Thursday, June 13, 2024

6 Greatest Las Vegas Hikes inside 1 Hour of the Strip – Bearfoot Concept


Many guests to Las Vegas are shocked to be taught that it’s not all casinos and nightlife. Town additionally provides gorgeous mountain climbing trails in locations like Crimson Rock Canyon, Mt. Charleston, and Valley of Hearth State Park. Most of those outside gems are situated inside an hour’s drive or much less of the Strip and are residence to a few of the greatest hikes in Las Vegas.

Having lived in Vegas for over 10 years myself, I’ve completely explored the Las Vegas mountain climbing scene. There are trails for everybody whether or not you’re on the lookout for a difficult hike or a leisurely stroll.

On this weblog publish, I provide the rundown of 6 of my favourite Las Vegas hikes that provide breathtaking views and a chance to attach with nature within the desert oasis of Las Vegas.

In search of extra adventurous issues to do in Las Vegas? Try our publish on the greatest outside adventures round Sin Metropolis.

Vital Reminder: Because it goes in the entire locations we share, please follow good path etiquette and bear in mind to Depart No Hint. This implies packing out your whole rubbish (together with rest room paper), being respectful to others, and following the established guidelines.


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1. Calico Tanks Path

  • Path sort: Out-and-back
  • Location: Crimson Rock Canyon
  • Distance: 2.3 miles
  • Elevation Achieve: 420 ft
  • Time: 2-3 hours
  • Issue: Average, some scrambling required
  • Canines allowed?: On leash
  • Charges: $20 entrance payment or free with an America the Stunning Go
Calico Tanks Trail through the desert outside of Las Vegas, Nevada with red rock formations on righthand side
The Calico Tanks Path takes you thru distinctive purple rock formations to a blue-green pool in the course of the desert

One of many first trails I ever hiked after I moved to Las Vegas was the Calico Tanks Path in Crimson Rock Canyon. I used to be blown away by the gorgeous views of the purple rock formations and the hidden pure swimming pools of water, generally known as Calico Tanks.

It’s additionally an awesome mountain climbing path to get close-up views of Las Vegas’s distinctive desert crops and cacti. You could even spot some wildlife like rabbits or lizards!

The path is a bit difficult in locations with some rocky sections that require cautious footing. Be ready to scramble along with your arms at instances. However the reward on the finish is well worth the effort. You’ll be able to chill out by the gorgeous blue-green pool surrounded by towering rocks or proceed previous the pool for a panoramic view of the Las Vegas Valley.

This is likely one of the greatest mountain climbing trails for out-of-towners since you get an epic view of the Strip on the finish.

Calico Tanks trailhead instructions

Vital: Between October 1st and Could thirty first, a Timed Entry Reservation into Crimson Rock Canyon Nationwide Conservation Space is required between 8am and 5pm. You’ll be able to make your Timed Entry Reservation on-line.

2. Mary Jane Falls Path

  • Path sort: Out-and-back
  • Location: Mt. Charleston
  • Distance: 3.3 miles
  • Elevation Achieve: 1,036 ft
  • Time: 2-3 hours
  • Issue: Average
  • Canines allowed?: On leash
  • Charges: None
View into valley over highway at Mount Charleston, Nevada outside of Las Vegas
Mt. Charleston provides a really completely different aspect to Las Vegas with elevations starting from 4,400 to virtually 12,000 ft

Mt. Charleston, situated within the Spring Mountains Nationwide Recreation Space, is a spot not many guests to Las Vegas discover. In truth, most individuals don’t even notice that only a quick drive away from town is an almost 12,000-foot peak!

My favourite Las Vegas hike on Mt. Charleston is the Mary Jane Falls Path. It’s a difficult hike with over 1,000 ft of elevation acquire, nevertheless it’s additionally very rewarding.

