Colorful sandstone, unique rock formations, and a beautiful 13-mile scenic drive.
If you have time to explore you may see waterfalls, wildlife, pictographs, petroglyphs, and more!!!
Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas
Red Rock Canyon Overview
The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in Clark County, Nevada, is an area managed by the Bureau of Land Management as part of its National Landscape Conservation System and protected as a National Conservation Area.
It is about 15 miles (24 km) west of Las Vegas and is easily seen from the Las Vegas Strip.
More than two million people visit the area each year.
The conservation area showcases a set of large red rock formations: a set of sandstone peaks and walls called the Keystone Thrust. The walls are up to 3,000 feet (910 m) high, making them a popular hiking and rock climbing destination.
The highest point is La Madre Mountain, at 8,154 feet (2,485 m).
A one-way loop road, 13 miles (21 km) long, provides vehicle access to many of the features in the area. Several side roads and parking areas allow access to many of the area trails.
A visitor center is at the start of the loop road. The loop road is also popular for bicycle touring; it begins with a moderate climb, then is mostly downhill or flat.
Red Rock provides a wide variety of activities, the most popular being hiking, biking, rock scrambling, and rock climbing.
Horseback riding and camping are also allowed on specific trails and in designated areas.
Automobile and motorcycle clubs often conduct group drives through the 13-mile scenic drive.
Red Rock Canyon Location
Red Rock Canyon is easy to get to by accessing the I-215 and turning onto Charleston Boulevard to head west.
Red Rock Weather
In the winter months, Red Rock is incredibly popular with local hikers and tourist but during the summer the heat can but not only a bit brutal but also very dangerous.
When the temps rise, a lot of hikers will start very early in the morning or head to Mt Charleston to hike.
Click here to read our article on Hiking in the Heat.
Hours of Operation
The Red Rock Canyon Visitors Center is open from 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM.
If you are wanting to visit the 13-mile Scenic Drive, Red Rock Overlook on State Route 150 and Red Spring, below are the seasonal hours:
November through February hours are 6:00 AM – 5:00 PM
March hours are 6:00 AM – 7:00 PM
April – September hours are 6:00 AM – 8:00 PM
October hours are 6:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Red Rock Canyon Fee
A portion of the proceeds from passes purchased at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area stay in the area and help fund the Visitor Center and many public programs.
All passes can be purchased or acquired at the Red Rock Canyon Fee Station.
If you do not have an accepted park pass, the daily fee is as follows:
Car/Truck – 1 Day – $15 per vehicle
Motorcycle – 1 Day – $10 per vehicle
Bicycle/Pedestrian – 1 Day – $5 per person
Commercial Tour Vehicle (bus, limo, taxi, ride-share, etc.) – 1 Day – $15 per vehicle + $5 per person
Red Rock Annual Support Pass – $30
The Red Rock Annual Support Pass does not include overnight stays in the developed campground.
America the Beautiful Annual Pass – $80
This pass is an interagency pass that is honored by the National Park Service, National Forestry Service, US Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Reclamation.
The pass does not include stays in the developed campground.
America the Beautiful Senior Pass – $80 ($20 Annual)
Lifetime pass for US citizens who are 62 and older to national parks, US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Wildlife Refuges, US Forest Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and Bureau of Land Management sites.
The pass provides a 50% discount on campground fees.
America the Beautiful Access Pass – Free
Lifetime pass for US citizens with a permanent disability to national parks, US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Wildlife Refuges, US Forest Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and Bureau of Land Management sites.
The pass provides a 50% discount on campground fees.
America the Beautiful Military Annual Pass – Free
Yearly pass available for active duty military and their dependents that will be honored by the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, US Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Reclamation.
Does not include stays in the developed campground.
Every Kid in a Park! Annual Pass – Free
Fourth graders and their guests receive free access to federal lands and waters for one year.
Red Rock Picnics
From the BLM website about Red Rock picnic areas:
Red Rock Canyon is home to four picnic areas. These areas have beautiful views of Red Rock Canyon and access to some easier trails. All picnic areas are on a first come, first serve basis except for the Red Spring group use area, and groups larger than 15 people may need to obtain a permit. Barbeque grills are allowed in the picnic areas during most of the year. The summer season, however, has specific fire restrictions against their use. Inquiries should be made at the visitor center about fire regulations and dangers.
The Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center Picnic Area has 12 picnic tables and various trash receptacles. It is located to the west of the visitor center parking area and has access to the Moenkopi and Calico Hills trails.
Located about halfway around the Scenic Drive is the Willow Springs Picnic Area. This picnic area has approximately 28 picnic tables, various trash receptacles, and toilets. From Willow Springs you can access the La Madre Springs Trail, Willow Springs Loop Trail, Lost Creek Trail, and White Rock Loop Trail.
On State Route 159 is the Red Rock Scenic Overlook Picnic Area. This picnic area has approximately 19 picnic tables, various trash cans, and toilets. Approximately half of the picnic tables are covered with aluminum pavilions for shade and inclement weather. From this picnic area, you can access the paved Red Rock Scenic Overlook Trail.
