How to Visit Red Rock Canyon in Nevada

Located only 17 miles west of the famous Las Vegas strip, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is a fascinating geological attraction not to be missed when planning a trip to Nevada. Whether you plan to go rock climbing and scale the canyon walls, take the 13-mile scenic drive through the area, venture out for a hike or spend the day enjoying nature at a designated campground, Red Rock Canyon is true nature lover's paradise and recreational escape just beyond the commotion of Sin City.

Things You'll Need

  • Maps


    • 1

      Get behind the wheel for a 13-mile scenic drive. This is a one-way road that can be accessed for a flat fee per car. Driving through this 13-mile stretch of road is the easiest way to enjoy the breathtaking, panoramic views of the canyon. Choose to stop at any of the parking areas to hike, take pictures, bike or simply enjoy the view.

    • 2

      Plan a picnic trip at Red Rock Canyon. Picnic at Red Springs located at the end of Calico Basin Road or Willow Spring along the scenic drive. Here you can find toilets, picnic tables and even a place to barbecue. If you plan to have a picnic along your hike, check with local rangers for more information on safe areas to picnic. Don't forget to pick to up your litter.

    • 3

      Camp while at Red Rock. Enjoy a night or several nights in the great outdoors. There is only one developed campground called the Red Rock Canyon Campground. For a flat fee per night, 71 individual campsites, as well as five group campsites, are available for 14 days maximum.

    • 4

      Hike Red Rock Canyon. The conservation area has many established trails for hikers of various levels. Explore and discover the diverse collection of desert flora birds, and other wildlife. There are signs at Red Rock that warn hikers of the dangers of wandering off trails. Many visitors choose to ignore these signs and become lost, injured or die each year. If you plan on hiking here, do your research and become familiar with the trails before venturing out. Snakes on rocks, high winds or extreme heat and lack of water are a few of the things about which hikers at Red Rock Canyon should be aware.

    • 5

      Ride your bike around the conservation area. Take a bike ride on the paved 13-mile scenic road or go mountain biking in the Cottonwood Valley area of the canyon. Although bike riding is not allowed on the designated hiking trails, there is still plenty of road and land to cruise.

    • 6

      Enjoy the views of the canyon while on horseback. Take a guided tour and experience the remarkable red sandstone formations from off the beaten path.

    • 7

      Climb the signature Red Rock. Red Rock is home to some of the most popular climbs and crags in the world. Bring plenty of water for your climb up and down any one of the many routes. Check out the Resources section to find out more information on the different climbs available to you at Red Rock. Whether your skill level is that of a beginner or an expert, you can find a memorable climb waiting for you at this destination.

Tips & Warnings

  • When rock climbing, hiking, camping or on any excursion be sure to bring plenty of water.
  • Do your research before venturing onto an unfamiliar trail.
  • Stay on established trails to avoid getting lost or injured.
  • Avoid visiting the canyon during times of extreme heat.
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  • Photo Credit Ethan Miller/Getty Images News/Getty Images

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