Service Dog at Craig Ranch Playground

12 Green Places in Las Vegas for The Shire Challenge

Lord of the Rings Challenge

The Lord of the Rings themed medals from The Conqueror Virtual Challenges are stunning.  Each medal can be earned upon completing distances by walking, running, cycling, and more.  The medals are designed to represent the journey Frodo and Sam followed to destroy the one ring in the fires of Mt. Doom in Mordor.  You get to determine your time frame and the app can be integrated with most smart phones or fitness watches to automatically update your mileage.  As you reach certain milestones you can save plastic bottles from the ocean or plant trees.  Personally, I love the idea of planting trees along the way to honor the Ents.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed in gorgeous New Zealand with stunning landscapes.  As you complete the challenges, you will receive post cards and stories as you follow along the virtual map.  You can create a more immersive experience for yourself by running or walking through areas that closely match the landscapes in the story.

The Shire medal represents the 145 mile journey from the Shire to the gates of Bree.  The Shire is home to hobbits Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin.  The Shire is a fertile land made up of gardens, farms, vineyards, and woods.  It is a place where green things are constantly growing.  While Las Vegas translates to “the fertile meadows” it’s a far cry from the beautiful rolling hills and grasslands of New Zealand.  Here are some of the best places to visit if you are walking The Shire Challenge.


We did it! 185 miles all the way from Baggend to the Gates of Bree! Now we’re on to The Fellowship #onward #walktomordor #theconquerorchallenges

♬ The Shire: Concerning Hobbits (From Lord of the Rings) – San Fernando Symphonic Assembly

Springs Preserve

A garden from a golden retriever's point of view.Springs Preserve is located in Las Vegas, NV and guards the secrets of the Las Vegas valley’s past. The park spans over 180 acres and features nature trails, botanical gardens, playgrounds, multiple museums and exhibits, and a seasonal butterfly habitat. The preserve also features community events throughout the year. It’s a wonderful place to visit for all ages, and there is so much to see and explore. We’ve visited multiple times over the years, but we still find something new every time we visit. Check out our post to see one of our past visits. Please check the website for hours and fees as they vary throughout the year.  If you are local, a yearly membership is worth the price.

Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Lunar New Year Display for Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical GardensBellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a free, 14,000 square foot garden display located inside the Bellagio Las Vegas.  The display changes seasonally. At the time of this writing they are decorated for the Lunar New Year.  We have visited the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens many times over the years and it never fails to impress. The Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is free to visit.  Please check the website for hours and information on the current exhibit.

Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs

Peacock at Floyd Lamb State ParkFloyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs is an oasis in the desert climate. It was built on the site of a ranch operating in the 1900s.  The park contains historical buildings, lakes stocked with rainbow trout, Cottonwood trees, peacocks, jack rabbits, wild geese, ducks, and other migratory birds that stop for a drink.  The historic area is always interesting to explore.  The Foreman’s House was constructed in the 1940s.  There is an adobe hut that is thought to date back to 1917 and is one of the oldest structures on the property.  The walking paths around the lake are lined with tall trees and lots of shade.  There are also walking trails that head out into the desert if it’s not too hot outside.  If you have a fishing license you can cast your line in the lakes too.  Many community events are held here throughout the year and it’s a great spot for pictures.  There is a small entrance fee. Please check the website for current hours and special events.

Craig Ranch Park

Service Dog at Craig Ranch PlaygroundCraig Ranch Park was converted from a golf course in 2005.  It still features lots of green grass along with playgrounds, splash pad, community garden, enclosed dog parks, tennis course, basketball courts, and a skate park.  The park also features an amphitheater called The AMP and the park regularly hosts community events.  The playgrounds at Craig Ranch Park are particularly neat and include recreations of different desert animals that call the desert southwest home.  There is a rock climbing wall, a zipline, and a rope obstacle course the kids love to tackle.  There is also an outdoor gym for adults. Craig Ranch Park is a public park and there is no entry fee.  We visit all the time.

Gilcrease Orchard

Gilcrease Orchard was established in 1920 by Leonard and Elda Gilcrease.  The orchard was established in the 1970s and today is Las Vegas’s only pick and pay orchard.  Depending on what’s in season, you can score any number of fruits and vegetables as you get your steps in.  Please check the website for hours of operation and fees.

