Las Vegas is famously situated in the middle of the Mojave Desert. A scorched and arid wasteland home to the Hottest location on earth, Death Valley. With Las Vegas lying less than 100 Miles from this boiling pressure cooker you can expect it to be HOT! And while we should be careful to say not all deserts are hot, and even parts of the Mojave can be pretty cold at times, The Las Vegas Valley gets pretty darn toastie during the summer.
That, to be honest, is putting it mildly. During the peak summer months, Vegas is ridiculously hot! On top of this heatwaves and Extreme Weather can make it simply unbearable! Until you have experiences Vegas under heatwave conditions it really is hard to understand how anywhere can be so hot. With temps regularly getting up above 110°F (43°C) and even hitting 117°F (47°C) on the hottest days it can be a searingly hot place to visit! As such we have developed a number of techniques and tips on how to stay cool in Las Vegas.
Put simply, in that sort of heat simple tasks like walking down a street, waiting for a bus, or even sitting by a pool, become incredibly uncomfortable, and anything remotely physical becomes dangerous as heat stroke and dehydration become real issues.
Yet still June, July, and August are some of Las Vegas’s peak months and millions flock to the City to enjoy the hot weather and awesome Vegas entertainment. However, many are in for a shock when they find out just how hot it really is!
How Hot is Vegas in Summer?
We should first say WE like the heat! An L.A. summer is too cool for us and Hawaii only just keeps us happy on its hottest days. We are not writing this article from the perspective of people who do not like hot sunny weather, we adore it and are very adept and enjoying it. But Vegas in summer is really something else!
The Temps start ramping up in May and stay hot right through to September. May and September both have days that are only moderately hot and these make these months very popular, but heatwaves can send the temps soaring. In the Summer Months June, July, and August, These Skyhigh temps are the Norm with cooler days being the exception and heatwaves causing mind-numbing highs!
We have already said on the hottest days the Temps peak at 110-117°F (43-47°C) but these are just numbers and without experiencing it, understanding just how hot that is can be hard.
Vegas is a Dry Heat which is actually far more tolerable than the steamy humid heat you find in the tropics. 85°F (30°C) in Vegas is quite a pleasant and enjoyable temperature, whereas in Miami that sort of heat would be really uncomfortable due to the intense humidity. In fact that humidity stops the temperature from ever really getting too high in the tropics. In Vegas, the ultra-low humidity means the needle can rise and rise.
Just about every day throughout the Summer will see the needle up above 110°C (43°C) and a lot higher in extreme heat events. The Valley is bordered by mountains and “inversion Layers” form. This is essentially a pressure cooker that keeps the hot air locked down at ground level and temperatures soar. This is the same process that makes Death Valley the hottest place on earth and Vegas, while not quite as scorching is not far behind!
How this feels on a personal level is very uncomfortable. This is best described on a poolside sun lounger. Within 5-10 mins, you will be heavily perspiring and starting to get uncomfortable. Before long as the sun bears down, this will be irresistibly uncomfortable. The Natural Answer to this a dip in the cooling waters of the pool.
This is often disappointingly unrefreshing. The Pools in Vegas are heated daily by the sun and while cool in winter by mid-may are getting up to bathwater temperature! The cooling effect of the water does help cool you slightly though so after a while you return to your lounger. Now you are hot and wet, and equally uncomfortable. The Water never seems to dry as profuse sweating replaces the dank pool water as it evaporates off! You can now repeat the pool process over and over, hoping for some respite or just head back inside!
Remember this is just sitting by a pool. If you are doing anything even remotely physical like walking down the street or just standing up waiting for a Bus or Ride the effect is even more pronounced! Any wind feels like a hairdryer blowing in your face!
down on the strip, the asphalt boils in the direct sunlight and radiates heat back at you, and temps rocket to unimaginable levels. The Temps recorded are in the shade and away from heat sinks like black roadways and buildings. The real temps are higher than even the record recorded temps! It is a blazing inferno in the City. And don’t be fooled into thinking there is any respite in the evenings! While the temps do fall they are still boiling hit. Expect 100°F (37°C) in the early evening and only minor drops by the time the sun rises.
