Scenic and Historic Getaways

Once you’ve settled in to your new Las Vegas home, you’ll want to start discovering the beauty of local sites, all within a short distance. You might consider hiring a tour company that can provide you an overview and description of these unique places. Check the Web for sightseeing and tour companies and learn about seeing these places by air, by bus or by Jeep!

Lake Mead

Located 35 miles southeast of Las Vegas, the reservoir was created by the damming of the Colorado River. It was named after Elwood Mead, the Bureau of Reclamation commissioner at the time. The lake draws thousands of visitors to this wondrous contrast of desert and water. Lake Mead National Recreation Area was the first of its kind in 1964. Now, millions of visitors come each year to enjoy the many recreational opportunities found within the park’s diverse landscape.

Lake Mead is the 16th largest artificial lake in the world, occupying approximately 1.5 million acres and 700 miles of shoreline. Spanning across Nevada and Arizona, the lake offers year-round recreation like boating, swimming, hiking and wildlife viewing. Three of America’s four desert ecosystems – the Mojave, the Great Basin and the Sonoran Deserts – meet in Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Learn more at www.nps.gov/lame/

Bonnie Springs Old Nevada

Nearly 25 miles west of Las Vegas, the spring consists of a 115-acre park, motel, museum, shops, restaurant, petting zoo and horseback riding facilities. bonniesprings.com

Lost City Museum, Overton

The Lost City Museum, 60 miles northeast of Las Vegas, was built by the National Park Service to exhibit artifacts that excavated from Pueblo Grande de Nevada. These Anasazi Indian sites were once threatened by the waters of Lake Mead as it backed up behind the newly built Hoover Dam.

The Civilian Conservation Corps assisted in the excavation of the sites and the construction of the museum building, which was constructed of sun-dried adobe brick, in a pueblo-revival style. The museum also served as the park headquarters for the Boulder Dam State Park that was established at Lake Mead.

Visit museums.nevadaculture.org for more information.

Mount Charleston

At 45 miles north of Las Vegas, you’ll find panoramic views, horseback riding, hiking, biking trails, campgrounds, picnic areas, hotels. Skiing and sleigh rides are offered in the winter months. Mt. Charleston is part of the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area and included in the Humboldt/Toiyabe National Forest. fs.usda.gov/htnf

Valley of Fire

Located 55 miles east of Las Vegas, Valley of Fire houses Native American exhibits, a visitor center, climbing, hiking and picnic areas. stateparks.com/valley_of_fire_state_park_in_nevada.html

Ghost Towns Worth Visiting

If you’re interested in ghost towns and the supernatural, then these sites are for you: Chloride Mining Town (south of Hoover Dam off U.S. 95), Eldorado Springs (42 miles south), Goodsprings (37 miles south), Johnnie (50 miles northwest), Pioche (175 miles northwest), Rhyolite (120 miles north), and Sandy & Sandy Valley (36 miles southwest).

Last Revision: June 27, 2014 ( 9:29 AM)

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