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Nestled along the banks of the mighty Colorado River and surrounded by stunning desert views, Laughlin, Nevada, is a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts. This charming resort town sits 90 miles south of Las Vegas, making it an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of “Sin City.”

Whether you’re a nature lover, enjoy water sports, or are simply looking to relax, this riverside retreat has plenty to offer. Here, we’ll explore 15 things to do during a weekend getaway in Laughlin, Nevada.

1. Stroll the River Walk

River Walk in Laughlin, Nevada

Start your weekend adventure with a leisurely stroll along the River Walk. This scenic path meanders alongside the Colorado River, offering breathtaking views of the water and surrounding mountains. It’s a perfect place to enjoy a morning walk or an evening sunset. Along your route, you can find spots to relax, have a picnic, or simply sit by the water’s edge. 

If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, the River Walk connects to various parks and recreational areas where you can indulge in activities like kayaking and paddleboarding. Fishing enthusiasts can try their luck catching some of the region’s renowned fish species. If you’re lucky, perhaps a glimpse of a desert hare or a quail scurrying through the bushes!

2. Try Water Sports

Sailboat on the water in Laughlin, Nevada

The Colorado River is a playground for water sports. Rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore the river at your own pace.The river’s gentle current makes it suitable for paddlers of all levels, from beginners to experienced water sports enthusiasts.If you’re craving a dash of adrenaline, hop on a jet ski and skim the river’s surface. Feel the wind in your hair as you navigate the Colorado’s playful waves. It’s exhilarating!

For those who prefer a more leisurely water experience, consider booking a river cruise. These relaxing journeys offer a serene ride along the river, guided by knowledgeable locals who share the area’s rich history, wildlife, and geological marvels. As you float along the river’s tranquil waters, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the natural wonders that define this remarkable region.

3. Go Fishing on the Colorado River

Davis Dam on the Colorado River

Laughlin is a haven for anglers of all ages! Cast your line into the Colorado River and try your luck at catching striped bass, catfish, or rainbow trout. Fishing is a great way to unwind and connect with nature.

Fishing isn’t just about catching fish; it’s also a therapeutic way to unwind and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. In Laughlin, the calm and soothing ambiance along the riverbanks provides the perfect setting for relaxation. As you cast your line into the river, the stresses of the world seem to drift away… 

4. Swim in Lake Mohave

Lake Mohave rocky beach and water in Laughlin, Nevada

Just a short drive from Laughlin, Lake Mohave offers even more water-based adventures. Spend a day swimming, boating, or sunbathing on its sandy shores. Lake Mohave’s sandy shores offer the ideal setting for a day of sun-soaked fun! Pack your beach essentials and enjoy a swim in the lake’s refreshing waters. Rent a pontoon or motorboat to explore the lake’s hidden coves and secluded beaches, where you can create cherished memories with friends and family.

One of Lake Mohave’s most compelling features is its remarkable scuba diving scene. The crystal-clear waters and intriguing underwater terrain make it a top destination for divers. Adventurers can explore underwater caves, observe vibrant aquatic life, and discover submerged relics, making it a day trip to remember!

5. Hit the Trails at Grapevine Canyon

Grapevine Canyon hieroglyphs on large rock

Lace up your boots and discover the trails around Laughlin. The surrounding Mojave Desert is home to numerous hiking routes, ranging from easy walks to challenging treks. Grapevine Canyon is known for its ancient petroglyphs and insight into indigenous cultures. 

And, a hike to the summit of Spirit Mountain offers incredible panoramic views.

One of the most remarkable aspects of hiking near Laughlin is the accessibility of trails catering to hikers of all levels. Whether you’re a seasoned trekker on a solo adventure or a novice seeking a fun family outing, Laughlin’s hiking trails offer an excellent way to absorb the desert’s charm, and are some of the best in the country.

6. Explore Big Bend of the Colorado State Recreation Area

Picnic area at Big Bend of the Colorado State Recreation Area

Tucked away along the Colorado River, the Big Bend Recreation Area remains a hidden gem for picnicking, birdwatching, and wildlife photography. Bring your camera and be on the lookout for desert bighorn sheep, wild burros, and a variety of bird species. 

Birdwatching enthusiasts will be captivated by the wide variety of bird species that call this area home. Binoculars in hand, you can spot herons, eagles, osprey, and numerous other avian treasures as they gracefully navigate the skies or forage along the riverbanks. Beyond the avian wonders, the Big Bend Recreation Area is known for its diverse wildlife population. Keep a watchful eye for desert bighorn sheep, a symbol of resilience in the arid landscape.

7. Get Lost in the Laughlin Labyrinths

Rock maze at Laughling, Nevada Labyrinths

At the top of your Nevada bucket list should be the Laughlin Labyrinths! These enchanting stone labyrinths are created by local artists and provide a unique and meditative experience. Take a moment to unwind and find your inner peace as you navigate the labyrinth’s twists and turns.

The labyrinths are a testament to human creativity and the power of art to inspire and soothe the soul. Crafted from an array of meticulously placed stones, these intricate patterns provide a tranquil and contemplative space for visitors to disconnect from the noise of the outside world and connect with their inner selves. The labyrinth’s harmonious blend of art, nature, and self-discovery makes it an extraordinary attraction in the Laughlin area.

8. Secret Pass Canyon

Jeep exploring Secret Pass Canyon

Secret Pass Canyon, located near Laughlin, Nevada, is a hidden paradise for jeep enthusiasts who crave thrilling off-road adventures. These trails range in difficulty, ensuring that there’s something for every skill level. Novices can kick off their off-roading journey on easier routes, while experienced drivers can test their mettle on challenging paths filled with steep ascents, rugged terrain, and thrilling switchbacks.