The Red Spring Picnic Area is located off on State Route 159 on Calico Basin Road, just two miles east of the Red Rock Visitor Center. Red Spring has 12 picnic tables, various trash receptacles, and toilets. The picnic tables are covered with aluminum pavilions for shade and protection from inclement weather. The Red Spring Picnic Area has grills during the cooler seasons. It is wise to call the visitor enter to inquire about the grills and fire regulations. Red Spring has a large group area to accommodate up to 50 people; reservations are required by to reserve the group site, which can be made by calling Red Rock Canyon at 702-515-5371. From Red Spring, you can access the wheelchair accessible Red Spring trail boardwalk.
Red Rock Trails
Below are the “official” trails at Red Rock Canyon and trails that have been created by local hikers that are popular.
If you are looking for a hiking event, check out our Las Vegas Events to find a group hike.
Official Red Rock Trails – Easy
Lost Creek – Children’s Discovery
Oak Creek Canyon
Petroglyph Wall Trail
Red Spring Boardwalk (located outside of the scenic drive)
Willow Spring Loop
Official Red Rock Trails – Moderate
Calico Tanks – Click here to read our overview on Calico Tanks
First Creek Canyon (located outside of the scenic drive)
Kraft Boulders (located outside of the scenic drive)
La Madre Spring
Middle Oak Creek (located outside of the scenic drive)
Pine Creek Canyon
South Oak Creek (located outside of the scenic drive)
Willow Rock – Willow Spring
Official Red Rock Trails – Difficult
Grand Circle Loop
Ice Box Canyon
White Rock – La Madre Spring Loop
Unofficial Trails at Red Rock Canyon
Red Rock Camping
There is one developed campground at Red Rock Canyon, which is located one mile south on Moenkopi Road from the junction with W. Charleston Blvd. Its physical address is 3293 Moenkopi Road, Las Vegas, NV 89161.
While Moenkopi Road is paved, the roads throughout the campground are gravel.
The campground is normally closed during the hot summer months starting in early June and opens the end of August to early September.
There are 53 individual standard sites. Ten People and two Vehicles are allowed per site in the individual sites. There are six RV Sites which have room for one RV and a vehicle. Seven large group sites can accommodate up to 20 people and 8 vehicles.
All standard sites and group sites contain picnic tables, grills and campfire circles. All group sites have shaded picnic table area. Some individual standard sites have shaded picnic table areas. Each group site is primarily tenting with 10 individual small tent areas/group sites.
Vault toilets, trashcans, and drinking water (in the individual camping area) are provided.
There are no electrical, water and sewer hook-ups.
There is no dump station for recreational vehicles.
There are no showers.
Shade structures are available throughout the group sites and many of the individual sites.
Restrooms are vault toilets.
Water faucets for drinking water are located throughout the campground.
Visitors can reserve single or group campground sites by calling 1-877-444-6777 or visiting www.recreation.gov.
Reservations can be made up to six months in advance but not less than 48 hours of the desired arrival date.
Check-out is 11:00 AM; Check-in is 2:00 PM
Camping is allowed on BLM managed public land outside of the Las Vegas on public land for 14 days within a 28 day period without charge.
Popular primitive (no facilities) sites include Bitter Spring Back Country Byway, Gold Butte Back Country Byway, Knob Hill, Virgin Mountains, Christmas Tree Pass, and Logandale Trails System.
For more information on the Red Rock Campground, call (702) 515-5387.
Red Rock Geology
I love living in the southwest with the sandstone, Indian marbles, fins, and more.
Red Rock Canyon is the home of Keystone Thrust, which is the name for a prominent geologic fault, which runs north and south for 13 miles along State Route 150 and curves at La Madre Mountain.
Red Rock Wildlife
Despite being in the desert, Red Rock Canyon offers visitors a lot of colorful and unique wildlife species to enjoy. Below is the list that we know of (if we missed one, let us know).
Red Rock Canyon Animals
White-tailed Antelope Ground Squirrel
Red Rock Canyon Birds
Great Horned Owls
Red Tailed Hawk
Woodhouse’s Scrub Jay
Red Rock Canyon Insects
California Carpenter Bee
Metaphid Jumping Spider
Painted Lady Butterfly
Western Tent Caterpillar
Red Rock Canyon Plants
Alkali Mariposa Lily
Antelope Bitter Bush
Asian Sahara Mustard
Bastard Toadflax Fruit
Fishhook Nipple Cactus
Giant Four O’Clock
Prickly Pear Cactus
Red Rock Canyon Reptiles
Baja California Chorus Frogs
Common Side-blotched Lizard
Giant Hairy Desert Scorpion
Great Basin Collared Lizard
Long-nosed Leopard Lizard
Mohave Green Rattlesnake
Northern Sagebrush Lizard
Red Spotted Toad
Western Fence Lizard
Yellow-back Spiny Lizard
Prohibited Items at Red Rock Canyon
Certain types of items and activities are prohibited at Red Rock Canyon or require a permit.
For more information call (702) 515-5350.
ATVs – prohibited
Commercial services – permit
Filming and photography – permit
Guided tours – permit
Overnight or late exits – permit
Target shooting – prohibited
Weddings – permit