Of course, the first thing everybody thinks about when talking about Nevada is Vegas and casinos. But Nevada is so much more than that. Amazing desert climate, wonderful weather, and beautiful landscapes; Nevada has a lot to offer, especially to the people who enjoy the outdoors, nature and a little adventure. Where, you ask? Let’s start with a nice, small town, located 152 km (95 mi) from Las Vegas, by Colorado River called Laughlin. Here are the best things to do there:
1. Don Laughlin's Classic Car Collection
There are some cars we all know exist, but have never actually seen. Those special, unique, sometimes weird-looking cars that very often show up in movies from the 60s or 70s, like famous muscle cars or even horseless carriages. You can find that and much more in Don Laughlin’s Classic Car Collection, located in the Riverside Resort Hotel and Casino.
The collection is divided into two areas with over 80 examples of those rare machines. The most famous piece of their exhibit is a motorcycle once driven by Steve McQueen. The museum is open seven days a week and the admission to the first part, located on the 1st floor, is free. Admission to the second part of the exhibit is only 2 USD.
Don Laughlin's Classic Car Collection
Address: 1650 S. Casino Dr. Laughlin, NV 89029
Website: Don Laughlin’s
2. Desert Dune Buggy Tour
We’re leaving the greatest Laughlin adventure for the end. Get into that funny looking vehicle and go for a desert adventure of the lifetime. Race through high desert sands, experience the whole new life of off-road fun with Dune Buggies, that can fit up to 6 people, so you can enjoy it with your friends and family. Otherwise, you can each get a 1-person vehicle and see who’ll be cruising faster through that rough terrain. Laughlin Adventure Tours also offer Ride Along History Tours, if you’d like to make your trip even more interesting. Prices start at 49 USD.
Dune Buggy Tour
Address: 2900 South Casino Drive, Laughlin, NV 89029
Website: Laughlin Adventure Tours
3. Horseback riding tour with Pot A Gold Stables
Are you a fan of western movies? Or a horse lover? Or someone who just always wanted to go for a horseback riding tour but never had a chance? Then Pot A Gold Stables has something for you! Get ready for an amazing horseback riding adventure along the Colorado River, to the Pyramid Canyon and Davis Dam Recreation Area to see breathtaking views, that get even more magical when watching from the back of that magnificent animal. They offer 1-3 hour tours for adults and children. Prices start at 55 USD.
Horseback riding tour
Address: Davis Dam Rd, Laughlin, NV 89029
Website: Pot A Gold Stables
4. Jet Boat Tour
Adventure is awaiting! Thank you Jillian Hurley @ LifeThruJilliansEyes for this AMAZING shot!Posted by London Bridge Jet Boat Tours on Wednesday, 22 March 2017
Sun over your head, wind in your hair and cool water around you. Sounds like a perfect way to spend some time on vacation. London Bridge Jet Boat Tours offer miles of cruising down the Colorado River through beautiful Topock Gorge, that will just make the trip even more interesting. Did I tell you that Topock Gorge is accessible only by water? So it’s going to be a one of a kind experience.
Then the boat will take you to the famous London Bridge in Lake Havasu City, AZ. 6 hours, 2 states and plenty of attractions, that’s what the Jet Boat Tour offers during their London Bridge Adventure. The tour departs from Laughlin at 10 am (check in 8.30-9.30 am) and comes back at 4 pm. The price is 70 USD for an adult, 50 USD for a child.
Jet Boat Tour
Address: P.O. Box 29279, Laughlin, NV 89028
Website: Jet Boat Tour
5. Grapevine Canyon
If all you think about when you hear Nevada, is monotonous, desolate and boring desert landscape, then you should definitely go to Grapevine Canyon. You’ll be surprised at how interesting and diverse the desert can be. Thanks to the presence of the water spring, the canyon became a Desert Oasis - the water gives the canyon much more life than other parts of the desert. That could have also attracted early humans to the area; you will find many rock drawings on the trail, going from the trailhead to the mouth of the canyon.
Website: Grapevine Canyon
It’s nice to sometimes stay in the city, go for a nice walk along the river, watch the beautiful sunset (or maybe sunrise), or sit down on one of the many pretty benches and just enjoy people watching (or animal watching because the side of the river is full of cats, raccoons, skunks and crickets). Riverwalk, right by the Casino Dr. in the middle of Laughlin, is the place to go for this. It is only one mile (1.6 km) long and connects most of the casinos in the city. The best way to start your walk is to park at the Riverside Casino parking lot.
Address (start of the trail): 1650 S Casino Dr, Laughlin, NV 89029
7. Christmas Tree Pass
If you’d like to go for a pleasant hike, or a longer car drive (and have a high-clearance vehicle) consider the Christmas Tree Pass. That nice road will take you through the desert canyon, all the way to pretty Newberry Mountains. You’ll be able to see the highest peak of the range - Spirit Mountain, considered by local Indian Tribes as sacred.
Wondering if the name of the pass came from somewhere though? People used to decorate their juniper trees with Christmas decorations, and that’s how the road became a “Christmas Tree Pass”. Some people still bring a trinket with them during a hike to hang up on the trees.
Christmas Tree Pass
Directions: Take the 163 from Laughlin going West and look for signs for the Christmas Tree Pass
Website: Christmas Tree Pass
8. Lake Mohave
If you’re in Laughlin, your trip won’t be fulfilled without a trip to Lake Mohave on Colorado River. Built in the early 50s, the reservoir was named after Indians previously living in the area. There is plenty of activities in the lake to enjoy during hot summer days, starting with fishing, through to boating, kayaking or canoeing in that beautiful area, and ending with scuba diving opportunities for every level.
For those of you who like some adrenaline, there is also the possibility of some cliff jumping. If the day is cooler, there is a lot of beautiful places to go hiking, biking or horseback riding. There are three campgrounds around the lake, but just remember there are special regulations for most of the activities.
Website: Lake Mohave
9. Davis Dam
The dam was opened in 1951 and its main task is to re-regulate Hoover Dam’s water releases (the Hoover Dam is located 110 km/70 mi North from the Davis Dam). Building the Davis Dam also gave an opportunity to form Lake Mohave, which is an amazing recreation area and a wildlife habitat. There is unfortunately no possibility of a self-guided tour of the dam.
Website: Davis Dam
10. American Heroes Museum
If you feel like learning some American History while visiting Laughlin, you should visit the American Heroes Museum. You’ll learn the stories about heroes from the time of World War II to Desert Storm, and will be shown a multimedia presentation, “On the Wings of Eagles”, revealing America’s greatest moments. They have also a great collection honouring Korean and Vietnam veterans.
American Heroes Museum
Address: 2121 South Casino Drive, Laughlin, NV 89209
Website: American Heroes Museum
So much fun outside Las Vegas
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