Yep, you can hike in Las Vegas. Red Rock Canyon is only a short drive from the bustling Strip, and it’s actually the perfect place to go if you need a break from the festive and euphoric sounds. For a quick fix of peace, choose the Calico Tanks Trail. It’s a great 2-3 hours hike. The trail is rated moderate with some scrambling over and around boulders. You’ll hike through a colorful landscape of jumbled sandstone, and you’ll pass a hidden water pocket and several unique geologic features. At the end of the trail, your treat is the super cool view of Las Vegas Valley. On your way back, think of the huge evening buffet that awaits you at the hotel. It’ll keep up your pace.
Salt Lake City is lovely, but I’m also the kind of person who can’t stay too long in a big city. If you feel the same way and need to get away from cars and concrete, SLC has plenty of hiking trails in the nearby mountains. I was in Salt Lake City during the record hot month of July 2013. Some said it was too hot to go hiking, but it wasn’t for me. I was in the mood for an afternoon hike. The Desolation Trail to the Salt Lake Overlook is perfect in summer as it’s very shaded. At the overlook you can see the entire metropolitan valley, or most of it. Behind you, as you would have noticed on the way up, is the magnificent Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.
The trail is 4.8 mile out and back, and rated easy to moderate. There are lots of switchbacks and you gain roughly 1,300 ft, so it takes some uphill work. Actually, the trail goes further and can be combined with other trails. The overlook is a perfect place to sit down and eat a snack, and to me it was the best way of saying goodbye to Salt Lake City before moving on to the south.