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Travel & Outdoors

Best Day Trips For Families Around Las Vegas

January 24, 2011 12:40 PM

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Hoover Dam is an immense concrete structure 30 miles southwest of Las Vegas on U.S. 93 built in the 1930s to control Colorado River run-off. (Credit: usbr.gov)

Hoover Dam is an immense concrete structure 30 miles southwest of Las Vegas on U.S. 93 built in the 1930s to control Colorado River run-off. (Credit: usbr.gov)

Las Vegas is generally considered a playground for adults, but there are many attractions and activities in the surrounding areas that make perfect family-friendly day trips away from the city. The best of these family day trips can make a Las Vegas visit a memorable time for everyone. – Mike Donahue
valleyoffirelasvegas Best Day Trips For Families Around Las Vegas

Valley of Fire State Park is a harshly beautiful and rugged desert area some 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas. (Credit: stateparks.com)

Valley of Fire State Park

29450 Valley of Fire Road
Overton, NV 89040
(702) 397-2088
www.stateparks.com/valley_of_fire.html

Valley of Fire State Park is a harshly beautiful and rugged desert area some 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas on exit 75 off Interstate 15, making it the perfect day trip for family visitors to Las Vegas. Once the bottom of a vast, shallow inland sea, it is bone dry today, scalding hot in the summer and mild in other seasons. The park is an incredibly colorful garden of sandstone spires, arches and other natural formations. A visitors’ center, constructed from rugged natural stone to match the surrounding terrain, is filled with exhibits on geology, ecology, prehistory and the history of the park itself. The park charges a $10 entrance fee per car with a $2 discount for Nevada residents. Hours: visitors’ center, daily 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; picnic areas close at sundown.

hooverdam Best Day Trips For Families Around Las Vegas

Hoover Dam is an immense concrete structure 30 miles southwest of Las Vegas on U.S. 93 built in the 1930s to control Colorado River run-off. (Credit: usbr.gov)

Hoover Dam

Bureau of Reclamation
P.O. Box 61470
Boulder City, NV 89006-1470
Phone: (702) 494-2517
Toll-free number: (888) 248-1249
www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam

Hoover Dam is an immense concrete structure 30 miles southwest of Las Vegas on U.S. 93 built in the 1930s to control Colorado River run-off, which annually caused millions of dollars of damage downstream. The dam has been called one of America’s Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders. In the Visitor Center, guests can view maps, videos, films and pictures of the huge undertaking to create the dam in Black Canyon. Just 30 miles southwest of Las Vegas. Power plant tours are available that allow visitors to go inside the huge concrete structure. This is a wonderful day trip for families. Entrance fees, which include access to the Visitors Center and power plant, are $11 for adults, ages 17 through 61, $9 for seniors 62 and up, $9 for juniors ages 4 to 16, and $9 for U.S. military. Hours: Visitor Center, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas.

tillmabridge Best Day Trips For Families Around Las Vegas

The Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge is the longest concrete arch in the Western Hemisphere. (Credit: hooverdambypass.org)

Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge

U.S. 93
Boulder City, NV 89006
www.hooverdambypass.org

The Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, opened Oct. 19, 2010, and is some 30 miles southwest of Las Vegas. It is the first concrete-steel composite arch bridge built in the United States. Towering some 840 feet above the Colorado River, it was constructed 1,600 feet downriver from Hoover Dam and is an awe-inspiring sight when viewed from atop the dam. Conversely, it is the perfect spot from which to view the ponderously massive Hoover Dam. It is the longest concrete arch in the Western Hemisphere. Also called the Hoover Dam Bypass, the 1,900-foot-long span links Nevada and Arizona and is the second highest bridge in the country. A parking area on the Nevada side of the bridge allows visitors to stop and walk across the bridge. Hours: open 24 hours daily unless the wind exceeds 50 mph.

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