A woman in a purple dress smiling for the camera.

Nov 16, 2016

10 min. read

It’s hard to break away from the bright lights and endless fun in Las Vegas, but if you have the time, there are plenty of adventures a quick bus tour or car ride away.

Two Hours +

A view of the grand canyon.

Grand Canyon Considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon is filled with unique geological colours, plants and wildlife. The quickest trip is to Grand Canyon West, which is owned and run by the Hualapai Tribe. Get immersed in their culture, enjoy plenty of photo ops at Guano Point and Eagle Point (look for the majestic eagle rock formation) or challenge your fear of heights and step out onto the glass-bottomed Skywalk suspended 1,219 metres above the riverbed.

Death valley national park, california.

Death Valley National Park The name reveals nothing of the beauty contained in this desert locale. Start at the salt flats in Badwater Basin, the lowest point on the continent at 86 metres below sea level. Don’t miss the jagged mountains dotting the valley. Stop off at Zabriskie Point to appreciate the colourful badlands, then at Dante’s View, the mountaintop lookout point, for a panoramic view of Death Valley. Hike the trails, take a ranger-led paleontology tour or visit the Wildrose Charcoal Kilns, finished in 1877.

A woman is taking a picture of a mountain.

Zion National Park Once the domain of mammoths and giant sloths, this picturesque park is filled with pink, white and red rock formations (between 110 and 270 million years old) and offers several hiking and biking trails. A two-and-a-half-hour drive from Las Vegas, Zion’s towering 609-metre sandstone cliffs are a challenge for experienced climbers, while other thrill-seekers can chase an adrenalin rush on an ATV tour or helicopter ride over the surrounding scenery. Keep your camera handy to snap a variety of flora and fauna, from wildflowers and conifer forests to mule deer, rock squirrels and the endangered Mexican spotted owl.

Under an Hour

A view of the hoover dam in nevada.

Hoover Dam Prepare for a jaw drop at the sight of the 221-metre structure, named one of the U.S.’s Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders. There are two tours available: the one-hour Dam Tour (which includes an excursion to the Powerplant) and the 30-minute Powerplant Tour. Apart from learning about the history of the project and its construction challenges, visitors can also get a peek at the dam’s generators, drink in views of Lake Mead and the Colorado River from the observation deck, and take a stroll on top of the dam.

A circular rock formation.

Red Rock Canyon For a totally relaxed trip, drive the 21-kilometre scenic route in the Mojave Desert set against a backdrop of red-hued rock formations and limestone cliffs. Stop along the way to enjoy a picnic and bask in the natural beauty. If you’re feeling adventurous, set off on one of the hiking trails. Depending on the path chosen, you may come across Triassic fossils or caves to explore. To get close to some serious geological history, walk the Keystone Thrust trail and see the fault that was formed by the collision of two of the Earth’s plates some 65 million years ago.

Start planning your today. Call 1-800-992-8143 or visit your local CAA Store to speak with a CAA Travel Consultant.

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