Summer in Las Vegas means the great escape to water and slightly cooler temperatures. It can also mean swimming, camping, picnics and finding the perfect hiking trails. With such an abundance of natural beauty and convenient recreation center pools, there is always something ‘cool’ to do in the Las Vegas area.
Whitney Ranch Activity Pool
Whitney Ranch Recreational Center
1575 Galleria Drive
Henderson, NV 89014
Whitney Ranch Activity Pool is an outdoor facility that lets you bask in the comfort of water in the desert. You can work on your strokes, race competitively or take lessons if you want to improve your water skills. Or just play on the slides and other play equipment and enjoy the experience. Close to home, it’s a mini vacation at next to no cost. Get a swim pass and make it an ongoing vacation experience.
Valley of Fire State Park
29450 Valley of Fire Road
Overton, NV 89040
Valley of Fire is located approximately 60 miles from Las Vegas in the Mojave Desert. This is the oldest Nevada State Park and is named for the awe-inspiring red sandstone rock formations caused by the shifting sand dunes during the age of the dinosaurs. They actually look as if they are on fire at dusk and dawn, when the sun’s reflection makes them glow. There’s a multitude of wildlife living in the Valley of Fire, but most are nocturnal. You may see lizards basking on the rocks, snakes, coyotes, bobcats, antelope, ground squirrels, kit foxes, skunks and jackrabbits. Desert big horn sheep are likely to wander down during the day for photo ops, but if you see a desert tortoise, remember, they are protected by state law.
Ely KOA Campgrounds
The Ely KOA campground is located just off Highways 50, 93 and 6. It offers “Big Rig Friendly” RV sites to enjoy mature trees and the convenience of new electrical upgrades on each site. You may want to enjoy the free WiFi and cable TV during the evenings or hot afternoons, or you can choose go fishing or swimming. Lodging is in deluxe cabins (with all the comforts of home), or you can tent on the grassy, secluded tenting sites. No barbecues are necessary, as you can use the Camper Kitchen. Pets are welcome and your horse will enjoy the on-site corral.
Both Lake Mead and Lake Mohave offer 24-hour fishing year round. If you want to fish for trout, you may get your trout stamp at the marine concessions or at local bait and tackle shops. Lake Mead is famous for its striped and large-mouth bass, while the upper Overton Arm of the lake is better for crappie, blue gill, green sunfish and catfish. Rainbow trout thrive in Lake Mohave. Camping is available at the campgrounds or you can opt to stay at a hotel or motel in Boulder City.
Las Vegas, NV 89120
Sunset Park is an oasis in the desert. It offers everything from a duck pond to fishing, ample picnic grounds, dog parks, tennis courts, softball fields and hiking trails around the last remaining sand dunes that once covered most of Paradise Valley. With the recent improvements, you will find more hiking trails with ample bird-watching vistas and historical points of interest as well as pedestrian bridges. Whether it’s a cool, shady spot or a trail to hike, Sunset Park truly has it all, nestled within the heart of Las Vegas, just a few miles from the Strip.
Related: Best Spots for a Picnic in Las Vegas
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.