Las Vegas and the surrounding area offer a host of outdoors adventure activities and lots of fun awaits nearby. One of our favorite places for outdoor activities is the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area with a wide range of hiking and climbing activities. Ranger-guided hikes are offered February through April. The outings cover 6-8 miles and are moderate to strenuous in difficulty. If you prefer to explore on your own detailed maps and instructions to the most popular areas are available at the visitor’s centers.
The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area contains some of the most rugged rock formations in the West. Only 40 minutes from Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon offers loop as well as out-and-back trails of varying length. The short Moenkopi Loop originates at the visitors center and takes a little more than an hour to walk over undulating terrain in a broad desert valley. Other popular hike include out-and-backs to Lost Creek (0.3 mile, one way), Icebox Canyon (1.3 miles, one way) and Pine Creek Canyon (1 mile, one way), leading to the ruins of a historic homestead near a running creek surrounded by large ponderosa pine trees.
Our favorite trail, and certainly one of the most scenic, is the out-and-back Calico Tanks Trail (2.5 miles, round trip), which winds up through a narrow canyon to a tinaja – a circular canyon, or “tank,” that forms a natural lake. The hike is a stunner even in hot dry months when there’s little or no water in the tank, and ends at the top of the canyon with a knockout view of Las Vegas on the distant valley floor.
Altogether there are 19 trails; 4 rated easy, 5 rated easy to moderate, 9 rated moderate, and 1 classified as difficult. Distances range from 0.75 mile to 6 miles. Estimated hiking times are 1-2 hours for most trails (30 minutes for the shortest and 3 hours for the longest). Click here for more information about Red Rock Mountain Trails.
Hiking, biking, river running, horseback riding, fishing and skiing is available in desert canyon scenery second to none – an abundant offering waiting to be discovered! For more great tips on where to climb, hike and bike check out some suggestions Bob Sehlinger, author of the Unofficial Guide to Las Vegas, offers.
The Unofficial Guide to Las Vegas 2015 will be available as of September 16, 2014. We are celebrating the 2015 edition with a giveaway. Easy entry hereunder: