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Outdoor recreation is another aspect of the Las Vegas experience. Hiking, biking, camping, rafting - even skiing - are among the activities available to visitors.

Less than 20 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area offers such recreational opportunities as horseback riding, hiking and wildlife viewing. A 13-mile scenic drive - also popular with bicyclists - takes you around the area and includes places to pull over and take pictures or hike. Red Rock National Conservation Area has a Visitor Center offering information about the area's geology, wildlife and more.

Hiking, camping and other outdoors fun also is available at Mount Charleston - also known as the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area - north of Las Vegas. Part of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, Spring Mountains National Recreation Area offers camping, hiking, mountain biking and more. Also near Mount Charleston is the Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort, a great place for winter fun.

Southern Nevada is home to a number of state parks, including Valley of Fire State Park, about an hour's drive from Las Vegas. Valley of Fire, which takes its name from the area's dramatic red sandstone formations, has campgrounds, picnic areas and hiking trails. You also can see petroglyphs, which are ancient rock carvings, at this park.

Don't forget rafting on the Colorado River and other water sport activities in Laughlin, about an hour and a half from Las Vegas.

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