One of the highlights of Secret Pass Canyon is the thrill of conquering its natural obstacles. You’ll navigate rocky sections, sandy washes, and even water crossings, making it an ideal destination for those who relish the challenge of four-wheeling. The diverse topography and ever-changing scenery guarantee that no two trips are the same, ensuring each visit is a unique and memorable experience.

Jeep enthusiasts will also appreciate the sense of seclusion and the serene desert backdrop as they tackle the trails. The remote location and limited light pollution create an ideal setting for a night under the stars, making for unforgettable camping experiences and late-night bonfires.

9. Watch the Laughlin Desert Challenge

Vehicle racing in the Laughlin, Nevada Desert Challenge

For adrenaline junkies and fans of high-speed action, there’s no better time to visit Laughlin, Nevada, than during the annual Laughlin Desert Challenge held in January. This off-road racing event is a heart-pounding spectacle, offering visitors a thrilling opportunity to witness off-road vehicles conquer a challenging desert course.

The Laughlin Desert Challenge transforms the serene desert landscape surrounding Laughlin into a racing battleground. Daring racers from all over the country gather to participate in this intense competition. The event typically features various classes of vehicles, each designed to tackle the rugged desert terrain in its unique way.

One of the highlights of the Laughlin Desert Challenge is its accessibility to spectators. You can witness the action from various vantage points along the course, allowing you to get close to the racing and experience the excitement firsthand. The pits, where teams work on their vehicles, are often open to visitors, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the world of off-road racing.

10. Golfers’ Paradise in the Mojave Desert

Golfer on the course at Laughlin golf club

Laughlin boasts several top-notch golf courses set against stunning desert backdrops. Tee off at courses like Mojave Resort Golf Club or Laughlin Ranch Golf Club and enjoy a round of golf in the desert sun.

The Mojave Resort Golf Club is a golfer’s dream come true. The course is set against the stunning desert vistas and offers a challenging yet rewarding experience for players of all skill levels. The desert flora adds to the unique charm of the course, making every round a memorable journey through the Mojave Desert. Situated on the hillside overlooking the Colorado River, the Laughlin Ranch Golf Club is renowned for its lush fairways and perfectly placed water features, providing a challenging yet enjoyable experience. The course also offers luxury amenities, including a clubhouse and spa for a complete golfing retreat.

11. Hike the Colorado River Heritage Greenway Park and Trails

Ruins of old stone building at Colorado River Heritage Greenway

In the heart of Laughlin lies the Colorado River Heritage Greenway Park and Trails. It offers a diverse range of paths to explore. Whether you prefer a leisurely walk, a brisk run, or a bike ride along the river, you’ll find the perfect trail to match your activity level. This accessibility makes it an ideal location for individuals and families alike, providing an opportunity for everyone to experience the joy of outdoor exercise.

Keep a watchful eye as you explore, and you might encounter birds, small mammals, and the occasional desert reptile. The area’s biodiversity adds an exciting dimension to your outdoor adventure. Beyond the natural beauty, the park and trails often host community events, races, and group activities.

12. Book a Laughlin River Tour

River Boat on the Laughlin River tour(image via Instagram)

Embark on a river tour to learn more about the history of the Colorado River. Laughlin River Tours organizes captivating guided cruises that introduce you to the rich history of the area. Knowledgeable guides accompany you on this river adventure, sharing a wealth of information about the area’s history, wildlife, and geological marvels.

The Colorado River has played a pivotal role in the development of the American Southwest, and a river tour offers insights into its historical significance. As you drift along the water, you’ll learn about the early Native American inhabitants, the explorers and pioneers who traversed the river, and the engineering marvels behind the construction of the Hoover Dam.

13. Visit a Spooky Ghost Town

Old time store front in Oatman Ghost Town

Take a short drive to the nearby ghost town of Oatman. Known for its wild burros and Old West charm, Oatman is a quirky and entertaining road trip. Wandering through Oatman’s streets is like stepping into a living history book. Oatman often hosts Old West reenactments that provide a glimpse into the rough-and-tumble history of the region.

But a visit wouldn’t be complete without a meal in an Old West-style saloon. Plus, Oatman’s shops are brimming with a wide variety of souvenirs, including Old West memorabilia, artisan crafts, and locally made goods. It’s a great place to find unique keepsakes that will remind you of your visit.

14. Laugh in Laughlin Casinos

Laughlin casinos over the water at sunset

While the focus here is on outdoor activities, Laughlin’s casinos offer entertainment and dining options for when it’s a rainy day or you simply want to unwind indoors. Enjoy a meal, catch a show, or try your luck at the slot machines.

Whether you’re craving a hearty steak, fresh seafood, international cuisine, or a quick bite, you’ll find it in the casino resorts. Also, many of Laughlin’s casinos host live entertainment, from headlining musical acts and tribute shows to stand-up comedy and dance performances.

15. Relax at Sunset Overlook

Pink, orange, and purple sunset(image via Wikimedia)

End your weekend getaway in Nevada with a visit to Sunset Overlook. Located on the Arizona side of the Colorado River, this spot offers unparalleled views of the sunset over the river and Laughlin’s glittering lights. It’s the perfect way to cap off your outdoor adventure.

Sunset Overlook, as the name suggests, is all about the beauty of the twilight hours. The breathtaking scene as the sun dips below the horizon and bathes the river in a golden glow is a sight to behold and a perfect way to capture memories of your trip.


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Summary

Laughlin, Nevada, is a hidden oasis for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of activities to enjoy against the backdrop of breathtaking desert landscapes and the majestic Colorado River. Whether you’re visiting Laughlin for a weekend getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, Laughlin is an outdoor haven tucked within a vibrant desert landscape.

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