You may think you’re in Vegas, but you’re probably in Paradise.
If you’ve been to Las Vegas, the chances are good that you’ve been to Paradise without even realizing it. Situated directly south of the Las Vegas city limits, Paradise encompasses most of the Las Vegas Strip along with the local airport and the University of Las Vegas campus. While there are a few Hipcamps where you can pitch a tent or sleep in a tiny home in and around Paradise, you’ll find more options if you head a little further out of town to spots like the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and the Valley of Fire State Park.
One of the easiest-to-access natural areas from Paradise, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is an excellent place for hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing. It's spread out over nearly 200,000 acres of Mojave Desert and features a visitor center and a seasonal campground that accommodates tent campers and RVs alike. Dispersed camping at higher elevations is also allowed.
Spread out over more than 3 million acres, Death Valley National Park is known as one of the hottest places on the planet. It's a fantastic spot for stargazing, rock climbing, and hiking, and if you come in the spring, you might even spot wildflowers. Opt for a spring or fall visit if you want to camp as summer temperatures in the park can be brutal.
If you're looking for a spot to beat the hot Nevada heat, Lake Mead National Recreation Area just might fit the bill. Along with two lakes (Mead and Mojave), this 1.5 million-acre park has nearly 1,000 campsites. If you come in the winter, when it's too cold to swim, you can still take advantage of the park's expansive network of hiking and biking trails.
Paradise gets plenty of travelers throughout the year, but you've got to love the heat if you come during the summer, when daytime temperatures often exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit. If you plan to spend a lot of time in the great outdoors, come in spring or fall, when the weather is still warm without being stifling. Winter is also a good option, but be prepared to bundle up if you’re camping in the desert, as it can get quite chilly.