Day trips from Las Vegas

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hmw
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Day trips from Las Vegas

Post by hmw » Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:54 pm

I will be attending a conference in LV later this month. My wife and our 6-year old son will tag along as well. We are staying at the north end of the strip. We will be renting a car for the duration of our stay. I will have 2 full days (not consecutive) to spend with the family. I am thinking about taking two day trips. We visited Hoover Dam last year. We have been to the Grand Canyon before.

After some research, I narrowed it down to Zion National Park, Valley of Fire state park, Red Rock Canyon and Death Valley. I will have to pick two out of the four.

Wondering if anyone has done any of the day trip with kid? Any recommendations? Must sees?

Thanks

deikel
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Re: Day trips from Las Vegas

Post by deikel » Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:24 pm

not sure about the 'with kid' aspect, but I was mighty impressed with Death Valley, you can loop it and combine with Valley of Fire State Park. Not much walking or exploring in this trip though, mostly sitting in car and watching out the window with short 20 min hops out and back in.

Especially as a tip from Las Vegas (hustle and bustle) through Death Valley (completely quite, no green and HOT) to Yosemite (green lush and full of life) - That contrast is pretty unique

Zion is probably more interesting for kids I would argue, more you can actually do and hike and explore.

- all lots of driving though, depends on kids age I guess...
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Steelersfan
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Re: Day trips from Las Vegas

Post by Steelersfan » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:30 pm

Zion is awesome, in my top three of National Parks. Valley of Fire state park is on the way and worth a stop. I thought Red Rock Canyon a little better than Valley of Fire but why go out of the way. Forget Death Valley.

gkaplan
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Re: Day trips from Las Vegas

Post by gkaplan » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:13 pm

Hoover Dam
Gordon

denovo
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Re: Day trips from Las Vegas

Post by denovo » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:30 pm

Erm, you may want to check the temperature. Hot as Hades still in Vegas in Sept. I would invest in a hotel with a nice pool/aquatic area, there's a lot of fun stuff to do for kids on the Vegas Strip like Circus Circus and New York/New York.

I see it hitting 100 all week long at the aptly named Valley of Fire State Park.

https://weather.com/weather/tenday/l/NVSPVF:13:US
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avalpert
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Re: Day trips from Las Vegas

Post by avalpert » Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:55 pm

Zion is far for a day trip - you would be talking 6 hours of driving for a few hours there. Valley of Fire is good to explore the kid may like climbing around the rock formations, you could also consider a day at and on Lake Mead - or a half day on the lake and half day at red rocks or if it is really hot head up Mt. Charleston. I don't know if 6 is too young to enjoy the pinball museum maybe with a trip to Ethel M chocolate factory.

mega317
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Re: Day trips from Las Vegas

Post by mega317 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:19 pm

How much hiking is a 6 year old going to do?

My family went out to Hoover Dam from Vegas when I was about 13, I did not enjoy.

Recent thread might be helpful too.
viewtopic.php?t=222754

I googled the conferences in Vegas for Sept for fun. There is an interesting looking one for clinicians who specialize in pain management, but it's called Pain Week 2017. Sounds like a frat initiation.

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Day trips from Las Vegas

Post by oldcomputerguy » Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:08 am

We don't have any kids, but DW and I have done both Valley of Fire and Red Rock Canyon, both are very scenic. If I only wanted to allocate time to one or the other, I'd pick Valley of Fire.
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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Day trips from Las Vegas

Post by oldcomputerguy » Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:10 am

mega317 wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:19 pm
I googled the conferences in Vegas for Sept for fun. There is an interesting looking one for clinicians who specialize in pain management, but it's called Pain Week 2017. Sounds like a frat initiation.
Could also describe my last session at the video poker machines...
:annoyed
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

Mudpuppy
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Re: Day trips from Las Vegas

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:39 pm

Your biggest issue with any outdoor activity is going to be if the heat wave breaks while your conference is happening. The average temperatures in late-September for the various locations are: Zion National Park mid-80s, Valley of Fire low-90s, Red Rock Canyon mid-80s, Death Valley upper-90s/low-100s. But this summer in the southwest region has been above-average on many days, with no signs of the heat-wave breaking any time soon. I would recommend dropping Death Valley off the list, because it will likely still be too hot when you're in Las Vegas. The other sites will depend on the forecasts during your trip.

I can't overemphasize how easy it would be for adults and children to suffer heat stress or heat stroke with outdoor activity in hot weather. Most people severely underestimate the amount of fluids needed to stay hydrated in hot weather. The hiking recommendation is 1 liter every two hours in temperate weather, but this can go up to more than 2 liters an hour in hot weather. And you need electrolytes along with the fluid when you're in hot weather. Even with plenty of fluids and electrolytes, one can easily become overwhelmed in the extreme heat the southwest is currently experiencing.

Here are some pages on hot weather hiking, just to educate yourself on the risks involved and precautions that can be taken (although there's no guarantee the precautions will be effective):
https://modernhiker.com/9-rules-for-hik ... ot-weather
https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice ... iking.html
https://americanhiking.org/resources/ho ... er-hiking/

Unless you plan to stay in your car for the most part during the day trip, it's very important to check the weather forecasts and be flexible in your planning.

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MikeWillRetire
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Re: Day trips from Las Vegas

Post by MikeWillRetire » Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:40 pm

I did Red Rock Canyon with my kids in the summer. It was beautiful and easy to get to, and they have a nice visitors center. You can stay in the car if you like, and you can make some stops to take some short hikes. We took a gallon of water for each of us, and stopped at various places to walk around a bit.

Yankuba
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Re: Day trips from Las Vegas

Post by Yankuba » Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:36 pm

We took one of those tour busses and went to Oatman AZ (wild donkeys!) and a gold mine. Highly recommended.

hmw
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Re: Day trips from Las Vegas

Post by hmw » Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:10 pm

OP here.

Thanks for all your suggestions. I think Zion is in and Death Valley is out. Will monitor the temperature. It is hotter than I anticipated.

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midareff
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Re: Day trips from Las Vegas

Post by midareff » Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:17 pm

Steelersfan wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:30 pm
Zion is awesome, in my top three of National Parks. Valley of Fire state park is on the way and worth a stop. I thought Red Rock Canyon a little better than Valley of Fire but why go out of the way. Forget Death Valley.
Add the dam.

hmw
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Re: Day trips from Las Vegas

Post by hmw » Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:41 pm

midareff wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:17 pm
Steelersfan wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:30 pm
Zion is awesome, in my top three of National Parks. Valley of Fire state park is on the way and worth a stop. I thought Red Rock Canyon a little better than Valley of Fire but why go out of the way. Forget Death Valley.
Add the dam.
Visited Hoover Dam last year.

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midareff
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Re: Day trips from Las Vegas

Post by midareff » Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:45 pm

Hoover Dam was AOK, don't miss the petroglypths.

hmw
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Re: Day trips from Las Vegas

Post by hmw » Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:00 pm

OP here. We are back from Vegas. We ended up doing a day trip to Zion NP and did an easy hike while there. My wife and I enjoyed the trip. My 6-year old liked the trip as well but I think he liked the hotel pool more. :happy

When we landed in LV, and got to the Budget car rental, there was a huge line. Luckily I enrolled in the Budget fast track, which allowed me to bypass the line. I saved at least one hour of time. Maybe this is a common knowledge among business travelers. I didn't know about it, but I was really glad that we were able to bypass the line.

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