It would take a lifetime to see all the wonders of the 1.87 million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, but you can see a lot in one short visit.
Deborah Wall is the author of "Great Hikes, a Cerca Country Guide," and "Basecamp Las Vegas: Hiking the Southwestern States," published by Stephens Press.
Canyon de Chelly National Monument in Arizona is about 460 miles from Las Vegas, in the Four Corners region of Arizona.
Capitol Reef National Park in Utah boasts some of the finest rock formations and geologic wonders in the West and is a top hiking location.
With 8,000 rock climbing routes, 191 miles of hiking trails and five palm oases to visit, the national park attracts more than 2.8 million visitors a year.
Fort Piute makes a wonderful day outing to a remote area in the extreme eastern region of the Mojave National Preserve in California.
Grapevine Canyon is one of the finest petroglyph sites in Southern Nevada. It is also one of the easiest to visit on a day trip.
Guided tours of the famous site take you up close to locations you’ve only seen in the movies.
An easy day trip of 90 miles from Las Vegas, Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge lies in Amargosa Valley, a few miles beyond Pahrump.
The Zion National Park Forever Project is now in its 20th year of hosting field programs.
The dunes, thought to be 10,000 years old, offer a remote adventure with quiet beauty.
This lush oasis, in a secluded canyon near Tecopa, California, is not a spa or a resort but a working ranch.
Majestic and unlike any other place in the state, this region is home to alpine lakes, waterfalls, cascades, avalanche chutes and running streams.