It’s no secret that the American Southwest is home to some of the most awe-inspiring natural wonders in the world. With a landscape truly incomparable to anywhere else on earth, visitors and locals alike venture throughout this region’s beautiful terrain in search of perfect photo ops and unbeatable views. Living in Vegas, we’re lucky to have immediate access to some of the Southwest’s most iconic natural formations, with one of the most popular being Red Rock Canyon. With over 13 miles of scenic drives, 30 miles of hiking trails, and nearly 200,000 total acres, Red Rock Canyon is a must-see.
If you’re interested in learning more about Red Rock Canyon and the various recreational activities housed within its immense acreage, you’ve come to the right place. Our team here at De Castroverde Criminal and Immigration Law Group put together this guide to help you spend the perfect day or weekend at Red Rock Canyon.
Take a Scenic Drive
One of the most popular ways to experience the beautiful scenery of Red Rock Canyon is by taking a scenic drive across the 13-mile driving route throughout the land. Along the way, you and your loved ones can take advantage of the various scenic overlooks littered across the path, giving you plenty of opportunities to take breathtaking pictures and capture memories as they happen. This one-way route is easy to follow and can accommodate most vehicles, making it accessible to visitors traveling with rented cars.
Have enthusiastic cyclists in your group? Lucky for you, this path is open to both vehicles and bicycles, and with a reasonable 13-mile trek, people of various athletic abilities can conquer this path without over-exertion. Cycling is one of the best ways to take in the views along the scenic path and puts you directly in the action alongside natural wildlife. Since the route travels in one direction, you definitely want to take advantage of each stop to ensure you don’t miss out on some of the Canyon’s iconic views.
Hike the Calico Hills
Our next suggestion for fun things to do on a day or weekend trip to Red Rock Canyon is to hike the Calico Hills trail. With over 26 different trails throughout the nearly 200,000-acre land, you certainly have options when deciding which paths to take on your journey through the Nevada landscape. We recommend Calico Hills for its unbeatable views of the iconic red rocks that make this canyon a household name. This trail has different access points along its path, although we recommend starting with the steep staircase at the second trailhead for a fun photo op.
With a short, varying distance of 2 to 6 miles, even beginners can tackle this trail without trouble, granted they abide by hiking safety standards. Whenever you go on a hike, it’s important to make sure you have access to food and water, use sunscreen or a hat to protect from the harsh Nevada sun, wear proper hiking apparel including sandals or boots, and check-in with family and friends before going anywhere on your own. As one of the easier trails in the area, Calico Hills takes anywhere from one to three hours to complete.
Check Out the Visitor Center
If you’re looking for some air conditioning and shade while on your visit to Red Rock Canyon, there’s no better place to go than the official Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center. This building stands out in the barren canyon surrounding it thanks to its sleek design, and many consider it to be one of the canyon’s most underrated attractions. The visitor center is the perfect way to get some background information on the history of the landscape and the various wildlife and human groups that have inhabited it. It also features a gift shop and information desk.
The Center has four sections, each representing an element of earth, fire, water, and air. As you walk through the different exhibits, you can learn about the rich natural and anthropological history of the region, including the iconic petroglyphs visible along some of the canyon’s cliffs, with the rock art estimated to be a minimum of 800 years old. A trip to the Visitor Center isn’t complete without paying a visit to Mojave Max, one of the Canyon’s most iconic residents who lives year-round in the center’s live desert tortoise habitat.
If you want to extend your visit to Red Rock Canyon, consider packing up your belongings and setting up at the Red Canyon Campground. Just 2 miles away from the Visitor Center, you’ll always have access to resources if necessary. The campgrounds offer everything you’d need for a brief camping trip, including vault toilets, drinking fountains, and shade structures to keep you away from the sun’s harsh rays. Camping is a great way to connect with the landscape on a deeper level by putting yourself in the center of the action.
If you’re interested in camping at Red Rock Canyon, know that you’re required to reserve your single or group campsite online or by phone. You can make reservations as early as six months in advance or as late as 48 hours prior to your arrival. Due to the intense summer heat, Red Rock Canyon’s campground closes each year between Memorial Day and September 1. The campgrounds don’t have electrical, water, or sewer hookups, nor are there dumping stations for RVs. Regardless, your time camping amongst the prehistoric landscape is sure to be unforgettable.
That’s our list of the top ways to spend your day or weekend at the beautiful Red Rock Canyon, right here in Las Vegas. We hope this article comes in handy the next time you’re looking for a fun outdoor outing fit for the entire family. Did we leave out one of your favorite Red Rock attractions? Interested in learning more about fun things to do in the Vegas area? Have questions about our criminal and immigration legal services? Contact us today at De Castroverde Group and we’ll be happy to assist you.