But we don’t say this to keep you away. Summer is a great time to visit the City. The Atmosphere and buzz are awesome as the Summer Vibe fills the City. Instead, we want to teach you the trick and tips to enjoy the City while still staying cool and trying to stop yourself looking like a bedraggles sweaty mess. Not a good Insta-look!
So here are our TOP tips and trick to Staying Cool in Las Vegas when the lids are being blown off the Thermometers.
How to Stay Cool in Las Vegas
Here are all our top tips on how to stay cool in Las Vegas. Some are practical tips while others are things you can buy to help out. However, in Vegas, the Practical tips work best as there is nothing really on the market that can fully counter the intense heat of a Vegas Summer.
Well here is the obvious one, When it’s hot outside, hide! Vegas burns through Millions of Dollars every year on Air Conditioning costs, almost nowhere inside in Las Vegas is not cooled down to a pleasant 70°F (21°C). So if it’s too hot in the Kitchen, Get out…or in, in this case.
Yep during the hottest parts of the day, it really is just best to be inside. Fortunately, Vegas really is designed this way. Each Hotel and Casino is a gigantic Maze of entertainment complexes. Huge indoor shopping malls, Giant Casino floors, Large plazas of restaurants cafes, bars and food courts. There really is a ton to see and do inside in Las Vegas.
In a Vegas Summer, it is hot from the moment the sun rises. With dawn temps still above 85°F(30°C), there is no rest bite from the heat, but at least it is a little cooler. Plan any outdoor activities for the early morning and late afternoon. Ane by Outdoor activities we d not mean anything remotely physical as it’s just too hot for that. But Anything at all that involves being outdoors. So Pool time, Outdoor attractions, Walking the Strip, The Premium Malls. Simply anything that involves being in the open air over must be restricted to the morning or late afternoon. At the peak of the day, it’s just too hot.
But don’t waste this time. This is when to plan indoor attractions, or exploring the Casinos and Malls. Make full use of Las Vegas’s 24/7 Aircon and get out of the sun. While the evenings are still hot, the temp normally falls to a bearable level, and exploring the strip at night is wonderfully rewarding. The Bright Lights of Vegas bring the City alive and walking the strip at night is incredible!
Nighttime is often the bane of hot climates. When things get hot, sleep is often hard to come by. We have sweated our way through endless sweaty nights in hot climates, tossing restlessly in the heat. Torn between the choice of hot and sweaty or turning on the ancient clanging AC unit that is so Noisey sleep is basically impossible anyway.
This is not the case in Vegas. Hotel rooms, like all indoor areas, are perfectly climate-controlled. We never have a bad night’s sleep in Vegas, and usually collapse exhausted into our beds at the end of a hard day. The extreme double glazing and unopenable windows ensure the permanent AC keeps the room at the perfect temp all the time. So any time spent in your room will be cool and enjoyable.
Simply getting close to the windows and you can feel the insistent heat radiating through the glass but it’s is magically kept at bay and the room remains fresh and cool.
Sometimes you are just going to need to move locations during the day maybe switching casinos or heading to a Mall. In Vegas, this means walking the Strip. The Boiling Tarmac, and crowded streets, enclosed by towering reflective glass make the strip just about the hottest place in the City. It really can be unbearable down on the Strip in the hottest part of the day. It is also unavoidable!
But you can minimize your exposure! The Strip is lined with endless casinos and hotels and many allow for detours through the front of them. The routes may be a little longer but it gets you out of the sun and into the AC areas of the Hotels and Casino floors. You also get to see a lot of the incredible indoor areas of the various hotels and casinos.
Bottom line if you can walk through a Casino instead of past it DO. The feeling of the AC hitting your face as you head into the building is one of Vegas’s little unmentioned highs!