Moapa Valley Corn Maze

Moapa Valley Corn Maze is a seasonal adventure for sure, but if you are in the area during the month of October, there is no better place to get your steps in than the Moapa Valley Corn Maze.  At night, the corn maze morphs into a spooky, haunted corn maze. We have visited the Corn Maze year after year and it is always the highlight of our Halloween season. Please check the website for their operating calendar and fees.

The Las Vegas Farm

The Las Vegas Farm has been open to the public since 1968.  You can meet chickens, ducks, peacocks, turkeys, goats, horses, pigs, and more.  They also operate Barn Buddies, a non-profit that rescues abandoned, neglected, or abused farm animals.  They are way friendlier than Farmer Maggot from the Lord of Rings trilogy!  Please check the website for hours.  There is no fee to visit the Farmer’s Market, but there may be a small fee to feed the animals.  Proceeds support the Barn Buddies rescue.

Desert National Wildlife Refuge Corn Creek Visitor Center

The Desert National Wildlife Refuge is the largest refuge in the contiguous United States.  Established in 1936, the refuge was intended to protect the desert bighorn sheep.  If you have a vehicle with 4 wheel drive and high clearance, you can explore miles of desert along the park’s back country roads.  However, there is plenty to see at the Corn Creek Visitor Center as well.  There are walking paths around the visitor center and you can even visit the refugium which protects a school of endangered Parhump Poolfish.  There is also a cabin made from railroad ties, still standing from the 1920s.  The Corn Creek Visitor Center is a great spot for birding as many migratory species stop by for a drink. There is no fee to enter the refuge, but check the website for special events and Visitor Center hours.

Flamingo Wildlife Habitat

You can visit the Flamingo Wildlife Habitat inside the Flamingo Las Vegas to see many species of exotic waterfowl including Chilean Flamingos, Brown Pelicans, Sturgeon, Koi, Albino Catfish and turtles.  The Flamingo Wildlife Habitat also offers Keeper Talks daily to learn more about the wildlife habitat and the birds that call it home. There is no fee to enter the Flamingo Wildlife Habitat, but check the website for current hours.

Sweet Tomato Test Garden

Leslie Doyle, aka the Tomato Lady, is at the forefront of gardening in the harsh desert climate of Las Vegas.  She has pioneered the art of growing tomatoes in unlikely places.  You can visit the Sweet Tomato Test Garden to see how she does it first-hand!  If you live in the area, Leslie also sells Tomato Lady Soil, seeds, and is the author of two books: “Growing the Tomato in Las Vegas In Terrible Dirt and Desert Heat” and “Slam Dunk Easy Desert Gardening Help from a Brown Knees Gardener”. Please check the website and give Leslie a call before you head down!

Mystic Falls Park

Mystic Falls Park is an indoor park inside Sams Town Hotel and Gambling Hall.  The park features a roaring waterfall and live trees.  Throughout the day, the park transforms into the Mystic Falls Laser Light Show.  Its not the most “natural” spot on this list but when the summer temperatures soar outside, it’s a cool, temperate space with real trees. There are no fees to enter the park.  If you are interested in catching the Mystic Falls Laser Light Show, please check the website for times.

Clark County Wetlands Park

Service Dog at Wetlands ParkClark County Wetlands Park is located on the eastern edge of the Las Vegas Valley and features trail heads, a visitor center, outdoor classroom space, and a 210-acre Nature Preserve.  The park includes both walking and biking paths that crisscross this natural wetland where the valley’s water collects before heading to Lake Mead. There are a couple of bridges that span over the streams.  The Clark County Wetlands Park is a great place for geocaching as well.  There are a couple of spots within the park boundaries.  There are no entrance fees for the park, but check the website to find out if there are any events or ranger talks or to find out the hours for the Visitor Center. Some programs may require a small fee.  Dogs can visit but are only allowed in certain places.  They are not allowed in the Nature Preserve area immediately surrounding the Visitor Center to protect the wildlife.

Whether you are looking to experience nature in Las Vegas, or are walking to Mordor with The Conqueror Virtual Challenges, we hope you enjoy these spots.  Some of them are open seasonally and some do require an entrance fee.  Please check before you head out!

1 thought on “12 Green Places in Las Vegas for The Shire Challenge”

  1. Pingback: Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens - Traveling Fiction

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *