In the Las Vegas summer it can be especially easy to hide out in your centrally cooled office building, get into you’re your air conditioned car and go straight into your house without spending more than 15 minutes a day outside. While I agree it gets hot, okay really hot, during the months of July through September, I don’t agree with becoming a hobbit during those months. It’s important to get outside for exercise and the vitamin D your body absorbs from the sun’s rays. Not to mention the fun you can have with your friends and family. A disclaimer though: here in Las Vegas it’s important to stay smart about the heat. Drink plenty of water, wear sunscreen, and avoid strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day, generally 12-3pm. Here are some ideas to get you off the couch and into the great outdoors.
Go for a walk outside.
You’ve been walking since you were a toddler and although you might drive most places now, walking is the easiest way to get moving, get exercise, and get outside. If you feel up to it running or jogging at a comfortable place can be a great way to burn calories and get in shape. I found a great site, www.run.com, which allows you to put in your location and find a route near you. Sometimes the route is along surface streets but most communities in the Las Vegas area have running or biking paths. Henderson, Anthem, and Summerlin have great pedestrian paths that keep you off the street and provide a nicely landscaped background to run in. I’ve noticed that it’s easier for me to run longer when I’m not breathing in exhaust from all the cars on the street. If you don’t have a path near you that’s specifically made for pedestrian traffic, don’t let that stop you from getting out there and going places. It might be hard at first but the more you walk or run the easier it’ll get. You’ll be amazed at what your body and can do and how far you can get.
Go to the park.
For a desert Las Vegas sure has some beautiful green parks. By my house there are four that I can get to in less than ten minutes. If you have kids you’ll find plenty for them to do. Some parks have elaborate swing sets and a maze of slide while others have more modest equipment. If you don’t have kids then get together with a group of friends for a game of baseball, volley ball, or touch football. If it’s hot outside, have everyone wear bathing suits and have a water balloon fight. After wards, when everyone is hungry enjoy some hot dogs and hamburgers. Most parks have a picnic area and are usually equipped with a barbeque. Be creative and don’t forget that you’re never too old to have fun outside.
Hiking in Red Rock
If you’re looking to get out of the city to enjoy a more scenic outdoor adventure, than try hiking at Red Rock canyon. The main loop has multiple pull off points for drivers to park and get out to hike around the park. Admission is $5 a car or you can get a $20 yearly pass. They provide you with a map that has easy to follow paths ranging in difficulty from beginner to expert. The easier paths are marked with small signs along the way. I love bringing my four nieces and nephew for a scramble over the rocks. They range in ages from 6 to 13 and they always have a great time. It’s in inexpensive way to build memories and enjoy the great outdoors. If you’re more experienced and able to make it to the top of one of the mountains you’ll be rewarded by the gorgeous site of the canyon and in some places you can even see the Las Vegas strip far off in the distance.
Water fun at Lake Mead
When it’s hot out nothing beats a nice dip in the Lake. You can go to nelson’s landing and jump from one of their many cliffs that range from two feet off the surface to 30 feet in some places. The nearly vertical rock face makes it a great place for thrill seekers. Or you can take a boat, yours or rented, out for site seeing or fishing in some places. Water skiing is allowed in some places and you find swimmers around the pebbled beaches of the lake, lounging in the water and enjoying a back yard barbeque kind of scene.
Vegas is known for many things but not usually for the available outdoor fun. From walking to hiking to jumping off cliffs; Vegas’ outdoor activities are as versatile as the hotel themes.