Las Vegas’ desert location doesn’t mean the area lacks stunning picnic sites. From duck ponds and fishing to romantic desert views, this city has just the right picnic hideaway for every basket. Enjoy the little spot just outside of town where mountain goats come join dinner, but be sure not to miss out on the most stunning picnic locales in the neighborhood.
2601 E. Sunset Rd.
Las Vegas, NV 89120
This huge green space near the airport is one of an absolute local favorite, and has been for more than 1,000 years. First a trading and sacred spot for local Paiutes, later as a meeting place for visiting traders, then a tree farm and ranch, this location has seen its fair share of meals and travelers. It’s also the only place in town with original sand dunes. Visit a rail line with discovery trails, read the interpretive signs throughout the park, frolic in children’s play areas, grab a license and go fishing, visit the duck pond or take the dogs to this awesome park. Enjoy a secluded picnic at any number of sites with views of the Strip, commune with nature and rest in the welcoming shade by the lake or on one of the gnarly, ancient sitting trees.
Sunrise Picnic Area in the Wetlands Park
7050 Wetlands Park Ln.
Las Vegas, NV 89122
The 19-acre Sunrise Picnic Area in the Wetlands Park is where the rustic side of Vegas hides: picnic tables, a restroom, a small corral for horses and three parking areas, including one that accommodates horse trailers. No drinking water is available, so bring your own. Sunrise Picnic area often serves as a staging area for hikers, cyclists and equestrians who know and love Lava Butte, Rainbow Gardens and Kodachrome on the Bureau of Land Management lands to the north. A peaceful place for couples, it’s not really designed for kids and pets, dogs and bikes are only allowed on Duck Creek Trail, and rollerblades and skateboards are banned from the park entirely.
401 Ville Dr.
Boulder City, NV 89005
For true mountain scenery, visit this park. Walk right up to the bighorn sheep as they graze by the play equipment, and expect picnics to include their funny faces right nearby this shady, scenic spot. Boulder City is close enough to Las Vegas to almost be a suburb, yet its proximity to the mountains and beautiful vistas along the high ridges makes it seem hours from the glitz of the big city. Take the kids for a fun romp on the playground, or just kick back and enjoy stunning views of Lake Mead.
Related: Joshua Tree National Park
Floyd Lamb Park
9200 Tule Springs Rd.
Las Vegas, NV 89131
Price: $1 per person/$5 per vehicle
If you want to get back to nature within 15 miles of the Strip, head for this park, which features four ponds, grassy lawns and natural desert areas. Once called Tule Springs, this area served as a water stop for Native Americans and travelers throughout history. In the ’40s, it became a privately owned dude ranch. Visit the Tule Springs Ranch Historic Area within the park itself for a little dose of history. Fishing and bird watching are the major attractions here — ponds are stocked with catfish in summer and rainbow trout in winter, but adults will need a fishing license. Families may also enjoy walking paths, volleyball, horseshoe and picnics with barbecues.
Centennial Hills Park
6601 N. Buffalo Dr.
Las Vegas, NV 89131
Centennial Hills Park features award-wining picnic pavilions and playgrounds with palm trees interwoven into the structures and giant yellow shade flowers and red toadstool picnic tables. This one is definitely all about the kids. Families come to enjoy its interactive water-play area, playgrounds, a fenced dog park, volleyball courts and two soccer fields. It’s also home to a popular weekly farmer’s market.
Exploration Peak Park (Mountains Edge)
9600 S. Buffalo Dr.
Las Vegas, NV 89178
This park is located just south of the entrance to Mountain’s Edge with 80 acres that feature 24 developed park areas. The rest of the space left is open space and trails. Exploration Peak crests at 2,846 feet, perfect for walking and hiking for great views of the Las Vegas Valley and Mountain’s Edge community. Its custom Old West settling complements the natural elements and history of the area. Explore a western town with replicated buildings, an Indian village and an archaeology dig area. Picnic areas are first come, first served.
Sharon Damon is a preschool specialist, avid reader, passionate writer and creative baker/ cook. She has been a cooking instructor at a local Rec Center in Henderson, NV since 2011, and has written for Examiner and other publications since 2010. She knows her way around the keyboard and the kitchen! Sharon moved from a small city in Canada to Las Vegas 6 years ago, to marry the love of her life, and has since been swept up in the whirlwind known as Sin City. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.