 18-mile park road features dozens of overlooks and pull-offs.

From April through October, the Bryce Canyon Shuttle runs from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, taking visitors to all the major trailheads and viewpoints. This free shuttle service can help you avoid finding parking during the busiest parts of the day—a must for anyone traveling by motorcoach.

Death Valley National Park

Distance from Las Vegas: 2 Hours West

Death Valley is the hottest, driest, and lowest national park in the United States. If you’re traveling in summer, be prepared for extreme heat. In July 2018, the average daily temperature in Death Valley was a staggering 108.1°F!

But that doesn’t mean Death Valley is a forbidding, lifeless desert. The park features a unique combination of salt flats, sand dunes, and canyons that are both beautiful and otherworldly. For group photos, consider heading to Zabriskie Point for colorful, rolling badlands formations. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, take a hike on the 1.8-mile Golden Canyon Trail, which is a great option for beginners. You can also drive the 2.3-mile scenic Artist’s Drive, or make a stop at the Badwater Basin salt flats, which are located at the park’s lowest point: 282 feet below sea level.

If your group members plan on hiking or simply taking in the sights of Death Valley during the spring and summer months, remember that the desert requires extra precautions to keep everyone safe and hydrated. Make sure you bring at least one gallon of water per person (for the day), wear sunscreen and a hat, and let someone know where you’ll be hiking before you head out. Your charter bus rental will have a climate-controlled cabin to escape the intense heat and plenty of storage space for coolers filled with water, food, and ice packs.

Admission to Death Valley National Park is $30 per vehicle and is valid for seven days. If you plan on returning to Death Valley with another group or want to explore other national parks throughout the year, you can purchase a one-year pass for $80.

Take Trip Out Of Vegas with

Day trips are one of the best ways to enjoy all that’s around Las Vegas—without having to worry about spending your vacation in the city’s casinos or resort pools.

If you want to plan an easy visit, the team would love to help. Our reservation specialists are available 7 days a week to answer your transportation questions and find the perfect bus for your group. Call 877-563-2133 to book your charter bus in Las Vegas today!