Las Vegas Water Parks – Closest One to the Strip & Prices 2022

Long summers and lots of sunny dry days with temperatures often in the triple digits help make Las Vegas a perfect haven for outdoor water parks.

For Las Vegas residents and visitors wanting to cool off while chasing some fun thrills, there are two different large scale area water parks on opposite ends of the valley.

Cowabunga Canyon is just 11 miles from the Las Vegas Strip
Cowabunga Canyon is just 11 miles from the Las Vegas Strip

To be sure, some Las Vegas Strip resorts have elaborate pool areas, and one, Mandalay Bay – with a large beach, wave pool and lazy river – could be considered a mini-water park in its own right, however here we’re just focusing on large, destination waterparks in the Vegas valley.

Those two Las Vegas water parks are Cowabunga Bay and Cowabunga Canyon (formerly Wet n’ Wild).

The two parks are owned by the same owner, merging the former Wet n’ Wild into the Cowabunga family. Both are full of slides, (ranging from mild to extreme), raft rides, splash pools, wave pools, lazy rivers and separate little kid areas designed for those under 48 inches tall.

Us “old-timers” remember when there was a fun waterpark directly right on the Las Vegas Strip. It was the original Wet’n’Wild and was located just south of where the Sahara Las Vegas Hotel & Casino is now. There aren’t any water parks on the Strip now, however the two big ones we’ll cover below are each just a short drive (around 11 miles away) from the center of the Strip. One is in Henderson, while the other is in Summerlin.

(Below, the black star is Cowabunga Canyon, while the red star represents Cowabunga Bay)

Cowabunga Bay Las Vegas

Las Vegas’s newest water park, Cowabunga Bay, is located in Henderson, Nevada, 11 miles southeast of the center of the Las Vegas Strip.

Opened in the summer of 2014, Cowabunga Bay’s 23 acres feature 25 different rides and attractions spread out over three themed areas.

Wild Surf, (on the left), & Beach Blanket Banzai at Cowabunga Bay in Las Vegas
Wild Surf, (on the left), & Beach Blanket Banzai at Cowabunga Bay in Las Vegas

Surf-a-Rama is the park’s 35,000 square foot wave pool and the park claims that their Cowabunga River is the longest lazy river in the state of Nevada.

Their children’s section, called the Cowabunga Kids Cove has a large shallow pool with numerous mini-slides, waterfalls, tipping buckets, and the like.

Highlights for the bigger kids (and adults) here include and the Wild Surf, which they claim is the world’s largest man-made wave, and the Beach Blanket Banzai – another 4 person raft ride going down 600 feet of twists, turns and splashes.

Zuma Zooma, the park’s tallest ride, is their trap-door style ride that has you dropping 73 feet into a high speed looping fall, while the Surfin’ USA lets you race (face-front) against 5 other people from a 55 foot perch.

Cowabunga Bay Las Vegas Ticket Prices 2022

Current prices for the 2022 season are as follows:

Everyone 48 inches or taller:$44.99
Military$39.99
Everyone under 48 inches tall:$32.99
Seniors (65 and over)$19.99

Tickets for Cowabunga Bay can be purchased online or in person at the park, however in the past, prices are $5 more per person if bought in person. I also believe that the $8 fee for parking is still in effect.

Above are all regular admission prices for a one day pass when bought online. Season passes are available as well.

Cowabunga Bay Hours

Hours can vary, (a link to their website and schedule is below), however for the main summer months, the park is open from 11 AM to 7 PM on weekdays, and and 11 AM to 9 PM on Friday & Saturday nights.

Cowabunga Bay was the first Las Vegas water park to open this year, on March 27th. It has a limited schedule until May 26th. On May 26th, it’s open everyday of the week until August 8th.

From August 8th, the park is open from Friday – Sunday only, up to (and including, closing day on September 25th, 2022). Please note that Cowabunga Bay is open on Monday, September 5th as well, (Labor Day).

