Visit Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Visit Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area - located within the Mohave Desert and only 17 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip, making it the ideal choice for a short day trip adventure. 

The beautiful rock formations that are a part of Red Rock Canyon are comprised of Aztec Sandstone, sand dunes that formed in the desert that covered a large part of the southwestern United States during the Jurassic time period. 

There are two attractions located within Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Bonnie Springs Ranch and Spring Mountain Ranch State Park. Both ranches are worth the visit if you have the time to fit them into your vacation.

Visit Red Rock Canyon - Driving Directions

Red Rock Canyon is located west of Las Vegas on W Charleston Blvd/SR 159.  Charleston is a major east/west street that can be accessed from any north/south surface street or from the 215 Beltway.

Visitors should proceed west on Charleston. The boundary for Red Rock Canyon is approximately two miles west of the 215 Beltway/Red Rock Casino.

The Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center is located approximately four miles west of the park boundary and will be the second road that exits to the right.

Red Rock Canyon Recreation Activities

When you visit Red Rock Canyon, there is plenty to do and see during your visit.

Take a tour along the 13-mile scenic drive, explore the hiking trails, or enjoy the activities that are available: horseback riding, mountain biking, road biking, and rock climbing.

There is a visitor center with indoor and outdoor exhibits as well as a book store. 


Visit Red Rock Canyon - Hiking


When you visit Red Rock Canyon, keep in mind there are 19 different hikes and trails that take you from the deep canyons to the highest points of Red Rock canyon.

Moenkopi Loop - Distance 2 miles; Average time: 1.5hrs; Difficulty: EASY 

Triassic fossils and various desert flora can be seen on this open country trail which starts at the visitor center and traverses a prominent limestone ridge.

Calico Hills - Distance 2-6 miles; Average time: 1.5 – 3.5 hrs; Difficulty: MODERATE 

This trail runs along the base of the Calico Rocks from Calico Basin to Sandstone Quarry.

Calico Tanks - Distance 2.5 miles; Average time: 2hrs; Difficulty: MODERATE 

This scurry over jumbled sandstone leads to a hidden water pocket and a great view of Las Vegas. 

Turtlehead Peak - Distance 5 miles; Average time: 3.5-4.5hrs; Difficulty: STRENUOUS 

This hike features sweeping views from a choice Red Rock Canyon peak. Although it’s not an easy climb, Turtlehead Peak is one of the most accessible peaks.

Keystone Thrust - Distance 2.2 miles; Average time: 1.5hrs; Difficulty: MODERATE 

Hike along this trail to see the intersection of great and colorful geologic eras. Sixty million to 65 million years ago, the Pacific and North American continental plates got into a shoving match. The conflict pushed up the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the west.

White Rock – Willow Springs - Distance 4.4 miles; Average time: 2.5hrs; Difficulty: EASY-MODERATE 

From the upper parking lot at White Rock Spring, take the trail on the west side to where it splits.

White Rock – La Madre Spring Loop - Distance 6 miles; Average time: 3.5hrs; Difficulty: MODERATE 

This loop takes you through a secluded pocket of life, around the rugged sandstone of Red Rock Canyon to La Madre Spring, where the water splashes life on this otherwise desert landscape.

Lost Creek – Children’s Discovery - Distance .75 miles; Average time: 1hr; Difficulty: EASY 

This self-guided interpretive trail introduces kids of all ages to the many different features of the Mojave Desert at Red Rock Canyon, including petroglyphs, lessons of desert life, towering views, and a hidden waterfall in the canyon.

Willow Springs Loop - Distance 1.5 miles; Average time: 1.25hrs; Difficulty: EASY 

From the parking lot follow the trail by the restroom south. This takes you past a pictograph site and Agave roasting pits, to the Lost Creek parking lot.

La Madre Springs - Distance 3.3 miles; Average time: 2hrs; Difficulty: MODERATE 

This nice hike follows an old road up a canyon with red and white sandstone cliffs on one side and gray limestone mountains on the other.

SMYC - Distance 2.2 miles; Average time: 2hrs; Difficulty: MODERATE 

SMYC stands for “Spring Mountain Youth Camp,” which is a long-term correctional facility for young men. This is a pleasant trail with relatively little elevation change that generally runs at gentle grades.

Ice Box Canyon - Distance 2.6 miles; Average time: 2.5hrs; Difficulty: MODERATE 

Ice Box Canyon is a good hike for a hot day. The trail takes you through a cool, shady box canyon with seasonal waterfalls in the heart of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

Dale’s - Distance 4.4 miles; Average time: 2.5hrs; Difficulty: MODERATE 

Dale’s Trail is a 2 .1 mile segment of the Escarpment Route that runs through open desert along the base of the Wilson Cliffs.

Pine Creek Canyon - Distance 3 miles; Average time: 2hrs; Difficulty: EASY-MODERATE 

Pine Creek Canyon offers some of the best of the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area–beautiful and diverse plant communities nestled at the bottom of monolithic canyon walls.

