Red Rock Canyon

Red Roxk just outside of Las Vegas

Located 20 miles West of Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon is an outdoor lover’s paradise. The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area offers a wide variety of outdoor adventures and is one of the most scenic areas in Nevada.

From the crimson color sandstone rocks that give the area its name to the great diversity of wild animals that call the conservation area home, Red Rock is a must-see for anyone who loves the desert.

Outdoor Activities at Red Rock:

13-mile scenic drive
The 13-mile scenic route, a favorite with local bikers, loops around the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. The course features a number of designated scenic areas and provides access to most of Red Rock’s hiking trails.

Petroglyphs and Pictographs
Red Rock is home to some amazing prehistoric rock carvings and paintings.  The Petroglyphs can be seen by taking a 0.1-mile trail that starts near the Willow Springs Picnic Area.

Hiking at Red Rock Canyon outside of Las Vegas

A Cave at Red Rock Canyon in Nevada

Red Rock is home to 19 scenic hiking trails. The area has a little something for everyone, including smaller trails for those with children like the Lost Creek – Children’s Discovery Trail and longer more challenging hiking trails like Turtlehead Peak.

In all, Red Rock has over 30 miles of scenic desert hiking trails.

Red Rock Trail Map

1. Moenkopi Loop

Distance 2 miles; Average time: 1.5hrs; Difficulty: EASY

Moenkopi Loop features Triassic fossils and beautiful desert flora that can be seen throughout this open country trail. The trailhead is at the visitor center and traverses a prominent limestone ridge. In addition to panoramic views of the Wilson Cliffs, there are connecting trails to the Calico Hills area. Moenkopi is a Hopi word meaning place of running water.

2. Calico Hills

Distance 2-6 miles; Average time: 1.5 – 3.5 hrs; Difficulty: MODERATE

This trail runs along the base of the Calico Rocks from Calico Basin to Sandstone Quarry. The trail can be accessed from either end or either of the two Calico parking areas, so the distance varies depending on where you entered the path.  A side trail runs from the fee booth parking lot and connects with this trail.

3. Calico Tanks

Distance 2.5 miles; Average time: 2hrs; Difficulty: MODERATE

Calico Tanks will take you over sandstone that leads to a hidden water tank with an excellent view of Las Vegas. Calico Tanks is a great trip for families or those who want something that isn’t to hard but still provides a bit of a challenge.

4. Turtlehead Peak

Distance 5 miles; Average time: 3.5-4.5hrs; Difficulty: STRENUOUS

This hike features impressive views from a choice Red Rock Canyon peaks. Although it’s not an easy climb, Turtlehead Peak is one of the most accessible peaks.

5. Keystone Thrust

Distance 2.2 miles; Average time: 1.5hrs; Difficulty: MODERATE

Hike along this trail to see the intersection of great and colorful geologic eras.

6. White Rock – Willow Springs

Distance 4.4 miles; Average time: 2.5hrs; Difficulty: EASY-MODERATE

From the upper parking lot at White Rock Spring, take the trail on the west side to where it splits. The trail to the right descends to a guzzler [man made water hole].

7. White Rock – La Madre Spring Loop

Distance 6 miles; Average time: 3.5hrs; Difficulty: MODERATE

This loop takes you through a secluded pocket of life, around the rugged sandstone of Red Rock Canyon to La Madre Spring, where the water splashes life on this otherwise desert landscape.

8. Lost Creek – Children’s Discovery

Distance .75 miles; Average time: 1hr; Difficulty: EASY

If your heading out to Red Rock with Kids, stop at the visitors’ center and pick up a free copy of the Children’s Discovery Trail guide. The trail is one of the most popular trails in Red Rock and features a rock tunnel, a seasonal waterfall, and variety of petroglyphs and pictographs. The trail is extremely easy and is often used by local schools for field trips.

9.Willow Springs Loop

Distance 1.5 miles; Average time: 1.25hrs; Difficulty: EASY

From the parking lot follow the trail by the restroom south. This takes you past a pictograph site and Agave roasting pits, to the Lost Creek parking lot.