On the Same front as the Rat-runs Sometimes you just have places to be, and if that place is further than your feet allow then you are going to need a lift. Uber and Lyft are super cheap in Vegas and their pickup points are right outside the Casino Lobbies, so you can hop right out of the AC in the Lobby straight into the AC of the Ride! And the same again at the other end!
We tend to use UBER even when we have a hire car as the convenience and low cost make the Rideshare services one of the easiest and cheapest ways of getting around the Strip.
You may think this is the most obvious way to cool off. And at just about anyplace in the world we visit, a relaxing day by the pool is the perfect way to chill out. In a Vegas Summer, this doesn’t work as well as you imagine.
We are pool people, and can happily sit by a pool, cocktail in hand for many an hour. Not a care in the world, apart from Sun Burn, just whiling the world away. In Vegas the pools are AWESOME and pool days are some of our favorite in the City. But when it gets really hot even the pool doesn’t cut it. For one, even in the shade, it is ferociously hot, you can’t just sit under an umbrella and expect to escape the heat, the whole atmosphere is an oven.
Also, the cooling waters have taken on pretty much all of the desert heat and now resemble baths rather than cooling pools. These do little to bring your core temp down, so while you are submerged you d get temporary relief, it’s pretty short-lived and once back in the sun lounger, you are back to sweating and fidgeting your way through the heat.
As we mentioned above doing anything else at the hottest part of the day is equally futile so the pools are still rammed with hot sweaty people all constantly cooling off in the tepid bathing water. It can definitely lack the glamour you are expecting.
The only way to really keep cool at the pool is to constantly keep hitting the water. Maybe even find a quiet corner and just sit fully submerged. But remember continued submersion will leave you quite “pruney”!
Like most things, the best solution is timing. Hit the pool early and enjoy a relaxing morning and then as the heat starts to climb, revert to our first tip and hide! Alternatively, leave the pool until late afternoon. After a day hitting the Mall or seeing the sights a relaxing snooze under a palm tree or umbrella might be just the ticket! For full days by the pool, there really is only one option in the height of summer…Cabanas
Cabanas, if you are not familiar with them are private Little hideaways where just you and your guests can relax. Getting a bit of private time in Vegas can be challenging. Everywhere is busy and the pools are some of the most crowded locations in the City. So a little private corner, that is just for you and your family or friends is pretty awesome. In the Summer, it’s about the only way to stay cool by the pool.
Loaded up with shade, fans, and even cooling mist spray along with a fridge filled with cold drinks, if you want to spend the day relaxing at the pool a cabana is defiantly a great way to go about this.
They can be pricey, $1000+ for the best at high-end pools in peak times, but can also be had for pretty reasonable prices. We have rented them for $75 a day and at some resorts, the fee includes foods and beverages in the price.
Overall they are an expensive luxury but are a nice treat and can definitely help you keep cool in the high heat!
Open-toe shoes are essential in hot climes. We just find cool feet make us feel cooler in general. But this tip is not about that; instead, we slipped it into the pool section to help keep a very specific part of you cool, one that could get VERY hot if not.
If you are at the pool remember your flip-flops. The concrete pool decks can get searingly hot. And we do mean Searingly, as in you are likely to get a nicely charred crust on your soles if you walk barefoot!
Really, some of the hygiene standards on Vegas pool decks mean this is probably very sensible regardless of the cooking surface heat, but it’s surprising and pretty hilarious to watch, how many people disregard this advice! And yes that includes me!
What could be cooler than a Nice ice-cold beer, or how about a zesty Mojito filled with ice cubes, well not much, but drinking is actually far from the best way to stay cool. You will undoubtedly feel an immediate cooling effect if the drink is cold enough, but the cumulative effect of alcohol is dehydration and that is not going to help with staying cool overall! You are already going to be sweating plenty and low on fluids so drinking only exacerbates this.
But let’s get real, you are not going to pass up on a bucket of Icey Bud-limes or a Frozen Margharita just because some nerd tells you not to as you might get hot and dehydrated right! We know we would be talking to ourselves if we persist down that line of thought.
