Las Vegas Adventures that Have Nothing to Do with Gambling
Sin City—the spot best known for gambling, partying, and general debauchery—has a seriously warped reputation, even among those who have visited. Tourists flock to the Strip for gambling in casinos, drinking beside rooftop pools and partying at some of the hottest clubs in the country until after sunrise and then leave thinking that’s all there is to Vegas. [slideshow:71388]
Little do they know, a short journey off the Strip would have put them right in the heart of an outdoor adventurer’s paradise. You name it—hiking, mountain biking, rappelling, sky diving, ziplining and, yes, even snowboarding—Las Vegas and the surrounding area just about has it all.
Those willing to take slightly longer trips would be delighted to know that, within four or five hours of Vegas, you’ll find six national parks, 13 state parks and practically endless acres of public land. With all these incredible venues open to the public and several awesome outfitters located around Las Vegas, casinos simply can’t compete with the epic adventures that await thrill seekers in the great outdoors.
Take a Big Leap from the Stratosphere
If you thought the most intense gambling was going on at the tables, you haven’t felt the thrill of plunging from 829 feet above the Strip. Go to the Sky Jump at the Stratosphere in Las Vegas and step over the edge at floor 108. In a heart-pounding, controlled free fall that’s been described as a vertical zip line; you’ll make it to the base of the tower and land safely on the ground. This adventure promises unbelievable views of the Strip, but we’re betting you’ll find it a little hard to focus on the city lights until after your epic jump.
stratospherehotel.com; jump packages from $120
Kayak the Colorado River
When it comes to outdoor adventure around Vegas, it’s tough to beat paddling around the base of the Hoover Dam and then traversing a 12-mile stretch (or more, if you so choose) of the Colorado River. The river that cuts through the Grand Canyon is a top paddling spot and with plenty of great side hikes, it’s an experience you absolutely shouldn’t miss. Several outfitters in the area rent kayaks and coordinate transportation and the Hoover Dam is just a 40 minute drive from the city.