If you’re residing in Las Vegas and want to see some of the national parks in the Southwestern United States, there are quite a number of excellent locations close to the Vegas Strip. There are some destinations that are close enough to visit on a day trip, but others are for longer excursions or serving as a pit stop on a road trip. Likewise, near Las Vegas are some of the top national parks in the United States. You can travel to locations that are unlike anything you’ve ever seen, from California to Colorado. Read through to find out the closest national park to Las Vegas.
List of the Closest National Park to Las Vegas
Below is the list of the closest national park to Las Vegas
#1. Death Valley National Park
The closest U.S. national park to Las Vegas is Death Valley, which is located in California approximately 120 miles distant across the state line. Similarly, it takes only two hours to drive from Las Vegas to the visitor center in Furnace Creek. This makes it possible to complete the journey in one day. Moreover, Death Valley is most well known for having the highest average air temperature ever measured on Earth, with summer days routinely exceeding 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 C). Naturally, the most popular seasons for travel are winter and spring. This is when the weather is moderate and the countryside is covered in wildflowers.
But there is undoubtedly something alluring about going at the height of summer to feel the intense heat (just remember to bring extra water and stay close to your car). It’s a well-liked location for camping if you want to remain for more than a day. The best way to view all of Death Valley’s greatest attractions, from Bad water Basin to the Salt Flat, is to spend the night there.
The “Mighty 5” national parks of Utah are located in Utah, with Zion National Park being the nearest to Las Vegas. Zion National Park is the ideal weekend vacation because it is just 2.5 hours from Sin City. Also, this park is likely one of the best the state of Utah has to offer, being the oldest and most popular in the state. Unlike any other park in Utah, Zion is home to imposing sandstone canyons and a lot of shrubby flora. The Virgin River flows through the center of Zion Canyon, converting the desert into an oasis.
Zion is stunning for a variety of reasons, including the raging river and its waterfalls. Additionally, millions of adventure seekers visit popular trails like Angels Landing, The Narrows, and Observation Point every year. Moreover, the Emerald Pools, Canyon Overlook, or Riverside Walk trails in Zion are easier options if you don’t feel like taking on a strenuous hike. The park experiences heavy traffic from spring through fall, and all visitors are required to use the shuttle along Zion Canyon Scenic Drive.
#3. Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is located in the region where the Colorado and Mojave deserts meet. Moreover, Joshua trees have twisted branches, yet since the area’s indigenous inhabitants first came to the desert, people have been attracted to them by their ugly appearance. These trees are unique to the Southwest, and the national park is one of the best sites to see them because of its biological setting. Driving there from Las Vegas takes roughly three hours and covers 180 miles. If Los Angeles or San Diego are also on your road trip itinerary, Joshua Tree National Park is a simple side excursion to do on your way to or from Vegas.
In addition to the ground being covered in wildflowers, if you go in the spring after rain, you might get lucky and see the Joshua trees in bloom. If you have the time, the park is regarded as one of the best spots for camping in the country. Hikes through the park provide many opportunities to admire the trees and take pictures.
#4. Bryce Canyon National Park
It takes less than four hours to get from Las Vegas to Bryce Canyon National Park, one of the country’s most distinctive vistas. If you leave from Las Vegas, it will be simple to combine a visit to Bryce Canyon with one to Zion National Park. The greatest amount of growth in popularity is seen at Bryce Canyon National Park. The Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive is the park’s most well-liked activity. The park is one of the best sites to view the stars because it is a recognized International Dark Sky Park.
#5. The Grand Canyon
One of the major cities closest to the Grand Canyon in Las Vegas, which may surprise you. It takes 270 miles to travel from Las Vegas to either the North or South Rim of the Grand Canyon. While the North Rim is calmer, the South Rim is the most frequently visited viewing location. In addition, from Las Vegas, the trip there by car takes four and a half hours. Go to the north or south rims if you want to see the typical canyon views. From Las Vegas, the West Rim is a two-hour drive away and can be seen in one day. To reach the Grand Canyon’s base, one must go at least nine miles down a treacherous path.
