Natural hot springs, ancient rock art, and more, are waiting to be explored in the vast landscape of southern Nevada. This season, venture beyond the glowing lights of the Las Vegas Strip into some of the state’s best hidden treasures. Lace up your sneakers, buckle your seatbelt, and embark on your next mini-day trip to Gold Strike Hot Spring, Valley of Fire State Park, or Eldorado Canyon and Techatticup Mine.
Gold Strike Hot Spring
Stretch your legs and soak in one of southern Nevada’s premiere hot springs, the aptly named Gold Strike — but you’ll have to work to get to this prize. Gold Strike Hot Spring, part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area near Boulder City, is accessible via Goldstrike Canyon Trail, one of the most challenging and rewarding hikes during fall, winter, and spring. (The trail is closed annually from May 15 to September 30 due to extremely hot summer temperatures.) This scenic canyon offers third-class scrambling/bouldering, eight rope courses, hot springs, wildlife sightings, and views of the Colorado River and the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge above the Hoover Dam. This short day trip is just 12 minutes from Boulder City along U.S. Highway 93, and takes about 6-8 hours to complete.
Valley of Fire State Park
The unparalleled vistas of Valley of Fire State Park are where Nevada’s adventurous side meets ancient history. The park, about an hour northeast of Las Vegas off Interstate 15, delivers a real wow factor — after driving along Nevada’s ubiquitous gray-and-tan landscape, you’ll suddenly arrive at 40,000 acres of blazing red and orange sandstone nestled behind the mountains. As you wander through the park’s many fascinating trails, you’ll find ancient petroglyphs and brilliant sandstone formations created when dinosaurs roamed. Beyond popular hikes like Mouse’s Tank, Fire Canyon, and White Domes, the park offers several different campground selections and shady picnic spots. For more on Valley of Fire and other Nevada State Parks, visit parks.nv.gov.
Eldorado Canyon and Techatticup Mine
If your travels take you south of Las Vegas, a pit stop at Eldorado Canyon and Techatticup Mine off Nevada state Route 165 is an absolute must. Recorded history in this area dates back to 1775, when Spaniards uncovered gold in the region. Nearly 100 years later, prospectors of the Wild West flooded the Techatticup Mine in search of riches. Today, Techatticup is open for guided tours in which visitors walk through the hard rock mine and see the quartz veins that once held gold and silver. Old cars, buildings, and antiques surround the former mine, drawing photographers and videographers willing to pay the photo shoot charge. For more on the mine tour, visit eldoradocanyonminetours.com.
While adventuring across southern Nevada, always be prepared. Bring extra snacks and water, even if the temperatures seem cool. For details on these hot spots, visit TravelNevada.com and search for “Neon to Nature.” You’ll find a road trip itinerary with details on the above sites and other southern Nevada fun. Let TravelNevada know about your adventures by posting your pictures on social media with the hashtags #TravelNevada and #NVRoadTrip.