(Last Updated On: January 26, 2022)

rock formation in state park near las vegas Las Vegas sits out in the desert like a beckoning jewel, a destination or dream point for many. Some are drawn there in hopes of riches, others for the lights and entertainment, still others because of its fabled history and surroundings. What could be better?! You can fly in, drive there on your own, or be part of a tour with friends.

Regardless of your reasons for heading to Tinsel Town, consider adding local Nevada State Parks to your ‘to do’ list. Now, you may be thinking of heading out for an overnight near one of our magnificent National Parks or Preserves. That’s certainly something special to do when you have time and a vehicle, yet you may find just what you’re looking for right nearby.

Plus, with almost 170,000 hotel rooms in Las Vegas alone, you may want a change of pace or scenery. Or, if you want a Las Vegas experience while enjoying the local terrain and vistas, some RV or tent camping lets you create your own path. You’re likely to be pleasantly surprised by the number of parks within a quick drive to the city. And, given that Vegas is open around the clock, you can skip in anytime you choose.

One advantage of visiting Nevada State Parks while in Las Vegas is that they’re relatively close by, with a couple right handy by. As in, right in town or within day-trip distance. You can visit some with historic allure, others for water and bike adventures, and still others for getting away from it all. Are you ready? Let’s get started!

Map of State Parks Near Las Vegas NV

Here is a map of the Nevada state parks covered in this post:

List of State Parks Near Las Vegas

The Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources plays a prominent and pivotal role in preserving the state’s natural resources and protecting its wildlife. Taking a trip to these scenic venues supports resource development and conservation. Let’s take a look at the state parks near Las Vegas and see what makes them fascinating and exciting places to visit.

1. Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort State Historic Park

Location: 500 E Washington Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89101

This is a fort built by Mormon missionaries in 1855. You’ll find artifacts including old wagons amidst buildings that are part of this site associated with early Las Vegas. It’s a spot for a picnic along with a reminder with how quickly a place can change in a matter of years. There’s also a museum and store. Please leave pets and kids at home or where you’re staying. The entry fee is only $3 with kids 12 and under being free.

2. Floyd Lamb Park

Location: 9200 Tule Springs Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89131

This is actually a city park that’s only 20 minutes or so to the north where the desert meets the mountains. Yes, Las Vegas is that big! It’s included here because of its proximity to all the glitter yet offering you its own special pleasures. Those include peacocks and other wildlife, picnic areas by the water, and the historic features of the Tule Springs Ranch. You’ll also find horse trails, fishing, bike trails, and a BMX park. There is an entrance fee.

3. Ice Age Fossils State Park

Location: 8660 N Decatur Blvd, North Las Vegas, NV 89085

This place that harkens back to what life was like thousands of years ago is a short 20-mile drive. The park is still under development with reportedly little or no amenities. Yet it is rich in scenery and structure from the Ice Age. You can take your pet with you as long as it’s leashed. Please don’t touch or take plants or fossils. That’s one reason for being charged and ready for doing some serious photography, as there’s so much to take in. The park reportedly does not have an entrance fee at this time.

4. Spring Mountain Ranch State Park

Location: 6375 NV-159, Blue Diamond, NV 89004

This park is located 25 miles west and then south of Las Vegas. On your drive there you’ll go through the Calico Basin, adding to your out-of-town adventures and scenic tour. The ranch itself provides more of the same, including wildlife like roadrunners and big horn sheep. There are picnic areas, historic sites, trails to hike up into the mountains, and rest facilities at this year-round park. Leashed pets are welcome. The fee is $10 for Nevada-plated vehicles, $15 for all others, and $2 if you arrive by bike. Well worth it for this expanse of beauty not far from the city.

5. Valley of Fire State Park

Location: 29450 Valley of Fire Hwy, Overton, NV 89040

The Valley of Fire State Park is about 47 miles northeast of Las Vegas. It encompasses many thousands of acres of red Aztec sandstone interlaced with muted shades of sandstones. This wild and varied setting is home to petrified trees, petroglyphs, and marvelous trails. This is one of the places where you can camp at any time of year, as it’s open every day! Plan ahead as you can tent or RV, with the facilities you need right here. You can bring your leashed pet and stay up to two weeks, doing so for a reasonable fee.

6. Big Bend of the Colorado State Recreation Area

Location: 4220 Needles Hwy, Laughlin, NV 89029

Here’s the state park for getting wet and wild in the Colorado River, just below the Davis Dam and almost 100 miles south of Las Vegas. This is a place for a sweet day trip or to camp a night of two, that is if you get there early to get a spot! Even though it’s on a two-mile stretch of river, there’s no reservations for campsites. Despite that, you can tent or bring your RV, plus a motorized boat or one that requires person power. You’ll get to enjoy fishing, bird watching, and hiking, along with plain old soaking in all of beauty around you. You can bring your leashed pet so the whole family can enjoy this special spot with reasonable fees for all this pleasure.