This destination will be the perfect day get away on your next vacation to Las Vegas, Nevada. Spend the day or morning and be back enjoying the entertainment downtown by afternoon. Located approximately 20 miles west of downtown Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon is a perfect day trip for your Las Vegas vacation. Red Rock Canyon features a scenic drive that loops through the scenic canyon area, miles of hiking trails for a beginner or a seasoned veteran, a vast array of climbing opportunities, and many other activities for the whole family.
The scenic drive is around 13 miles in length and has pullouts and parking areas at all of the main attractions. Picnic areas are located just off of the asphalt surface. This is anchor a great way to enjoy the beauty of the area without a lot of physical exertion. There are 22 named trails in the area. My favorites are the Calico Hills and the Lost Creek Children’s Discovery Trail.
Calico Hills is an easy trail along the base of the towering fossilized sand dunes that comprise the Calico Hills. I cannot think of the correct adjectives to describe the views along the trails. Brilliant red intermingled with traditional sandstone coloring rising above you. The green vegetation along the bottoms and suspended along the slopes and ravines. This is not a steep trail, with the exception of the hike to and from the parking areas.
The Lost Creek Children’s Discovery trail is about a one mile hike and is easy enough for everyone. I take my young son (3 years) on this one. The trail crosses a dry wash and then with the aid of stairs climbs a portion of the hillside. The trail passes an ancient agave roasting pit used by the native people long ago. The interpretive signs describe some of the things they have found during excavations. Another area that you will pass is a camping area used seasonally by the native people. There are several natural overhangs and a few boulders that provide shade for a brief rest. Then it is on passed the springs that are being rehabilitated and back down to the parking area.
Lost Creek also has a picnic area that is perfect for lunch after your hike. The picnic area is situated at the end of the pavement and has several areas that you can explore. This is a very popular destination and you should try to get there early or just be patient and wait for an available table.
Rock climbing permits are available from the BLM office. You will need to visit their website to get the number to call. You must call ahead to get your permits. Climbing on the sandstone escarpments is not permitted for 24 hours following a rain storm. The Calico Hills area is very popular with rock climbers. It is amazing to watch someone start their climb and over time become just a colored dot high above you. In addition to the sandstone there is an abundance of climbing opportunities in the limestone crags found throughout Red Rock Canyon and the entire area surrounding Las Vegas. Use caution and correct equipment at all times while climbing. Remember we want you to enjoy this area year after year.
The best times of the year to visit Red Rock Canyon are during the spring, winter and fall. However if you get an early start you can visit during the summer months. With daily highs at or above 100 degrees you will want to plan your visit carefully. Bring plenty of water at all times of the year.
Please remember that any damage that you do to this area cannot be undone. This is really a treasure for all to enjoy and should be left in as good of condition as when you arrived. Use the trash receptacles and respect the natural and native sites throughout.