Sometimes, the best way to see a place is to go off the map, as in off-road. Las Vegas ATV rentals and off-road tours have become yet another Very Vegas way of having a good time. more...Las Vegas ATV tours frequently begin with van transportation from your hotel to a nearby desert staging area, where a tour leader and off-road expert gives you a safety briefing and sets you up with a helmet, goggles and gloves. Most tours are suitable for beginning and experienced riders.Then it's time to rev ‘em up and go, exploring rugged desert and mountains, fiery red rock formations, desert plants and wildlife. If dune buggies are more your speed, Las Vegas has an army of those, too. In fact, you can spend the day on a custom-built mini Baja dune buggy.Trips like these are perfect if you've got the need for speed. But no matter the skill level, virtually anyone can drive these desert racers. You can drive at your own pace, going as fast or as slow as you want. And even if you don't drive, you can still catch a ride.Off-roading in the Mojave is the stuff of legend, thanks in great part to the storied Mint 400 race. Famed gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, ostensibly hired by Rolling Stone magazine to cover the event, instead penned his homage to ‘70s adventure and excess in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. In the book, despite numerous distractions and misadventures, Thompson eventually gets to the race and files a story. His description of the pedal-to-the-metal contest put the Mint 400, and off-road racing in general, into another orbit.The race itself started as the "Mint 400 Off-Road Rally" to promote Downtown's Mint Hotel. Just two matching dune buggies raced across 600 miles of desert, from The Mint Hotel in Las Vegas to the Sahara Hotel in Lake Tahoe. The media was fascinated, and the race became famous overnight.The Mint 400, now featuring hundreds of entrants, was resumed in 2008 after a 20-year hiatus.
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