ZION NATIONAL PARK, UTAH
For those looking for a destination that has a bit of everything, Zion National Park in Utah fits the bill. The 229-square-mile park is 2 1/2 hour ride from Las Vegas and features canyons carved by the Virgin River and many scenic waterfalls. It is home to 75 species of mammals, including mountain lions and mule deer, 271 different birds and 32 species of reptiles and amphibians. Zion also has an array of recreational opportunities, including: camping, biking, backpacking, canyoneering, climbing, swimming and tubing. Like most areas, amateur photographers can capture the countless scenic views. In Zion, the Kolob Arch, which, at a span of 310 feet, is the largest natural arch in the world and one of the park's most famous landmarks. To get to Zion National park take I-15 North to Utah, past St. George to Route 9 East.
Contact info: 435-772-3256
BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK, UTAH
One hour further away, Bryce Canyon National Park is a must-see for visitors to Utah. The area is a geologic wonder - its colorful limestone has been carved by erosion into thousands and thousands of arches, spires and mazes, called hoodoos. Visitors won't want to miss the canyon's Grand Staircase, which is a series of colored sandstone cliffs, in order of age, stretching between Bryce and the Grand Canyon. Bryce Canyon is a 3-1/2 to 4 hour drive from Las Vegas. Take Route 9 east from Zion to Highway 89, go North, then east on Route 12. As with any outdoor recreation getaway in southern Nevada, visitors should bring plenty of water and dress for the season. Click on photo for more pictures.
Contact info: 435-834-5322