10. La Madre Springs

Distance 3.3 miles; Average time: 2hrs; Difficulty: MODERATE

This nice hike follows an old road up a canyon with red and white sandstone cliffs on one side and gray limestone mountains on the other. The trail does not actually go to La Madre Spring;…

11. SMYC

Distance 2.2 miles; Average time: 2hrs; Difficulty: MODERATE

SMYC stands for “Spring Mountain Youth Camp,” which is a long-term correctional facility for young men.

12. Ice Box Canyon

Distance 2.6 miles; Average time: 2.5hrs; Difficulty: MODERATE

One of our favorite trails, and one of the most popular among local hikers, is the Ice Box Canyon Trail. It features a boulder trail that requires some rock scrambling, a seasonal waterfall, huge Ponderosa Pine trees and some awesome views of the Red Rocks.

13. Dale’s

Distance 4.4 miles; Average time: 2.5hrs; Difficulty: MODERATE

Dale’s Trail is a 2 . 1-mile segment of the Escarpment Route that runs through open desert along the base of the Wilson Cliffs.

14. Pine Creek Canyon

Distance 3 miles; Average time: 2hrs; Difficulty: EASY-MODERATE

The Pine Creek Canyon trail takes you across the open desert , along a seasonal creek, and to an old homestead site. Very fragile plants dot the landscape, including species from an earlier age, like large sword ferns  that were planted by the early homesteaders of Nevada.

15. Fire Ecology

Distance .75 miles; Average time: 1hr; Difficulty: EASY

This easy, .75-mile figure eight trail runs out into Pine Creek Wash through an area where the BLM performed a  controlled burn in 1997 to clear brush and reduce the chances of a catastrophic wildfire that might kill the tall ponderosa pines in the wash. Little evidence of the fire remains, but the efforts have been successful.

16. Oak Creek Canyon

Distance 2 miles; Average time: 1.5hrs; Difficulty: EASY-MODERATE

Distance 2 miles; Average time: 1.5hrs; Difficulty: EASY-MODERATE  Oak Creek Canyon is one of several beautiful canyons cutting into the Red Rock escarpment. It receives fewer visitors than other canyons in the area, and the hike has two distinct personalities: The beginning approach across open desert offers sweeping views of the Red Rock escarpment and the freedom of open desert, and the canyon itself offers challenging hiking over jumbled boulders and steep slopes

17. Arnight

Distance 2.4 miles; Average time: 1.5hrs; Difficulty: MODERATE The Arnight Trail is a 2 . 4-mile segment of the Escarpment Route that runs through open desert along the base of the Wilson Cliffs.

18. Knoll

Distance 3.5 miles; Average time: 2.5hrs; Difficulty: MODERATE

There are many small boulders on the little ridge that make for a nice place to stop for lunch. While there, watch or listen for white-tailed antelope squirrels (often confused with chipmunks). These little squirrels often sit up in the bushes or in Buckhorn cholla where they watch for predators and other squirrels. Also watch for the various species of birds that occur out here (e.g., Juniper Titmouse, Western Bluebird, Western Scrub-jay, Common Raven, and House Finch).

19. First Creek Canyon Trail

Distance 3 miles; Average time: 2hrs; Difficulty: EASY-MODERATE

This is a pleasant 3-mile walk across a desert valley to a little waterfall with cottonwood trees, willows, and other shade trees. Except for the last few feet, the hike follows a well-maintained trail.

Hiking at Red Rock

Other Activities Include:

  • Bike Riding
  • Back Country Camping
  • Rock Climbing
  • Wildlife Viewing – over 200 different animals including reptiles, burros, bobcats, rabbits, bighorn sheep, coyotes, red-tailed hawks, eagles, hummingbirds and even wild horses.

Red Rock

Directions:

I-15 N to US-95 N toward Reno
Take exit Summerlin Pkwy W
8. Take the exit onto 215 S
Take exit 26 for Charleston Blvd/NV-159
Turn right onto NV-159 W/W Charleston Blvd
Continue to follow NV-159 W

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*