From Las Vegas, the western tip of the city, the blazing orange hills of Red Rock Canyon may be seen running along the east side of the Spring Mountains. Intriguing from a distance, the view is best enjoyed when trekking along one of the many paths that wind through Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. These are some of the greatest hiking paths close to Las Vegas, winding through imposing gorges, up ridges, and over the undulating red rock hills. If you are searching for the best hikes in Red Rock canyon, continue to read.
1. Calico Tank Trail
One of the most well-known walks in the park, Calico Tank, starts with a wash and ascends a canyon into a stunning landscape of red and yellow rocks. As you climb, the route is lined with hills and stones, but vistas of the mountains behind you become more apparent. As you ascend, the top can be seen in the distance. Anyone who is looking for the best hikes in Red Rock canyon should take a look at this.
Even though this journey is just 2.5 miles roundtrip, there are several challenging areas where you must climb up rock cliffs. You will sometimes need to climb using both your hands and feet. These parts are brief, and the majority of the 400-foot elevation increase is made by climbing shoddily built stone steps.
The “tank” at the trail’s terminus is a naturally occurring water catchment area that sometimes contains a substantial amount of water, but more often has little to no water. You will return along the same path you used while leaving Calico Tank since it is an in-and-out walk. This hike’s parking spot is at the Sandstone Quarry.
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2. Trail in Ice Box Canyon
You don’t even have to finish the full 2.6-mile path to enjoy this trek, which is highly well-liked. When the wildflowers are in bloom in the spring, namely around April, this is especially true. The canyon’s entrance, where the steep stone walls show a tiny opening in the distance, may be seen from the parking lot.
This high-walled canyon has striking yellow and black walls that seem to have been burned. Pine trees and other vegetation may be found near the bottom, giving the canyon floor a somewhat lush appearance. The route ultimately comes to a stop, and on three sides, sheer cliffs rise up around you since this is a genuine box canyon with no exit.
From a level region with a few tiny trees and plants, where the trek first starts, you can see the canyon in front of you in all its glory. This is nearly as exciting as crossing the canyon on foot. While weaving among junipers and pinon trees, it gently ascends. The trees become considerably thicker as you get closer to the canyon’s entrance, and the scene starts to resemble a forest.
The route is lined with enormous stones, some the size of automobiles, that you must navigate beyond the canyon’s entrance. At this point, you have the option to turn around if you are not ready for a strenuous trek. The route continues until it reaches the canyon’s apex, where the stone walls appear to encircle you. This is a one-way trek with views of the red granite hills on the other side of the valley on the way back.
3. Children’s Discovery Trail in Lost Canyon
Despite being referred to as the Children’s Discovery Route, this is a delightful little trek of moderate difficulty—it wasn’t designed as an easy trail for young children. The route is slender and has trees, stone steps, tunnels made of rock and petroglyphs, a boardwalk, and, depending on the time of year and the amount of rainfall, a waterfall.
Everyone will find this path to be fun, and it covers a lot of ground quickly. The trek is.75 miles long and gains 200 feet in height. There is no scrambling or severe terrain, and it is short enough that it is not overpowering while yet providing a wide range of activities. At some parts, the route is extremely narrow, but overhanging trees provide shade. The trees along the dry stream bed blossom with white and purple hues in the spring.
Because of the poor signage and the fact that numerous paths are indicated at the parking lot, the trek may be a little bit confusing in the beginning. Follow a broad, rocky-bordered route to the right of the parking lot to access the Lost Canyon – Children’s Discovery Trail.
When you reach the dry brook, cross it directly without going up the creek. From here, the route ascends through some petroglyph-adorned rock walls and boulders before turning right and passing under a narrow tunnel covered in rocks. Eventually, the trail opens up to a small meadow at the foot of the waterfalls.
From here, turn around and walk straight to go back to the parking area via the arch. Going right out of the parking lot on the “Lost Canyon Trail” will take you directly to the waterfalls if you don’t care about the petroglyphs and want a quicker trek.
4. Calico Hills
Most people see Red Rock Canyon when they think of the beautifully red Calico Hills, which are close to the tourist center. In contrast to the subdued colors of the surrounding desert and the clear blue sky above, the hue of these enormous rock hills and boulders is almost startling. The centerpiece of the park is the Calico Hills.
There are various spots along a hiking route that connects the visitor center to the Sandstone Quarry where you may reach this area. Calico I and Calico II are the two major parking lots where visitors start their treks.
Although this trip is six miles long overall, most hikers choose to take a shorter route and go just approximately two miles. The best course of action is to park in Calico I and walk the two miles back to Calico II or farther to the Sandstone Quarry parking lot. The red surrounds may be fully experienced by ascending directly onto the rocks from the hiking route, which runs along the front edge of the red stone ridge.
5. Keystone Thrust Trail
The Keystone Thrust, where the collision of the Pacific and North American continental plates has left its imprint, is the park’s most significant geological feature. But from beginning to end, it also provides some breathtaking vistas.
The 2.2-mile in-and-out path starts off by ascending a gentle climb until it crests a saddle, where the backside of a red sandstone ridge can be seen. The route then extends out onto this crest and continues on beyond it to a tall, gray ridge, where it comes to a stop. The Calico Hills in the distance and the Keystone Thrust in the other way may both be seen from this location in all directions.
The Keystone Thrust is the trail’s most geologically noteworthy section, but the most striking feature is the constantly shifting panorama. Although there are no scrambles and the trip is technically straightforward, the elevation rise is around 400 feet. The White Rock parking lot is where this hike starts.
6. Moenkopi Loop
This short two-mile trek mostly follows a limestone ridge and is a delightful stroll across the desert. This trek is ideal for people seeking for a leisurely stroll since it is very flat most of the way and simple to follow. You’ll pass through examples of the flora and animals found in the deserts that surround Las Vegas along the journey.
The Triassic-era fossilized artifacts you’ll be able to observe along the journey are particularly noteworthy. The visitor center, which has facilities and drinking water, is where the trailhead is situated.
7. White Rock – Willow Spring Loop Trail
The 4.4-mile White Rock – Willow Spring Loop path travels through a variety of landscapes, including pine forests, mountains, desert, cacti, and even some pictographs. If you’re fortunate, you could get a glimpse of certain animals, such as bighorn sheep.
You may extend this trek to six miles and see a year-round spring by adding the La Madre Spring route as an additional. Just below the High Point Overlook, along a gravel road, is the White Rock parking area, where the hike starts.
The route circles behind White Rock Mountain in a counterclockwise way through a pine and juniper-filled woodland. One of the loveliest parts of the path, it gives you the impression that you are hiking in a distant backwoods. The cutoff for La Madre Spring is farther on. From here, you may choose to continue on the main path or hike up to the spring, which would require a significant amount of additional elevation gain.
After the fork, the main route continues to the Willow Spring Picnic Area, where you may take a rest or have a picnic while still being close to civilization. The track continues on from here, passing more pictographs, before ultimately ascending an old dirt road and returning to the White Rock parking area.
Unless you want to add on La Madre Spring, in which case it is a bit more difficult, this trek is easy to moderate. As mentioned above, you may start this trip from the White Rock parking lot. You can also start from the Lost Creek parking lot or the Willow Spring picnic spot.
These are the seven best hikes in Red Rock Canyon. You will not be able to go ahead with all these hikes. Hence, make sure that you pick the best one and go ahead with exploring the Red Rock Canyon.