Running in Las Vegas isn't just on the Strip

Running in Las Vegas

Running in Las Vegas is a great way to see the city and the nature surrounding it. This site aims to give you the best information on Las Vegas running routes and conditions from a local. This article will cover basic geography, including residential neighborhoods, and conditions to help you find the best running routes in Las Vegas. Let’s get started.

Las Vegas Running – Getting Familiar with the Terrain

Las Vegas can be divided into seven geographic areas. We’ll explore each of those areas a bit more in depth. Las Vegas is also popular for trail running, which we’ll tackle in it’s own article. Popular running areas in Las Vegas include:

  • The Strip
  • Downtown
  • West/Summerlin
  • Henderson
  • North Las Vegas
  • Centennial
  • Boulder City

While some of these designations are official, like Henderson and North Las Vegas, the definitions of the others are a little more vague. We’ll define each area to make it easier for you to map out your routes.

Running The Las Vegas Strip

Most visitors stay on the Las Vegas Strip, a small section of Las Vegas Boulevard. The Strip stretches from Mandalay Bay, past MGM Grand and other spectacular hotels, to the Sahara. For our purposes, the Strip will cover not just Las Vegas Blvd, but the slightly off-Strip areas including The Hughes Center and UNLV.

When you’re taking in the sights of the Strip, be ready to run up stairs and escalators for the raised pedestrian bridges.

Please note that as a highly urbanized area, running the Strip and Strip-adjacent areas can be slightly risky. There’s high vehicular traffic everywhere, and significant pedestrian traffic on the Strip itself. 

But we’ve got you covered! Check out our article on Running the Las Vegas Strip. You’ll get your miles in safely, and at the pace you want, on this iconic run.

Las Vegas Strip at night by Pixabay
Howard Hughes Center
You'll spot this showgirl while running in Downtown Las Vegas

Downtown Las Vegas Running

Downtown Las Vegas is the actual City of Las Vegas, starting at Sahara Blvd and extending north for a ways. “Old Las Vegas,” which is really the only Las Vegas, features smaller casinos, like the Golden Nugget, but that’s not what’s important for runners. What’s important about Downtown is the high (for Las Vegas) amount of bike lanes and parks. While we don’t recommend running in the bike lanes, they add extra visibility and buffer room from the busy streets. Honestly, Las Vegas doesn’t have the most run-able downtown. But we’re here to help you out! 

If you’re in town for Life Is Beautiful or some of the other major music festivals, you’ll be Downtown. This article will give you tips and routes in Las Vegas’ historic Downtown area.


Our most detailed Las Vegas running routes are in the Southwest, as that’s where we’re based, but we cover the whole valley, from Red Rock National Conservation Area to Lake Mead. This article will highlight routes in the Southwest. Most routes will be 5k training routes, and we also include 10-mile longer run routes. Additional articles will cover Red Rock Canyon, including White Rock Loop and Grand Circle Loop, as well as the Scenic Drive running route.

Southwest Las Vegas has great running routes
A view of Lake Mead from the River Mountain Loop Trail


The Las Vegas suburb of Henderson covers the southeast side of Las Vegas, from approximately Eastern and Sunset out to Lake Las Vegas. While Sunset Park is officially in Las Vegas, it unofficially marks the border to Henderson. It’s a great alternative to running in Las Vegas, as there are many wide roads and a ton of parks. Henderson includes Green Valley and Anthem residential areas. While technically not within Henderson city limits, the Clark County Wetlands Park also falls in this area.

North Las Vegas

North Las Vegas isn’t a nickname – it’s a fully separate city with its own mayor and city council. With great access to the northern part of Lake Mead National Recreation Area, there are running options here, like Craig Ranch Park and Floyd Lamb Park.

North Las Vegas Welcome Sign
Anniversary Narrows Hike at Lake Mead NRA

Boulder City

Out past the end of Henderson, there’s Boulder City. Home to Lake Mead NRA and Hoover Dam, Boulder City boasts the Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail and the bulk of the River Mountains Loop Trail.

Las Vegas Marathon

For a long time, there was only one Las Vegas Marathon. Now, Rock N Roll only offers half marathons. There are still a bunch of options for marathons in Las Vegas! Check out your options for marathons in Vegas, the nearby National Parks, and other great running destinations in this article.

Las Vegas Marathons
Labyrinth in McCullough Hills


Las Vegas is a great place for trail running. There are miles of trails covering hills and mountains on all sides of the valley, giving you elevation gain, downhill practice, steep incline, great views, and the chance to see a donkey or a desert tortoise. Popular trail running areas include McCullough Hills, Late Night Trailhead, and Cliff Shadows. These nature trails are less popular for hikers and less promoted, making trail running on them much easier.

Weather Conditions

Las Vegas is in a desert at about 2,500′ altitude. It’s a pretty unique experience to run in this climate, so most runners should consider what impact temperature, humidity (or lack thereof) and altitude will have on their performance. Be prepared for a slower average pace. Unlike many areas, you can’t assume you’ll have access to water, so bring a bottle or vest. The best time to run is early mornings, especially as spring turns towards summer. A couple of other pieces of advice: wear sunscreen, bring lip balm, and wear a brimmed hat while running. There’s little to no shade in town and the sun is merciless. 

Enjoy The City By Foot

I’ve been in Las Vegas for more than 10 years and running it for 4. I love this city and love running in it even more. Usually, you’re stuck in a car and pass by things too fast, or you’re in a crowd of people and can’t enjoy what you’re seeing. Being on foot in Las Vegas gives you a different sense of the place. Whether you stay on the Strip or Downtown or head into the suburbs, running is a great way to see Vegas Outside.

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