Las Vegas, Nevada: Red Rock Canyon

Amazing! I’m not sure how Stephen discovered this gem, but I am so glad we came here on this recent visit to Las Vegas. Located 1/2 hour outside Las Vegas is this Conservation Area. Simply key in 1000 Scenic Loop Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89161 on the GPS and it’ll take you here. As you drive closer to the park, you will see how amazing the landscape is, and probably like me, couldn’t wait to start taking pictures.

You can view this place by car, by bike, bring a picnic, hike it, and some can even get permits to climb the rocks. It was a very breezy 90-degree plus day (rather cool for Vegas) so we opted to just stay in the car and drive the loop.

The fee is $7 per carload and you are given a map. Before proceeding to the first stop, you should make a detour to the Visitor’s Center.  If you plan on hiking, you can get a hat and sunscreen, as well as getting a glympse of the magnificent view of the rock formation.  At the bottom of the visitor’s center, you can find a bathroom, vending machines offering Gatorade and Water, as well as a water fountain where you can refill your bottle with  cool, filtered water.  There are also bathrooms located throughout the loop, so don’t worry.

Along the route, there are bathrooms at most of the turn outs, trash receptacles, and even doggy poop bags for your 4-legged family member.

The 13 miles supposedly takes 35 minutes, if you don’t stop. Of course, you have to stop! How can you not check out the magnificent rocks and landscape? Various sections has different type of rocks, with the beginning offer the “Red” rock, to the tiered colors, to eventually the White rocks.

On the map, the route with the SOLID line are the paved roads, while the dotted lines are the unpaved roads that includes trails or ” off the beaten path” areas.  We found out by accident how unpaved the roads were when we tried finding the White Rock (located at the top of the map).  We had to carefully maneuver our little car up the bumpy, rocky road to the destination.  The road was narrow, and once we started, there was no real way to turn back.  So, word of caution: don’t travel off the road unless you have a truck or a vehicle that’s sturdier than a small passenger car.

Watch out for wildlife
Calico Tank
High Point Overlook
Sandstone Quarry

We started the loop around 2:00pm, when the sun was still up.  We did stop at most of the turn outs, taking about 10-15 minutes to look around, and to take pictures.  By the time we came to mile marker 10, it was close to 4:30 pm, and the clouds were forming a shadow over the rocks.  We even felt some rain toward the end of the journey.

If you are visiting Las Vegas without a car, don’t let that stop you!  This is worth renting a car for a day.  It is about a half hour drive from the Strip and you don’t have to be a tree hugging hippy to enjoy this.  Just come for the enjoyment of seeing the colors of nature, and how cool these rocks look like with the brilliant blue sky and fluffy clouds. Its one of those #NoFilter instagram moments.

Clouds form a shadow over the land
Last stop of the day: Red Rock Overlook
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