Instead, understand you are going to dehydrate if you drink (and even if you don’t actually) so take on some fluids other than alcohol! In short Drink water as well. Ice from drinks can definitely help lower your core too! In cold environments eating Ice or Snow is so cooling it’s actually dangerous, so allowing ice-cube to melt in the mouth or melt in a towel while dabbing your face is a sure-fire way to cool off.
The Large ice drinks you find in Vegas are often dubiously short of alcohol. While they are sold as the exact opposite getting drunk off these is tricky due to the low alcohol and high Ice content. So using these for a cooling hit is probably ok…
Portale fans really do work in many hot climates providing that little hit of breeze when the wind is low. More so there is a very scientific reason for this called evaporative cooling, the more are that flows over the skin the cooler we get.
In Vegas, the Air is so warm this effect is minimal but simply, every little helps. The new wave of Lithium-Ion batteries has revolutionized the fan market and now mini handheld fans are pretty powerful and definitely capable of providing some powerful cooling airflow.
Link to Amazon – With Misting
Thermal Towels or cooling towels are another little bit of tech that can help bring that core temp down. These Microfibre towels hold onto moisture after wetting them and can be used as brow-fobbers, or inverted scarfs keeping the skin moist and cool.
They can be refreshed at any drinks fountain or with a water bottle and really do help. Again in Vegas, it’s a minimal help as the heat is SO high, They work great with a handful of Ice to keep them cool but they are not a magic bullet in 110°F heat!
Another Technological trick to help with skin cooling. an aerosol can that emits a burst of cooling spray. This cools via direct cooling (The spray is colder than the Air) Aidibatic cooling (Water absorbs more heat than air) and Evaporative cooling (Water evaporating from your skin is the body’s primary cooling method). All very technical but spraying a cooling spray onto your face really is utter bliss when the temps are this high!
As to the longer-lasting effects and whether there is any real effect on core temp is less certain but they feel oh so good! You will probably eat through a can a day to be effective though so it’s an expensive and wasteful product, and can take up a lot of suitcase space!
Link to Amazon
Heat Safety – This hot is actually Dangerous!
The Heat in Las Vegas is so severe it’s not just inconvenient and a little uncomfortable it is actually quite dangerous. The Heat on the hottest days can even be deadly. Real care needs to be taken to not expose yourself to some of the real dangers of temperature this high.
Sun Burn and Skin Damage
First the good news. With temps being as high as they are in Vegas, sunburn is less common than you might expect. Why, well sunburn is not connected to how warm it is, it is exposure to direct UV light from the Sun. This is mainly controlled by the angle of the sun to the earth along with atmospheric conditions. Basically the more atmosphere the sun has to travel through the weaker it is. So when it comes in at a steep angle like just after dawn it has a lot of atmosphere to travel through, so it is weak.
In Winter the sun never really gets too high in the sky so again it’s weaker, and even in summer at high northern latitudes, the sun never gets too strong. In Vegas, during the summer it’s pretty evil. You can burn very quickly when the sun is high in the sky during midday. Great care must be taken, especially for lighter-skinned people, to avoid burning.
The (sort of) good news is in 110°F (43°C) heat lying, sitting, or generally exposing yourself to the sun will raise the body temp so fast you usually run for cover way before sunburn is an issue.
You still need to use Sun-block and limit exposure during the midday hours but the shear intense heat is usually enough to make you avoid the hottest parts of the day. Those soaking in the pools to keep their body temp down are at particular risk of Sun Burn. And the odd cooler day, especially with a stiff breeze are big risks as you don’t notice the heat as much.
Spring and Autumn’s months are far worse for sunburn as the cooler temps encourage longer periods of sunbathing in direct sunlight! A serious sunburn is no fun, and of course, there is the very real danger of lasting skin damage and increased cancer risk. So always take care, whatever you are doing.