As you hike, the path takes you thru a scenic mountain canyon that’s surrounded by tall aspen bushes. After about 1.6 miles, you’ll attain a cliff face the place, in case you’re fortunate, Mary Jane Falls shall be trickling down from above.

The falls are normally coated in snow within the winter, nevertheless it’s a well-liked hike in the summertime months for the reason that temperatures are sometimes 20 levels cooler than within the Las Vegas Valley.

Mary Jane Falls trailhead instructions

Tip: If you wish to see water cascading down Mary Jane Falls, it’s greatest to do that hike in late spring or early summer time when the snow is melting off Mt. Charleston.

3. Historic Railroad Tunnel Path

  • Path sort: Out-and-back
  • Location: Lake Mead Nationwide Recreation Space
  • Distance: 8.2 miles
  • Elevation Achieve: 931 ft
  • Time: 3-4 hours
  • Issue: Simple/Average (relying on size)
  • Canines allowed?: On leash
  • Charges: $15-$25 or free with an America the Stunning Go
Hiker walking through opening of tunnel along the Hoover Dam Historic Railroad Trail near Boulder City, Nevada
The Historic Railroad Tunnel Path close to Boulder Metropolis options 5 large tunnels that stretch 300 ft in size and 30 ft tall

Some of the distinctive mountain climbing trails close to Las Vegas is the Historic Railroad Tunnel Path. It follows an outdated railroad mattress that was as soon as used to move provides to and from the Hoover Dam building website.

The 2 predominant points of interest for the Railroad Tunnel Path are the gorgeous views out over Lake Mead and the 5 tunnels that the trail travels by way of. Every tunnel is about 25 ft extensive, 30 ft excessive, and stretches a whopping 300 ft lengthy!

The Historic Railroad Tunnel Path is a unique expertise than the opposite hikes on this record, however in case you’re focused on historical past or engineering or wish to catch some nice views over Lake Mead, it’s a pleasant hike so as to add to your record.

The path begins at Lake Mead Nationwide Recreation Space and because it’s an out-and-back, you may flip round everytime you’re prepared.

Choose to bike? The Railroad Tunnel Path can be open to cyclists if you wish to discover the complete 8.2-mile path.

Historic Railroad Tunnel Path trailhead instructions

4. Ice Field Canyon Path

  • Path sort: Out-and-back
  • Location: Crimson Rock Canyon
  • Distance: 2.2 miles
  • Elevation Achieve: 439 ft
  • Time: 1.5-2.5 hours
  • Issue: Average with some mild scrambling
  • Canines allowed?: On leash
  • Charges: $20 entrance payment or free with an America the Stunning Go
Wildflowers and The Rainbow Mountain Range on The Ice Box Canyon Trail, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Nevada, USA
The Ice Field Canyon path is a less-traveled hike with nice views, desert wildflowers, and a seasonal waterfall on the finish

For the extra adventurous hikers, the Ice Field Canyon Path is a good way to get away from the crowds and discover a lesser-visited a part of Crimson Rock Canyon Nationwide Conservation Space.

This path isn’t effectively marked, so that you’ll want a map or GPS app like AllTrails that can assist you navigate. There may be additionally some mild scrambling required by way of boulder fields, so remember to put on sturdy mountain climbing boots and be ready to make use of your arms.

However the rewards of this hike are value it! The views by way of Ice Field Canyon are gorgeous with tall cliffs towering above you on both aspect – some sections even really feel like slender slot canyons.

There’s additionally a seasonal waterfall on the finish of the path. You’re probably to catch water flowing between December and April.

Lastly, maintain a watch out for Bighorn sheep, which prefer to traverse the canyon partitions.

Need extra concepts for find out how to spend a day within the park? Right here’s a full record of issues to do in Crimson Rocks.

Ice Field Canyon trailhead instructions

Vital: Between October 1st and Could thirty first, a Timed Entry Reservation into Crimson Rock Canyon Nationwide Conservation Space is required between 8am and 5pm. You’ll be able to make your Timed Entry Reservation on-line.

