There are many beautiful hikes to try near Las Vegas, Nevada, but what are the best ones? Whether you want rocky canyons, desert, or some cooler hiking trails, there are so many amazing hikes around Las Vegas. Here are some of the best places to hike in the area, courtesy of Crème de la Crème of Las Vegas (Farm Rd.).
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
“Colored rocks on the trail to Calico Tank in Red Rock Canyon” by Frank Kovalchek is licensed under CC BY 2.0
This is a great area to go as it’s only 30 minutes from the strip. Red Rock Canyon is a magnificent area with many different landscapes within the loop. To get into the conservation area, it costs $15 per vehicle, but you can access the area all day once you have your pass. There is a visitor center and gift shop at the front gate that is open between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily.
You can access Red Rock Canyon starting at 6 a.m. all year long, but the closing time changes based on the time of year. Between November and February, the park is open until 5 p.m. In March and October, the park is open until 7 p.m. During April through September, the area is open until 8 p.m. Be sure to visit the website and check any restrictions currently in place before heading to Red Rock Canyon.
For a short and semi-challenging hike, you can try the Calico Tank hike. It’s a 2.2-mile out-and-back trail that will last about 2 hours and is rated moderate-strenuous.
The trail offers some breathtaking views of the canyon and an opportunity to scramble around on some rocks. There is a lot of up and down on this hike accompanied by a bunch of rock stairs inlaid within the trail, but if you stick it out, there is a beautiful view of the strip at the end. The Calico Tanks has lots of different paths that you can take on this hike to make it as easy or as hard as you want.
For something completely different, you can try Ice Box Canyon. This hike takes place in a canyon and doesn’t really have an elevation gain. Despite this, the hike is rated strenuous. The hike is 2.6-miles out and back and is another relatively quick hike lasting about 2 hours.
The area is quite lush and has trees and shrubs in between the towering canyon walls. Further down the path, you will encounter boulders that you will have to maneuver around. Make sure you keep an eye on the weather with this hike, as you need to be wary of flash floods in the area. Make sure you hike on a sunny day.
Valley of Fire State Park
The Valley of Fire State Park is located about 50 minutes north of Las Vegas. The park is full of red Aztec sandstone outcrops, colorful swirling rocks, and unique stone formations. You can also find ancient petroglyphs that date back over 2,000 years and petrified trees. This park is a must-see when it comes to places to hike around Las Vegas. There is an entrance fee of $10 to enter the park, and it is open between sunrise and sunset daily.
In addition to hiking trails, you can access plenty of amenities, including campsites, picnic sites, a gift shop, a visitor center, and restrooms.
If you only have time for one hike, be sure to do the Fire Wave hike. It’s a 1.2-mile trail that offers stunning views of vistas and colorful rock hills. If you take this hike in the spring, you will find beautiful wildflowers dotting the area. This hike is an out-and-back that lasts about an hour and takes you through soft sand. Be aware that the trail is in the sun the entire time, and you will get hot in the afternoon heat. Try to do this hike first thing in the morning.
Another memorable hike in the Valley of Fire is the White Domes hike. Visitors hike through a white slot canyon that takes you into areas that have been used in various movies. The hike starts with sand and then moves to stone stairs within the canyon and offers some cool shade as some respite. You will find the hike ending with a desert landscape. This hike is only 1 mile long and is an easier hike that you can tackle.
There are 10 other hikes that visitors can do in Valley of Fire State Park that range from easy to challenging and stretch from less than 1 mile to almost 7 miles. Be sure to check out the Valley of Fire trail map for exact specifications on these trails.
If you are looking for a cooler hike, you can head 50 minutes west to Mount Charleston, just past Red Rock Canyon. The mountain trails hit about 8,600 feet high, so you get cooler temperatures when you are hiking. There are 13 different hikes in the area ranging in differing levels, and you can access them 24 hours a day. The Visitor Gateway is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is no cost to access the area.
If you like waterfalls, you can try the Mary Jane Falls hike. It’s a popular 3.2-mile hike round trip that takes around 1.5 to 2.5 hours. There are switchbacks to take you up to the falls. If you want to challenge yourself, you can head to the Big Falls trail shortly after you start the trail. Be sure to keep an eye out for avalanche warnings in the area if you are hiking on a mountain.
There are so many different hikes around Las Vegas. Whether you are a beginner looking for an easy hike or an advanced hiker looking for something more challenging, there are plenty of hikes to explore. What is your favorite hike in the area? We at Crème de la Crème of Las Vegas (Farm Rd.) would love to hear from you!