PeaceJoyAustin

Cheap, free, and local-endorsed things to do in beautiful places

Red Rock Canyon

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  • Features a 13 mile scenic loop drive
  • A variety of colorful rock formations
  • Only 20 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip

When To Visit: September-June due to summer heat

Climate: Warm and dry year-round with extreme heat in summer

Location: Southwestern Nevada 20 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is Las Vegas’ best-kept secret – a unique and gorgeous natural area only 20 minutes from The Strip! Take a drive along the park’s scenic loop drive and stop for some walks or hikes to enjoy this lovely park’s colorful rock formations.

Photo: Calico Hills North

What To See & Do in Red Rock Canyon

Get in some hikes while you take the park’s scenic loop drive.

Red Rock Canyon Hikes

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Calico Tanks Trail

I’ve ranked Red Rock Canyon’s best trails in order of scenery.

  1. Calico Tanks Trail

    • 2.5 miles round trip, out & back, 1-1.5 hours, moderately strenuous, 435 foot elevation gain
    • Yellow and red sandstone cliffs
    • Mountain views
    • A panoramic view of Las Vegas
  2. Turtlehead Peak Trail
    • 5 miles round trip, out & back, 2-3 hours, strenuous, 1,991 foot elevation gain
    • You’ll pass petroglyphs on the way
    • Panoramic views of the canyon and the Las Vegas area
  3. Ice Box Canyon Trail
    • 2.4 miles round trip, out & back, 2-2.5 hours, moderately strenuous, 835 foot elevation gain
    • Enter a slot canyon and see unique desert flora and rock formations
    • If it isn’t dried up, you’ll pass a river, pools of water, and a small waterfall

Where To Stay & Eat in Red Rock Canyon

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Sunset on the Loop Drive

Since Red Rock Canyon is only 20 minutes from Las Vegas, it is best to stay in hotels and get food in the city.

The park has one first-come, first-serve only campground (Red Rock Canyon Campground) which is only open September-May due to the summer’s extreme heat.

There is a picnic area at the Visitor Center.

Nearby Side Trips from Red Rock Canyon

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The world’s densest joshua tree grove in Mojave National Preserve

Las Vegas: One of the most popular tourist destinations in the country and only 20 minutes from Red Rock Canyon, Vegas has some of the country’s most exciting entertainment and nightlife. Read more.

Mojave National Preserve: Off the beaten path, this preserve 1.5 hours away contains the 3rd tallest sand dunes in the U.S., the densest grove of joshua trees in the country, and some unique hiking opportunities. Read more.

 

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