Mountain biking is allowed on the winding trails of the Cottonwood Valley. The trail system extends approximately 70 miles and includes a forest of Joshua trees and views of the Las Vegas skyline. For those who wish to road bike in the canyon, one option is the 13-Mile Scenic Drive, which passes through the conservation area and is suitable for beginner riders.
For those who want to escape the frenzy of Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon, 20 miles outside of the city, is an ideal place for rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking and camping. The canyon is a federally designated conservation area. The cost to enter Red Rock Canyon is $7 per car and $2 for motorcyclists, as of of 2011. Bicyclists and hikers enter for free.
Hiking and Camping
Red Rock Canyon has a number of hikes, which travel through natural features such as the Calico Hills, White Rock Springs and the Turtlehead Peak. The trails vary greatly in their levels of difficulty from easy hikes such as Lost Creek to advanced hikes such as Mt. Wilson. If you want to camp during or after your hike, Red Rock has designated camping sites and back country camping options. As of 2011, individual campsites cost $15 per night per site and are limited to up to nine people.
Red Rock offers dozens of climbs for both experienced and beginner climbers. The dominant rock type is Aztec sandstone, which can be more crumbly than granite and thus more unstable for climbers. The highly variable surfaces of the canyon allow for different modes of climbing, such as traditional climbing and bouldering, which is done without a rope on boulders and rock faces. Overnight permits are available for those who want to spend the night on the mountains or rock walls.
Red Rock Canyon 13-Mile Scenic Drive
This paved, 13-mile road offers numerous views of desert wildlife, red and cream sandstone formations, waterfalls and rock engravings. This one-way road loops through the canyon and takes about half an hour to complete. Travelers have the opportunity to take photos of various sites such as the Calico Hills and limestone Indian roasting pits. Additionally, the route provides the opportunity to view birds and wildlife.
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