By Debbie Hall

Springtime in Southern Nevada is a beautiful time of year and going on a picnic is a wonderful way to celebrate it. Even in the middle of the desert, Las Vegas offers several parks as well as two lakes. There are mountains surrounding the valley with many designated areas to hold a picnic surrounded by pine trees, blue skies and beautiful scenery. Take the time, pack a basket and enjoy dining outdoors.

Lee Canyon
6725 Lee Canyon Road
Las Vegas, NV 89124
(702) 385-2754

Lee Canyon is located 35 miles northwest of Las Vegas in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. Surrounded by the largest national forest in the continental United States, there are picnic areas in the middle of pine and aspen trees. Enjoy some of the most spectacular scenery while indulging in either homemade goodies or food purchased at Big Horn Grill. Due to weather, call first to make certain the resort is open. There is a parking fee.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
1000 Scenic Loop Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89161
(702) 515-5350

Located 25 miles west of Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon will be in full bloom. There are numerous picnic areas to truly enjoy the great outdoors while observing nature. Although in a distance; foxes, deer, bobcats, burros, mountain lions, big horn sheep and coyotes can be spotted for a great photo opportunity. There are also hiking trails for easy walks as well as more strenuous hikes. For additional information, there is a visitor center with exhibits. There is an entrance fee into the park.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area
U.S. National Park Service
601 Nevada Way
Boulder City, NV 89005
(702) 293-8990

Lake Mead National Recreation Area is a 30-minute drive from Las Vegas. The man-made lake was formed during the building of Hoover Dam on the Colorado River. It has become a recreation destination with places along the shoreline for picnics. Whether using one of the outdoor tables or laying out a blanket, the blue skies and the lapping water surrounded by mountains will create the perfect picnic vibe. There are other activities available after the picnic and be prepared to pay entrance and lake use fees.

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Lake Las Vegas

Lake Las Vegas, a 320-acre man-made lake, is located 30 miles east of Las Vegas. There are grassy hills and a sandy shoreline to enjoy that picnic meal. Bring a basket or purchase food at one of the several restaurants at the lake. After the picnic, there is a retail village to stroll through as well as boating and paddling. A leisurely walk around the lake offers beautiful scenery and a chance for some free air. Best of all, there is no fee to visit Lake Las Vegas.

Sunset Park
2601 E. Sunset Road
Las Vegas, NV 89120
(702) 455-8200

Sunset Park is the largest park in the Clark County park system featuring picnic areas, softball fields, basketball courts and playgrounds. There are paths to walk as well as a dog park and pond. For other recreation activities consider disc golf course, volleyball and tennis. Grills are also available to barbecue as well as covered picnic tables. The park offers public restrooms and there are no entrance or parking fees.

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