Hike up Exploration Peak for a selfie with an all-encompassing but lesser known Vegas background

During our stays in Vegas, we explore, so “Exploration Peak” seemed like a no brainer.

Locals recommend this hike for the scenery and the exercise, but if you go, do apply caution…

Our dear friends the Lewises told us about a nearby scenic overlook hike. A stop for a sub and short drive later, we started our ascent.

All went well most of the way. Perfect weather — hot but not melt-your-face desert hot. The climb can be steep, and you must trek up a ways to reach the shelters for shade.

We paused to catch our breath a few times or to snap pics along way.

  • Green field with medium size desert mountain in background.
  • Bright green meadow in the park at the base of Exploration Peak.
  • Distant Las Vegas Strip and Downtown skyline, wide view of most of city.
  • AJ and Bill selfie with distant Strip skyscrapers.
  • Candy wrapper blown under a red blooming
  • Distant daytime view of mountains and two casino structures.
  • White and yellow buds and brownish pods of yucca blooming

Our favorite type of hike: uphill first, then coast to the car.

We enjoyed our picnic with the grandest of views. Several other trails wind down and around the mesa-like mound that’s a bit more challenging than it looks. We stuck to the official trail.

On the way down, it happened.

My shoes decided the round pebbles could help me ROLLER SKATE down the hill.

I must’ve skidded six or seven feet and was gaining momentum then — whump — I plopped unceremoniously in the sand. Probably looked a bit like a little leaguer’s first attempt at sliding into a base.


Within a few days of this incident, Bill slipped at Valley of Fire on the way down the White Domes trail. Cut his hand bad on a pointy trailside rock when he broke his fall.

Fortunately a woman spotted the blood and our panic as we returned to the parking lot. She approached and said, “I am a nurse and I have lots of kids. I am prepared. Let me help.”

She had first aid kits in her SUV. She disinfected and bandaged him, and maybe he should have gone for stitches but somehow it healed.

We swore after that we would:

  • keep at least one first aid kit in the vehicle at all times
  • carry a lighter first aid kit in our hiking pack
  • spare no expense on comfortable, waterproof hiking shoes with good treads
  • purchase sturdy hiking poles

We think if you plan to hike around the desert, you should prepare, too.

Exploration Peak Park
Las Vegas, NV

For more places visit our interactive map of Vegas on a Budget

4 thoughts on “Hike up Exploration Peak for a selfie with an all-encompassing but lesser known Vegas background

  1. well, i’m back for a second time! i thoroughly enjoy riding on your back bumper through these adventures. beautiful photos and great narration!


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