In the Dry Desert heat, you sweat a lot. This is the body’s most effective method of cooling, and unlike humid environments, it works really well as the dry air evaporates the water really quickly. So you may not be dripping with sweat, like in the tropics, but it will still be pouring out of you.
This reduces the amount of free water available in the body, this is further exacerbated by alcohol consumption and can drive the body’s water levels down to a dangerous condition. Electrolyte imbalance and severe dehydration kill.
If you are following our tips on staying cool it’s unlikely you will get this far as your core temp will be nice and cool. But if not, if you are trying up and down the strip, and doing very little to keep cool you could get yourself in trouble. Drinking water helps but the huge salt loss through sweating can still lead to electrolyte imbalance if you drink too much freshwater! Sports drinks are the answer here and are readily available in most drug stores along the strip, just look for Hypotonic or electrolyte drinks such a Gatorade.
Unless exercising you are unlikely to dehydrate too severely unless drinking, but in Vegas heat simply walking the strip can count as exercise, and let’s be honest many of us drink pretty heavily in Vegas. So stay on top of your fluid intake.
The final big risk is Heat Stroke, also known as Sun Stroke. You are going to have to try pretty hard to achieve this but people still manage it in Vegas! Heat Stroke is simply when the body’s core temp rises above 104°F (40°C). The Human body is not meant to operate at those temps and you are fast on your way to organ damage, organ failure, and even death!
You are really going to have to try hard for this as Heat Strokes little Bother, Heat Exhaustion, is normally enough to make you quit even if the simple heat intolerance (basically being very uncomfortable and fidgety due to the high heat) doesn’t.
Heat Exhaustion starts to manifest itself as dizziness, feeling sick, thirsty, headache, profuse sweating, and obviously feely very hot. If you insist on ignoring all that you may finally get to real heat Stroke. Most people think they have had sun/heat stroke but most just had heat exhaustion.
When heat stroke finally sets in then people are in real danger. Loss of consciousness or extreme disorientation are obvious signs sweating may stop and often people confuse the signs for drunkenness. As we have said it’s hard to get to this point, most people will head for cooler climes well before this stage. Heavy drinking can lead the person to ignore the signs through intoxication and again this leads people to just think the idiot is drunk when they are in real trouble. If someone is showing signs of confusion and disorientation, regardless of alcohol consumption, move them inside or to a cooler area, and call for assistance if you are unsure! Don’t leave someone in a drunken heap by a pool, it could be their final resting place!
The other time people allow this to occur is when they are caught without shelter. A long hike in the Desert, maybe through the valley of fire, or Red Rock Canyon. They may have underestimated the heat or failed to bring enough water. On the whole, we don’t recommend strenuous hiking in the Summer, it is a very high-risk activity. But if you must go early water and carry A LOT of Water.
The elderly and very young are also at greater risk, young children often cannot communicate their discomfort, and with the elderly and frail, it can sneak up on them very fast. Even driving away from civilization carries a risk, if your car breaks down you can find yourself without shelter in the burning sun with no means of respite! Always carry water as a minimum.
These are not abstract dangers. The intense heat on the hottest days of a Vegas summer is lethal if care is not taken. And we do mean lethal literally!
Despite the intense heat and real dangers, we don’t want to put you off. We are more Preparing you for what to expect and keeping you safe while there. Vegas is awesome in the Summer, as it is all year. The intensity of the heat just means you need to enjoy the outdoors in small pieces.
There is nothing better than a few icy drinks by the pool, or a lazy afternoon snooze after a day exploring the strip, just take everything in moderation and be ready to head into the sanctuary of the Air Conditioned Casinos as soon as the roast starts to just get too much!
Above all, have fun…and wear sunscreen!
Have Your Say
Have you been to Las Vegas in the High Summer? How did you find the heat? Was it meltingly hot or just really warm? Let us know your experiences and memories of Summer in the desert. If you have any tips to share on staying cool just let us know. And if you have any questions, doubts, or concerns on Vegas in the Summer just let us know below!