Las Vegas draws some 40 million visitors annually, including millions of conventioneers filling its 150,000 hotel rooms. The vast majority of visitors stay somewhere along the 4.2 mile Strip, which runs from Sahara Ave. to Russell Rd. Running in Las Vegas is a study in contrasts. The ‘Strip’ is certainly one of the more unique runs in the world, but if you can rent a car and get just outside the city, there are some great running destinations. If you’d like to have an in-person guided running experience in Las Vegas, we highly recommend our friends at Go! Running Tours.
Running on the Strip is a unique experience, and with all those lights, can be done at any time. It can also be a challenge, given the crowds, the heat, and the fact that there are spots where one must go up stairs and through a mall/casino just to cross the street. Our guide has lots of details on the best ways to run the Strip, with various distances. The best section from the main hotels such as the Venetian is to head north.
For access to more run-able downtown and some residential areas, stay at the southern end of the Strip so you can access E. Harmon Ave and the UNLV campus, or downtown. Most, but not all, side roads off the Strip have sidewalks and are run-able, though they’re a bit of a concrete jungle.
Once outside the city, your running options multiply and are really interesting. The must do run is the spectacular Red Rock Canyon, 20 minutes away. Sunset Park is an oasis near the airport, with 3+ miles of trails. For an attractive residential run, head to The Lakes neighborhood. There is also good running in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson, especially The Clark County Wetlands, 3+ miles of desert-y nature trails and a 14-mile loop trail, and the nearby River Mountains Loop Trail, which has some spectacular sections though canyons, with views of Lake Mead. The Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail, connecting Lake Mead and Hoover Dam, is an iconic run and less than an hour away. Pro Tip: Try to catch some of our favorite spots near Las Vegas during a desert wildflower bloom: Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire are spectacular. See our ‘Desert Blooms‘ List for info & annual calendars.
Topgraphically, Las Vegas is flat but there are some great hills and canyons for challenging trail running within 10–20 miles of the city. And as for the weather, this is the desert. Temps from May-September exceed 100 degrees almost daily. Please use caution — go early, use sunscreen, and hydrate, folks! Winters are more moderate and nights/early mornings can be cool.
Note: Las Vegas is a popular departure point for trips to national parks, especially Zion (2 hours), Bryce (4 hours), the Grand Canyon (4 hours), Death Valley (2 hours), Lake Meade, and Hoover Dam (45 min.)