And as with Wet’n’Wild, there are a few dining options, including Bullwinkle’s Boardwalk Grill, Duke’s Surfside Snacks, County Fair Sweets & Treats, Hawaiian Shave Ice, a funnel cake booth and more. There’s also the Bora Bora Bar for the grown-ups.

Cowabunga Bay Address, Phone & Website

900 Galleria Drive
Henderson, NV. 89001
(702) 850-9000

Website: Cowabungabayvegas.com

Cowabunga Canyon Las Vegas

Opened in 2012 as Wet’n’Wild, the re-named Cowabunga Canyon sits on 20 acres next to open space below mountains 11 ½ miles south west of the center of the Las Vegas Strip.

The park features 25 slides and other water attractions, including the 400,000 gallon Red Rock Bay wave pool.

Paradise Falls is the kid’s area, with a 10,000 square foot interactive aquatic playground full of splash buckets, slides, water guns and more, while Kiddie Cove has three slides for tots.

On the bigger kid side, the Zipp Zapp Zoom slide section has what’s called “slideboarding” which is billed as, “the world’s first waterslide gaming experience.”

The lazy river at Cowabunga Canyon Las Vegas
The lazy river at Cowabunga Canyon Las Vegas

After lying down on a flat, surfboard-style raft, (equipped with buttons near the handles), you try to get points pushing the buttons while navigating down the dark, neon-lit enclosed tube.

Other highlights at Cowabunga Canyon Las Vegas include their funnel slide called “The Tornado,” and Canyon Cliffs, an extreme drop ride, in which you achieve speeds of 33 feet per second.

The numerous fun multi-passenger tube rides include favorites such as the Constrictor, the Rattler and the Hoover Half-pipe.

In addition to a couple of different restaurant options and dessert stands with ice cream, there is a separate 21 years and older area where you can purchase drinks.

Cowabunga Canyon Las Vegas Hours 2022

The park will open Memorial Day weekend. An exact date has yet to be announced, but Saturday May 28th, 2022 seems like a good possibility. Hours have yet to be announced as well, but they are likely to be the same as their sister water park in Henderson, which is to say: 11 AM to 7 PM on weekdays and 11 AM to 9 PM on weekends.

Cowabunga Canyon Las Vegas Ticket Prices 2022

Cowabunga Canyon in Summerlin has announced daily ticket prices for 2022, and they are as follows:

General Admission (42 inches tall and over)$44.99
Youth (under 42 inches)$32.99
Senior (65 and older)$19.99
Twilight $29.99

The Twilight hours and days are not listed as of this update, however last year, the Twilight rate was for entry after 4 PM.

Cowabunga canyon Las Vegas Address & Website

7055 S. Fort Apache Road
Las Vegas, NV. 89148

Website: Cowabungavegas.com

Cowabunga Water Parks Season Pass

With the merging of the two water parks comes a new option that will be a money saver for those planning on going to the park three or more times during the season.

The new “2022 Cowabunga Vegas” season pass costs $99 before tax, and gets you unlimited visits to both parks all year, (along with free parking to boot). It also comes with 15% discounts on food, and merchandise, as well as priority access.

When do Las Vegas Waterparks Open?

Matching the Las Vegas Strip pool season, Las Vegas water parks typically open in late March, and shut down in late September.

For 2022, Cowabunga Bay opened on March 27th. Cowabunga Canyon will open on Memorial Day weekend.

It’s typical for the water parks to open on the third or last Saturday in March and close on the last Sunday in September.

Indoor Water Park Las Vegas

Unfortunately, Las Vegas doesn’t have one of the large fun indoor water parks you may be used to, such as a Great Wolf Lodge or Kalahari Resorts.

As such, your best bet for indoor water park fun will have to be at one of the indoor municipal rec centers spread throughout Las Vegas.

(Related: Las Vegas hotels with indoor pools)

In researching these city and county owned pools, (all in rec centers), the pools are basic, without the slides and kids play areas you’ll find at municipal rec centers in colder climates.

(Photos courtesy of Ken Lund via Flickr and PRweb).HOu