If you are traveling to Las Vegas, Nevada, and want to enjoy a little bit of local nature, Red Rock Canyon is a perfect spot. Known for its hiking trails, Red Rock Canyon is an ideal location for tourists who want to view scenic desert cliffs and amazing rock formations. Each canyon of this area is unique and includes vivid coloring and dramatic shapes that must be seen in person.
History of Red Rock Canyon
Originally, the area of Red Rock Canyon was home to the Kawaiisu Indians. This group left petroglyphs in the El Paso mountains to show they have once inhabited the area. One region was actually a trade route for Native Americans for many years. In the early 1870s, the rock formations in the park were considered landmarks for freight wagons pulled by teams of mules as they stopped for water.
Today the park protects paleontology suites and the remains of mining operations from the 1890s. Mainly, the park is an area where nature-lovers can come and take in the beauty and majesty of the desert, a space that features geologic wonders that make this spot a favorite among the young and old.
Costs Associated with Red Rock Canyon
If you are planning a trip to Red Rock Canyon for hiking, there is a cost involved. Passes are required. You can choose a one day pass and the price point depends on your method of travel. If you are traveling by car or truck, a one day pass is $15. A bicycle or pedestrian pass is $5 per person.
You can also choose to purchase a Red Rock Annual Pass, which is $30 per person. This is a good option if you see yourself traveling to the area more than once or twice a year. Passes that are purchased from the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area use a portion of the funds to help pay for public programs as well as the Visitor Center.
Let’s Go Hiking!
Okay, now let’s talk about the main attraction, Hiking! The hiking trails are why you are traveling to Red Rock Canyon. Here, you will find 26 numbered hikes and trails. Each trail is different, offering something new to discover, be it wildlife or landscape, petroglyphs, etc. Think about what type of hike you are looking for, who you are traveling with, and how much time you have, and then choose a hike that fits for you. If you have all day, you can choose a few trails to tour while at Red Rock Canyon!
Examples of Trails:
• Moenkopi Loop: This trail is 2 miles and takes about 1.5 hours to complete. It is an easy trail that provides panoramic views of the Wilson Cliffs
• Calico Hills: This trail is 2 to 6 miles and takes 1.5 to 3.5 hours to complete. It is a moderate trail that runs along the base of the Calico Rocks
• Calico Tanks: With 2.2 miles of trail, this option takes about two hours and is a moderate to strenuous hike. This hike combines several elements including beauty and geology.
• Turtlehead Peak: This trail is 4.6 miles long and can take from 3.5 to 4.5 hours to complete. It is strenuous. It is not an easy climb but provides amazing views due to its high but accessible peaks.
• Keystone Thrust: Travel 2.4 miles on this trail in about 1.5 hours with moderate difficulty. You will see colorful geologic areas on this hike.
• White Rock—Willow Springs: Travel 4 miles on this hike in 2.5 hours with moderate difficulty. This trail takes you on a nice hike and ends up at Willow Spring.
• Grand Circle Loop: This is a longer 11.4-mile hike that is strenuous and takes about 6 hours to complete. This hike takes you along foothills in the desert and through washes.
• White Rock Mountain Loop: At 6.2 miles, this trail takes just over 3 hours to complete and it is considered difficult. Travel through habitats and gain and decline close to 1,000 feet in elevation along the way.
• Willow Spring Loop: For an easier option, this 1.1-mile hike is desirable. It is paved for comfortable walking.
• La Madre Spring: This trail is 3.6 miles and takes two hours to complete. Considered moderate in difficulty, this trail takes you to La Madre Spring which is used for drinking by local wildlife.
• Petroglyph Wall: For a super short walk, this is perfect at just .20 miles. This takes only 30 minutes to walk and has historical rock art that is around 800 years old.
• North Peak Trail: This is a longer 11.8-mile trail that is strenuous. It takes you through a forest and to the top of Red Rock Escarpment.
• Bridge Mountain: For an even longer strenuous trail, this option is 15.8 miles long and can take from six to seven hours to complete. This trail takes you to the summit of a sandstone peak in the canyon.
• Lost Creek: Children’s Discovery: This trail is .80 miles long and is easy to moderate. It provides pictographs and lovely views as well as a hidden waterfall that can be seen from December to April.
• Ice Box Canyon: This trail is 2.2 miles and takes you to a shady box canyon with seasonal waterfalls.
• Dale’s: This trail is 4 miles long and moderate. It takes you through open desert running between Icebox Canyon and pine Creek Canyon.
• Pine Creek Canyon: This trail is 2.4 miles and offers some of the best views in the area.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is ranked #1 on Trip Advisor as the top thing to do in Las Vegas. If you are a fan of the outdoors, especially hiking, you should definitely visit. With easy to strenuous trails, there is truly something for everyone!