Fire Ecology - Distance .75 miles; Average time: 1hr; Difficulty: EASY

This easy, .75-mile loop trail runs out into Pine Creek Wash through an area where the BLM performed a prescribed burn in 1997 to clear brush and reduce the chances of a catastrophic wildfire that might kill the tall ponderosa pines in the wash.

Oak Creek Canyon - Distance 2 miles; Average time: 1.5hrs; Difficulty: EASY-MODERATE 

Oak Creek Canyon is one of several beautiful canyons cutting into the Red Rock escarpment.

Arnight - Distance 2.4 miles; Average time: 1.5hrs; Difficulty: MODERATE 

The Arnight Trail is a 2.4 mile segment of the Escarpment Route that runs through open desert along the base of the Wilson Cliffs.

Knoll - Distance 3.5 miles; Average time: 2.5hrs; Difficulty: MODERATE 

There are many small boulders on the little ridge that make for a nice place to stop for lunch.

First Creek Canyon Trail - Distance 3 miles; Average time: 2hrs; Difficulty: EASY-MODERATE 

If you are looking for a hike to a peaceful, shady area, visit Red Rock Canyon's First Creek Canyon Trail. This is a pleasant 3-mile walk across a desert valley to a little waterfall with cottonwood trees, willows, and other shade trees.


Visit Red Rock Canyon - Climbing


Climbing is becoming increasingly popular in Red Rock Canyon.

Great boulders and sheer rock faces bring climbers from around the world.

There are routes of interest to both the beginning and advanced climbers.

If you would like to contact any of the climbing staff at Red Rock Canyon, call (702) 515-5358.


Visit Red Rock Canyon - Biking


Bicycling in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is an enjoyable way to see the local flora and fauna.

The structural details of the massive sandstone cliffs, the area’s most notable feature, are impressive when seen from a bicycle.

One-way regulation on the scenic drive applies to cyclists as well as those driving motorized vehicles.

The one-way loop (14.7 miles round trip, including highway portion) offers an excellent workout for the experienced rider.


Visit Red Rock Canyon - Horseback Riding


Horseback riding is limited to designated equestrian trails within Red Rock Canyon. The trails can be accessed from four main trailhead and parking areas utilized by equestrian riders: 

  1. Cottonwood/Late Night Trailheads off of State Route 160, approximately four miles west of the State Routes 159/160 intersections (Cottonwood Valley Trails System)
  2. Exit of the 13-Mile Scenic Drive, two miles west of the entrance on State Route 159 (Scenic Drive Trails)
  3. White Rock parking area, located off of the 13-Mile Scenic Drive (Scenic Drive Trails)
  4. Mile maker 12 on Kyle Canyon Road/State Route 157 (Twilight Zone Trails)

Visitors wishing to explore Red Rock Canyon on horseback can bring their own horses or take advantage of the permitted guided equestrian tours.


Visit Red Rock Canyon - Camping


Campground Location: 3293 Moenkopi Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89161

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area has one developed campground. 

Opened in 1998 to replace the Old Oak Creek Campground, and formerly known as the 13-Mile Campground, the Red Rock Canyon Campground is located two miles east of the visitor center on W. Charleston Blvd (State Route 159). 

The campground is located one mile south on Moenkopi Road from the junction with W. Charleston Blvd.

Campground Availability

It is not suggested to arrive in the middle of the night in the hopes of locating an empty campsite, especially during the fall and spring.

The Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday periods are also very busy as are other holiday weekends.

The Red Rock Canyon Campground is open Labor Day weekend through Memorial Day weekend.

Reservations are only accepted for group sites, individual campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Call (702) 515-5350 for more information.

Visit Red Rock Canyon - Fees and Passes

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is a United States Government Amenity Fee Area administrated by the Bureau of Land Management.

Rates and acceptable passes can be purchased at the entry station with proper identification.  

The RRCNCA Fee Station accepts cash, domestic checks, and all major credit cards.

  • Daily Car Fee
  • Daily Motorcycle, Bicycle, Pedestrian Fee
  • Commercial Vehicles (Per person fee)
  • Scenic Drive Annual Support Pass 
  • American the Beautiful Pass - An inter-agency pass honored by the National Park Service, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Fish and Wildlife Service
  • America the Beautiful Senior Pass (US citizens over the age of 62) – One-time fee
  • America the Beautiful Access Pass (Lifetime pass for US citizens with a permanent disability) – Free
  • America the Beautiful Military Pass (Annual pass for US citizens who are active duty military personnel) – Free

Visiting Red Rock Canyon National National Conservation Area

Red Rock Canyon Sightseeing Tours

  • Jeep Tours
  • Van Tours
  • Hummer Tours
  • Car Tours (Exotic Cars and Scooter Cars)
  • Horseback Riding
  • Bike Tours
  • Combination Tours (visit 2 or more locations)

More Day Trips and Tours


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