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The Great Outdoors

Celin Serbo

Photo by Celin Serbo

WHY NOW: Capitalize on affordable Vegas travel, skip the strip and head to the hills for world-class hiking and rock climbing.

One of the top outdoor recreation areas in the country sits 17 miles west of the Vegas strip. The Spring Mountains boast big peaks, inspiring hiking trails, approachable mountain biking and some of the best rock climbing in the United States. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (pictured) is the gateway to these mountains and is a must-visit for any aspiring or serious outdoor athlete, offering myriad canyons snaking around sandstone rock faces that are up to 7,000 feet high. New to climbing? Hire a guide through Jackson Hole Mountain Guides or the American Mountain Guides Association. If you’re more inclined to stick to horizontal terrain, join a guided hike with Hike This! or set off on your own through Red Rock’s dozens of labyrinthine trails. Come sundown, rest your head at the upscale Red Rock resort—its spa will put your trail-worn body at ease, and from its central location you’re in pole position for great dining in West Vegas (try nearby farm-to-table restaurant Honey Salt). No matter how you choose to explore the area’s outdoors, you’re sure to have a Vegas experience you can actually share with your boss, husband and grandmother. —Majka Burhardt

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