At least once a year Jason and I head to Vegas. We love the upscale hotels, first-rate restaurants and all the great entertainment possibilities. Since this is a town in constant motion, it never gets dull. There’s always something new to see and experience. But for us, the one constant, is hiking in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Adding hiking to our Vegas trip is not only a great way to get off the strip, but its also a way to stay fit while traveling--something that's never easy to do.
Red Rock is about a 30 minute drive from The Strip, but feels like a different universe. Here there are no highrises, no bright lights, and few people. Encompassing more than 195,000 acres and featuring 19 marked hiking trails you could spend years exploring this geologically unique reserve. We’ve been here at least ten times and continue to be amazed by the rugged beauty of the rock formations.
During our first trip here we opted for a Red Rock Canyon hiking tour and enjoyed every minute of it. Our guide was originally from Poland, but had lived in the Vegas area for many years. He and his family regularly hiked in Red Rock and his passion for it was obvious. Our tour group was small and quite adventurous, so it allowed our guide to take us on one short, steep hike and another, long and flat one in the area. There are several operators that offer tours here including transportation from your hotel. Prices range from $80-$130 depending on the company and the length of the tour. I personally recommend Viator for booking these types of tours.
Consider a day trip to Death Valley while visiting Las Vegas.
But the Visitor's Center isn't just for hikers, it can be enjoyed by anyone visiting Red Rock Canyon since it offers hands-on exhibits about the history, geology, climate, and wildlife of the area. During peak season volunteers staff tables with samples of turtle shells and mountain goat horns and are happy to discuss these and another animals in the area.
On our downhill return trip, we often resorted to sliding down slippery slopes on our butts, once again giving us cause for laughter. By the time we returned to our car, we were cold, wet and tired, but we loved the adventure!
Red Rock National Conservation Area is open every day of the year at 6 a.m. Closing times vary depending on the season. The Visitor's Center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The price of admission is just $15 per vehicle for a day pass, but several different discounts are available.
If you visit Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area let me know. I’d love to hear your thoughts.