Blink and you’ll miss it! Spring in the Vegas Valley seems to come and go in just a few weeks, so taking advantage of the warm-but-not-hot season can be a challenge if you’re not paying close attention to the weather channel. One of the best ways to take advantage of milder weather is by completing a hike. Las Vegas offers a plethora of beautiful locations to hike through, for all ages and health conditions. Some people may view hiking as simply walking through nature, but hikes can range from kid-friendly strolls to challenging cardio workouts. Weight loss experts recommend hiking not just for its physical health benefits (lower blood pressure, increased stamina, and improved balance to name a few) but also for mental benefits. Being out in nature is shown to lower stress and boost overall moods. These Las Vegas hikes are perfect for beginner to moderate hikers looking to capitalize on the spring season’s comfortable temperature.
1. Historical Hike: Lake Mead’s Railroad Trail
Kicking off the spring Las Vegas hike list is a little bit of history. Lake Mead’s Railroad Trail is an exceptional hiking trail for beginners because of the relatively flat terrain. The hike will take visitors down a 7.2 there-and-back path through the tunnels initially created in the 1930s to shuffle supplies to and from the Hoover Dam. Families, friends, and even pets will get beautiful views of both Lake Mead and Boulder Basin during the hike. While the ground is flat and well-traveled, be prepared for the length of this hike! Park at the Alan Bible Visitor Center just down from the Lake Mead Visitor Center and set off for the approximately 2-hour walk through Las Vegas history.
2. Mouse’s Tank in Valley of Fire
Named for the Native American outlaw who famously survived off the hidden water source in Valley of Fire, Mouse’s Tank is an excellent easy hike for someone who wants to enjoy both history and stunning geologic formations. Valley of Fire is popular among Las Vegas hiking advocates, but only in the cooler months. The location heats up to unbearable temperatures during the summer, making Mouse’s Tank a good visit during spring. Bring the kids to this single mile hike and dazzle them with the story of how Mouse’s Tank got its name as they explore the natural rock formations on the way.
3. Las Vegas Locals’ Favorite: Ice Box Canyon
Red Rock has no shortage of beautiful hiking trails but the locals all flock to Ice Box Canyon during the spring. While it does contain some bouldering which recently turned the trail to ‘moderate’ instead of easy, most hikers can still tackle the sandstone path with relative ease. The 2.6-mile descent takes hikers away from Las Vegas and into lush greenery teeming with wildlife. Named because its narrow path moves visitors down instead of up, Ice Box Canyon is usually a few degrees cooler than the rest of Red Rock. At the end of the sandstone-laced path is a small waterfall, which is usually most active during the spring months as frozen water melts and drains downward.
4. Mount Charleston’s Famous Mary Jane Falls Hiking Trail
High in the mountaintops is one of the best local Las Vegas hiking trails: Mary Jane Falls. Beginning in a parking lot made from a former campsite, Mary Jane Falls is a lengthy four-mile there-and-back hike. The elevation and humidity make this hike a treat for Vegas locals, as the temperature cools off the higher you go. While the hike itself isn’t particularly challenging, you must remain p hydrated to avoid feeling dizzy or lightheaded. The thinner mountain air can prove to be somewhat difficult over time, and this hike takes up plenty of time. Expect about a three-hour round trip (with breaks included, of course!) and go early if possible. This hiking trail is extremely popular, so crowds are a given! For more healthy lifestyle tips in Las Vegas contact Advanced Medical Weight Loss and Wellness Center.