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We honestly had NO CLUE that this place even existed in Las Vegas! We asked some locals, of a nearby hike, they said 'check out the Red Rock Canyon... it's incredible'! And WOWZA! They were right, 100%! We have been vacationing to Las Vegas for multiple years & never heard or seen this place.... its AMAZING!
If you are planning a vacation to Las Vegas & looking for things to do, consider checking out Red Rock Canyon (see our pictures). The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is roughly 17- 25 miles away from Las Vegas Blvd (depends where you are on the strip) and is a place that gets overlooked more often than not. But trust me when I say, this should be on your list of adventures and you should experience the 'different' views of Las Vegas, like we did!
On our most recent vacation, we weren't sure what to do in Vegas, but we knew we wanted to be outdoors for a good portion of it, and we didn't want to drive more than 30 minutes to find our outdoors hike. And... it just so happened that our resort, Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa (watch or read about it), was literally 6 miles away and we had an amazing view from our room, of the canyons themselves! I can't tell you how many times we have been to Vegas and never even knew this place existed! Anyway, long story short, we decided to just drive up in the canyon area and see what there was to do up there.
We were told about the Scenic Loop which is near the visitors center (a 13 mile one way scenic drive of the Mojave Desert), so we attempted to drive straight through. Ya.... NOPE! Turns out, you actually have to reserve a specific time slot to drive the loop (see below in 'Things To Know' section) & there is a fee to do so.
After being turned around, of course I had drank a ton of water and needed a bathroom asap, & this is how we landed on our hiking location! Oh, and the best part, it was free to park, and no reservations necessary!
If you want to hike the massive Sandstones like we did and see the incredible views of the Las Vegas Strip from the top, with your GPS type in the words 'Red Spring Picnic Area', and you will be taken to a small little parking area. SEE our YouTube video and click HERE to see a map of all the other hiking trails.
I'll be honest, the hike intensity was all over the board.... probably more medium to hard most of the time. But the really nice thing about the hike, the sandstones kind of created this stair step effect all the way up the mountain, which made it pretty easy to navigate! There isn't a 'trail' so to speak of, when you are hiking up the side of the mountain, so we just created our own way up... that's where the fun begins!
It's pretty cool watching the city of Vegas slowly emerge out behind the horizon and what seems like a never ending amount of mountain ranges & desert too! We even managed to get some drone shots while we were at the top of the mountain and Wwwwwooooooooowwwwwweeee... talk about one of the coolest areas to fly your drone! Speaking of gear, here's what we suggest you take with you while on your hike and what gear we utilized as well.
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Ok, let's get into the good stuff and move on to what y'all are interested in learning about, and answer some of the questions that arise when visiting this big beautiful place...
OUR GEAR ON THIS HIKE:
SUGGESTED HIKE ITEMS:
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Here's a few 'tips' or items that we think you should know before you go... or might be thinking about prior to going on your hike.
The easiest way and probably the cheapest way, in my opinion, would be to rent a car. Most resorts/hotels have access to car rentals (if you don't get one from the airport) & sometimes they are cheaper to rent from (sometimes). With saying this, I know renting a car is not always a possibility, so a second option would be to get an Uber or Lyft ride. BUT!! I'll warn you, there is LITTLE TO NO CELL SERVICE in the canyon area, so calling to get a ride in will be fine... the risky part is getting service to call for a ride out! Last but not least, there are tours that you can hop on, and they will pick you up from your resort/hotel. As always, check Groupon first for a discounted price on the tour before paying full price for the same thing! This is a hack we ALWAYS use, especially when we are on vacation... more pennies for mama's pocket (and the slots 😜)
There is only one area that charges a fee to gain entry into the Canyons, that is essentially the entrance to the Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center and the Scenic Loop (to find this area, type in Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center to your gps). Click HERE to see the fee amounts. Here's the kicker about the Scenic Loop (we learned the hard way), you MUST have a reservation to drive the loop (while the 'beer virus' is still in play), otherwise you will be turned away. We originally were going to drive the Scenic Loop, but of course, we didn't have a reservation, and we couldn't even secure a time slot until the next day! Yes, we were frustrated to say the least, but honestly... what did we expect with all this craziness going on?! So... as of right now (until further notice), if you are wanting to drive the Scenic Loop (vs getting out and hiking), make sure to make a reservation (make a reservation here)!
QUICK TIP: We noticed reservations filled up quickly, so make sure to plan ahead and get a reservation booked asap... maybe even a day prior (don't make the same mistake we made!)
Yep... this is truly an area that you can escape too, and not get any cell service. I'll be honest, it was hit & miss... but I would just plan for probably not getting any service on your phones. It's a great place to connect with your kids 😜 Also, keep in mind, if you get a ride with Uber or Lyft... you might have a tough time getting in contact with one another!
You are in the desert... and there are little desert creatures that will only show themselves when you get too close, and it could end badly for you! Just something to think about when you are out hiking the Red Rock Canyon area and a reminder about the wildlife!
We suggest you get to the Red Rock Canyon earlier in the day vs later in the day. Why you ask?!
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- Ashley, (Nate & Blake)
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