Showgirls and casinos are only one side of Las Vegas. Beyond the glitzy Strip, you'll find a wealth of parks and outdoor activities. Since Las Vegas is in the desert, many popular outdoor areas feature water–an essential resource that has drawn people to the area for a very long time.
One of Las Vegas' most popular outdoor destinations is Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, known for world-class rock climbing and great hiking trails, many to hidden springs or seasonal water sources. The colorful, majestic cliffs and intriguing rock formations are also highly photogenic.
For most of the year, Las Vegas enjoys temperate weather, but in summer the temperatures are scorching. Lake Mead National Recreation Area offers visitors one way to escape the heat. If you decide to head out on the lake for boating or other water sports, remember the sunscreen–it can be easy to spend too much time in the desert sun when you're in the water having a great time.
Wildlife is abundant at many Las Vegas parks. Migratory birds and animals of all kinds can be seen around springs and ponds, especially early in the morning or late in the day. The variety of creatures you might spot may surprise some visitors: bunnies, lizards, big horn sheep, peacocks and burros, among many others.
Read on for a list of Las Vegas' 10 best parks to find out where you can enjoy the area's beautiful outdoors.