Dust, Danger & Four Wheel Drive: Off-Roading in Vegas

The area around Las Vegas is a spectacular place for nature lovers. There are beautiful views at Red Rock Canyon, boating and swimming options at Lake Mead, hot springs and waterfalls down by the Colorado River, and even skiing up at Mt. Charleston. Out here, getting into nature is less of an activity and more of a way of life. But there’s one other way to see the desert that really can’t be matched—off-roading.

There are a few ways to go off-roading out in the desert areas around Las Vegas. (One of the most popular is to simply live in the area and have an off-roading vehicle—but obviously that’s easier said than done, especially if you’re on vacation.) If you don’t have a spare ATV laying around, you’ll want to find a company that specializes in off-road rentals or go on an off-roading tour.

Death Valley by Jeep

Not every off-road experience is built the same. You’ll need to decide two things up front: where you want to go, and what kind of vehicle you want. Out in Death Valley National Park, there’s a company called Farabee Jeep Rentals that will let you rent their Jeeps for the day. You can spend your time visiting some of Death Valley’s most impressive and remote locales, like Titus Canyon and Leadfield ghost town. Plus, you can take the Jeep directly through some of Death Valley’s impressive (and narrow) slot canyons to get a feel for this wild and rocky landscape.

Death Valley is an exceptional place for this sort of activity. There are mountains, narrow canyons, sweeping sand dunes and plenty of craters. Couple this with the area’s abundance of towns—both active towns and ghost towns alike—and you’ll find that there’s plenty to see and do out here. The off-roading experience is top notch, but the park itself is extraordinary either way. Most other companies will offer you tours on ATVs or UTVs, which don’t offer as smooth of a ride as Jeeps, but the locations they visit still serve up top-notch views.

Eldorado Canyon by ATV

Awesome Adventures takes you down through the Eldorado Canyon and Techatticup Mine area. The gold and silver mine here was active from the time of the Civil War through to World War II, and was the most productive gold and silver mine in southern Nevada. Today, the canyon and mine are lined with old buildings and equipment, and the ATV tour here will allow you to travel around a gravel course that shows you the canyon and mining area. You also get a walking tour of the gold mine, which is arguably the better part of the tour.

Off-Roading North of the Strip

Las Vegas Elite Off-Road is another company that offers UTV tours. They’re located closer to the Vegas Speedway, in the desert to the north of the city. This area is at the base of several mountains, with plenty of gray dust and sand that you can kick up as you chase along after their guides. They’ll take you to remote dunes, smaller canyons and along old washes, and though there are more interesting areas to explore off road, this is a great spot to rip on the throttle.

Valley of Fire by ATV

If you’re looking for the most scenic location, there are three companies that operate up near Valley of Fire. Adrenaline ATV Tours and SunBuggy Fun Rentals provide guided tours of the Overton area, which is just outside of Valley of Fire. Another company, called Ultimate Desert Adventures, does UTV rentals near Valley of Fire. The big difference between them and the other companies out here is that Ultimate Desert Adventures doesn’t do guided tours—they rent you the UTV and cut you loose for a few hours—and it’s glorious.

This area is our favorite by far. Valley of Fire is an exceptional location, and I find myself recommending it to just about everyone that goes to the Vegas area. Even if you don’t visit it in an off-road vehicle, you’ll be able to spend plenty of time hiking around some of the most incredible views in the Vegas area. The sandstone out here is much redder than in many other parts of the desert, and when the sun hits it just right, it will glow gold and appear to be on fire (hence the valley’s name). The entire valley is filled with these sorts of rock structures, too, so there’s no shortage of scenery.

Now, if you’re off-roading, you won’t actually be in Valley of Fire. You’ll be just outside of the park boundaries, on the Logandale Trail System. However, the border area that you’ll take feature the same formations as those inside the park, making this by far one of the most memorable off-roading experiences I’ve ever done. You can really shred along some of the sand on this trail system as you’re zipping from one scenic vista to the next, making this one of the best areas if you want an adrenaline rush, on top of being one of the prettiest places anywhere near Vegas.

Other Off-Roading Opportunities

If you decide to forego the rentals and tours, there are still plenty of off-roading opportunities, if you have a vehicle that can handle it. The greater Vegas area is covered in old washes and open desert that people like to track along. In Red Rock Canyon, you can take Lovell Canyon Road to head into more remote parts of desert, as well as along some primitive camping areas. And out in Lake Mead, there are networks of backcountry roads that will take you down to the lakeshore, offering some of the most remote places you can visit the water from.

There are lots of ways you can see the best that Vegas has to offer, but if you’re planning on seeing a bit of nature on your trip, consider off-roading as a good way to get off the beaten path.

Find the best off-roading the Vegas area has to offer and much more with Las Vegas Revealed. Whether you’re on the Strip, Downtown or on exploring the great outdoors, our believable guides will help you have an unbelievable vacation.




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