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lmz Apr 6th, 2011 01:24 PM

Side trips from Vegas - Hoover Dam and Red Rock Canyon in 1 day
My sister and I are visiting Vegas in June. We are going to rent a car Sun morning and see the Hoover Dam. Is it practical to visit the dam and then head over to Red Rock Canyon to see that and be back in the city by 5-6:00? We are picking up the car at 8:30am. We've both been to Vegas before but have never left the actual city. Just trying to see as much as possible but don't want to try to do too much in one day if it is impractical.


tomfuller Apr 6th, 2011 01:41 PM

It makes much more sense to see Hoover Dam and the big new bridge (US 93) and then take the highway on the west side (Lakeshore Scenic DR.) of Lake Mead up to the intersection with Northshore Scenic DR turn right and head for the "Valley of Fire" State Park. When you leave VOF you can drive back south on I-15 into LV.
To get out to Red Rock Canyon, turn west off the Strip on Charleston (northern part of the Strip). It is about 22 miles out Charleston to Red Rock. You can get to Death Valley NP from Red Rock by way of Pahrump.

happytrailstoyou Apr 6th, 2011 02:25 PM

Near Red Rock Canyon, we enjoyed visiting Spring Mountain Ranch State Park:

(I think perhaps a visit to Death Valley would be one destination too many for the day you go to Hoover Dam and Red Rock Canyon.)


boom_boom Apr 6th, 2011 02:36 PM

Make Red Rock Canyon and Death Valley a separate day trip. The Dam and Valley of Fire State Park make more sense for the 1st day.

sassy27 Apr 6th, 2011 02:52 PM

Wow! Perfect timing. I leave for Las Vegas next Saturday and this is what I have planned. Hoover Dam and Valley of Fire one day, Death Valley another day and maybe Red Rock Canyon on another. Do you think I can combine Death Valley and Red Rock Canyon? I wasn't sure if that was too much.

tomfuller Apr 6th, 2011 03:12 PM

Go to Death Valley by way of Beatty and come back by way of Pahrump. If you come by Red Rock Canyon with time and energy, stop then. If not come back the next day in the morning.
The cheapest gas stations in LV seem to be on Charleston west of I-15.

sassy27 Apr 6th, 2011 05:20 PM

Thanks Tom. I wasn't sure since this will my first time spending time outsides of LV and helps with the planning.

lmz Apr 6th, 2011 07:08 PM

We only have one day to venture outside of Vegas so it sounds like Valley of Fire is it. I have mapquested and Valley of Fire makes much more sense as it is only 60 miles from the Dam.

Red Rock Canyon will have to wait for another trip

Thanks so much!

mpflim Apr 6th, 2011 09:31 PM

With the heavy traffic from Boulder City and a few miles to the Dam, it's best to go there the first thing in the morning. We were there two weeks ago, and it was slow and stop. Also, visited the Valley of Fire on the same day and it was an easy drive after leaving Boulder City.

emalloy Apr 7th, 2011 03:01 AM

Imz, Valley of Fire and Hoover Dam make for a great day trip combination. There is going to be traffic close to Vegas. We usually go north to the brown sign on 15 and then head east into VOF and go through, stopping at all the interesting sites and hiking up to Mouse's Tank. There is no food there, so pick up drinks and snacks before you go.

Be careful, once you venture out of Vegas, you may become addicted to the southwest and wind up using Vegas as a less expensive place to fly in to for exploring that whole area. Many on this forum, including us, have so we just are in town on the day we arrive and/or leave.

lmz Apr 7th, 2011 04:19 AM

We do plan to go first thing, picking up car on the strip at 8am. I am rethinking VOF as the more I read,I see there are snakes even in the visitor center. My sister and I both have a MAJOR phobia. We don't even go near the reptile house at the zoo. I know, we're big babies but it is what it is. We might just do the dam unless there is something else you all recommend that doesn't have snakes involved :)

Thanks for everyone's help

emalloy Apr 7th, 2011 04:25 AM

I understand about the snake thing, but you could still drive through VoF on your way to or from Hoover Dam and would be able to see the wonderful formations without getting out of the car.

We've been there many times, however, and have never encountered a snake. Maybe we were just lucky.

tomfuller Apr 7th, 2011 05:51 AM

Agree with emolloy- Depending on where you are coming from and your schedule, Allegiant is the cheapest route to Las Vegas from many locations:
They do a good job of bundling tours, shows and rental cars with the flights.
There is a place in VofF that has a set of steps next to a cliff which has some interesting petroglyphs.
If there are any snakes in the area, they would be close to any water. In the heat of the day, they would be in a hole trying to keep cool.

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