#6. Great Basin National Park
Great Basin National Park is located about 4.5 hours north of Las Vegas in northern Nevada. Furthermore, the Bristlecone Pine, which is the oldest living tree in the world, is located in Great Basin National Park. The “Loneliest Road in America,” Highway 50, runs alongside it. One of the biggest watersheds in North America, the Great Basin, inspired the park’s name.
Moreover, the Alpine Lakes Loop Trail, the Bristlecone Trail, and the Wheeler Peak Summit Trail are not to be missed if hiking is more your thing. One of the closest national parks to Las Vegas for stargazing is Great Basin National Park, which is also a recognized International Dark Sky Park. The park holds the yearly Great Basin Astronomy Festival in September.
#7. Monument Valley and Four Corners
It takes around six hours to travel 400 miles east of Las Vegas to Monument Valley. It is located on the Navajo Nation Reservation and touches both Utah and Arizona. Some of the more popular locations, including Antelope Canyon, can only be reached by taking a guided tour. Additionally, the park has a Navajo village where guests can take part in live recreations of native customs and traditions. The exact spot where Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona converge is designated by the Four Corners Monument.
#8. Yosemite National Park
The most popular national park in California is Yosemite National Park. Also, Yosemite may be reached from Las Vegas in seven hours or 450 miles by automobile. Due to snowfall at this time of year, the most direct route along Tioga Pass is blocked for the season. The tallest waterfall in North America, Yosemite Falls, is located in Yosemite National Park. Other sights include Mariposa Grove and Half Dome, a large granite block that was split in half by glaciers. One of the park’s undiscovered jewels is Tuolomne Meadows.
#9. Capitol Reef National Park
A national park in Utah that receives fewer visitors is Capitol Reef National Park, which is roughly 5 hour’s drive from Las Vegas. The ideal way to visit all of Utah’s national parks is to take a weeklong road trip starting in Las Vegas, which is how this park is frequently included. The Capitol Reef was some of the last lands in the contiguous 48 states to be chartered by cartographers. The park’s hallmark feature, the Waterpocket Fold, is a 100-mile-long rift in the Earth’s surface. Visitors can also enjoy the 8-mile Capitol Reef Scenic Drive and hike popular trails.
#10. Arches National Park
Right outside the Utah town of Moab, Arches National Park is about 450 miles from Las Vegas. In addition, Arches National Park is one of those natural wonders that will make you pause and look, mouth agape, at the geology of the American Southwest. It will take you around seven hours to get to this spectacular sanctuary. The 52-foot freestanding arch known as Delicate Arch is the park’s most well-known landmark. Driving through Capitol Reef National Park or along Escalante Canyon will get you to Arches.
Can You Do a Day Trip to Zion From Vegas?
Best of all, Zion’s location in Utah makes it a convenient day trip from Las Vegas. If you’re already in Sin City, a great way to experience this natural wonder is by taking a Las Vegas tour to Zion National Park. These tours can last for a few hours or several days, so there is something for everyone.
How Far is the Valley of Fire From Vegas?
The Valley of Fire is located about 58 miles from the Las Vegas Strip in the Mojave (Mo-hah-vee) Desert. It abuts Lake Mead National Recreation Area at the east entrance to the park. It is 15 miles southwest of Overton, Nevada. Its elevation varies between 2,000 and 2,600 feet.
FAQs on Closest National Park to Las Vegas
Where should I stop between Las Vegas and Sequoia National Park?
The top stops along the way from Las Vegas to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park (with short detours) are General Sherman Tree, Calico, and Giant Forest. Other popular stops include General Grant Tree, M Resort Spa Casino, and Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace.
Is it worth driving from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon?
The Grand Canyon North Rim, almost a 5-hour car ride from Las Vegas, is definitely a car ride for the dedicated. But if you can tolerate 268 miles in a car, the more remote North Rim will reward you with smaller crowds and some of the Grand Canyon’s best views.
Can you do Grand Canyon and Zion in one trip?
Zion and the Grand Canyon are two iconic national parks tourists like to visit in one trip through the desert Southwest. On your Zion to Grand Canyon road trip, you’ll also see some of the most beautiful sites in all of southern Utah and northern Arizona.