Card decks and DJ sets may be what first comes to mind when someone says, “Las Vegas,” but guess what? Las Vegas is actually a prime access point for some of the best adventures in southwest. Both domestic and international flights to Las Vegas McCarran International Airport are frequent and affordable, which makes it even easier to take a tour from Las Vegas to Zion, Bryce Canyon, or the surrounding areas.
Las Vegas is a 2.5-3 hour drive southwest of Zion National Park. This makes it just close enough to take a quick a one day tour of Zion beginning and ending in Las Vegas. However your tour will be a very long day with a lot of driving. There are only a few options for day tours to Zion from Vegas like this. You can find different and book options on websites like Tours4Fun. If you want to take a tour of Zion during your trip to Las Vegas, you will have more options if you add on at least one night to stay near Zion National Park in Springdale, Utah or another town nearby like Hurricane, Virgin, or St. George. There are a lot of tours from St. George to Zion.
If you really want to get the full Zion experience, plan to add a few days to your trip to Las Vegas and take a 3-day trip. AOA’s weekend hiking trip in Zion starts and ends in Las Vegas, making it easy to combine some outdoor time with the big city lights of the Las Vegas strip. On this weekend Zion trip, you’ll hike highlights like Angel’s Landing, the Narrows, and still have time to splash around in the Virgin River.
Highlights: towering red cliffs, catching aerial views whilst standing atop those towering red cliffs, camping inside Zion National Park at Watchman Campground.
Not far from Las Vegas, just outside Zion National Park, is Gooseberry Mesa an incredible destination for a mountain bike tour from Vegas. There is so much good trail here, you will need more than a one day tour to enjoy it. On our 4-day trip (starting and ending in Las Vegas) you’ll explore the JEM trail system, Hurricane Rim, Gooseberry Mesa, and the Guacamole trails. We pick up guests in Vegas, and it’s only a 2 hour drive to the town of Hurricane, UT, the closest town to access these trails.
Highlights: sticky slickrock, camping, mountain biking Utah’s most underrated trails
Bryce Canyon National Park is also located in Southern Utah and is a worthy destination to add to your planning when you book your next trip to Las Vegas. BUT Bryce Canyon is not exactly close by. This park is 4 hours driving from the Las Vegas strip. There are not a lot of options available for tours to visit Bryce Canyon from Las Vegas and any tour that you find will stay overnight at least one night.
If other-worldly rock formations, epic sunrises, and hiking through natural orange mazes sounds appealing, then a hiking trip to Bryce Canyon National Park is for you! Bryce Canyon National Park is a 4 hour drive from Las Vegas, with stops like Valley of Fire State Park, St. George, and Cedar Breaks National Monument on the way. This 3-day basecamp-based Bryce Canyon Hiking Trip goes out on weekends, making it the perfect for adventure for weekend warriors who want to see the highlights of Bryce.
Highlights: hoodoos, Bryce Canyon sunrise, the Fairyland Loop Trail
Whether you’re looking to just get a taste of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument or you want a more intimate experience, a guided tour is a great way to explore the Escalante region. This national monument is huge (nearly 1 million acres), so the driving distances from Las Vegas will vary but you should plan to take anywhere from 3.5 to 5 hours to drive from Vegas.
On our Bryce Canyon and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument hiking trip we check out Lower Calf Creek Falls and a slot canyon in the area. The drive through the monument is an incredible chance to see the layers of the Colorado Plateau transform. If you want more time to explore the monument and you are ready to try out backpacking, check out our Escalante River Backpacking trip. Over three days, you’ll hike under massive sandstone walls, through slot canyons, spot ancient ruins, and natural arches. The bustling city of Las Vegas will seem worlds away, and that’s the point, isn’t it?
Highlights: remnants of ancient ruins, a desert oasis, layers of the Colorado Plateau, Kiva Coffee Shop, solitude