5. Hearth Wave Path & Seven Wonders Loop

  • Path sort: Loop
  • Location: Valley of Hearth State Park
  • Distance: 1.9 miles
  • Elevation Achieve: 187 ft
  • Time: 2-3 hours
  • Issue: Average
  • Canines allowed?: On leash
  • Charges: $10-$15 entrance payment
Red and pink waves in sandstone rock formations on the Fire Wave Trail in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
The Hearth Wave Path and Seven Wonders Loop characteristic unimaginable sandstone formations like these purple and pink striations

Each outside fanatic who visits Las Vegas ought to spend a minimum of a couple of hours exploring the unimaginable surroundings at Valley of Hearth State Park, northeast of town.

Recognized for its well-known purple and pink Aztec sandstone formations, Native American petroglyphs, scenic drives, and gorgeous mountain climbing trails, this state park is really a gem.

My favourite hike in Valley of Hearth is the Hearth Wave Path and Seven Wonders Loop. It’s a very talked-about hike, so be ready to share it with different folks, however the terrain and geological wonders make it a should.

The path could be finished in both route, however I prefer to hike it counterclockwise so I finish on the Hearth Wave Path with its swirling purple and pink sandstone slabs – I’d by no means seen something prefer it earlier than transferring to Las Vegas!

Different highlights alongside the loop embrace Pink Canyon with its slender partitions and sandy backside, the good Hearth Cave, and Thunderstorm Arch, which rivals any arch in Arches Nationwide Park. If you wish to make it longer, you too can add on the 1.1-mile White Domes Path, which additionally incorporates a slender slot canyon and distinctive white rock formations.

This loop could be very uncovered with little to no shade, so carry a lot of solar safety and water in a day pack. I additionally extremely suggest planning your hike for early within the morning or late within the afternoon to keep away from the worst of the warmth.

Hearth Wave trailhead instructions

Vital: Most of the mountain climbing trails in Valley of Hearth State Park – together with Hearth Wave and the Seven Wonders Loop – are closed between June 1st and September thirtieth attributable to excessive temperatures.

6. Arizona Scorching Springs Path

  • Path sort: Loop
  • Location: Lake Mead Nationwide Recreation Space
  • Distance: 5.9 miles
  • Elevation Achieve: 1,225 ft.
  • Time: 5-7 hours (+ soaking time)
  • Issue: Very Strenuous
  • Canines allowed?: On leash
  • Charges: $15-$25 or free with an America the Stunning Go
People enjoying the hot spring at Arizona Hot Springs near Las Vegas, Nevada
Spend a morning or afternoon at Arizona Scorching Springs – you received’t be dissatisfied!

The Arizona Scorching Springs Path is an epic hike situated about half-hour from Las Vegas on the Arizona aspect of Lake Mead Nationwide Recreation Space.

Also referred to as Ringbolt Scorching Springs, it’s probably the greatest Las Vegas hikes for unimaginable surroundings and distinctive options. From slender slot canyons with towering partitions, spectacular views out over Lake Mead and the Colorado River, and heated swimming pools which you can sit and chill out in, it’s a bucket record hike for a lot of locals and guests.

There are a number of completely different swimming pools, all ranging in temperatures from cool to 100+ levels.

There are a few issues you must know earlier than heading out on this path, although:

  • Don’t submerge your head within the scorching springs. Amoeba can enter your nostril and trigger a life-threatening an infection.
  • Flash flooding can happen. Don’t try this hike throughout or after heavy rains.
  • The path is closed in the summertime. Folks have died from warmth exhaustion and dehydration. Don’t attempt to sneak in throughout the summer time months.
  • Deliver a lot of water! You’ll additionally must carry additional to sip on in case you plan to spend time on the scorching springs.
  • Put on water sneakers or sandals since a lot of the hike is in sandy or shallow water.
  • Folks soak within the nude, so it’s not the most effective place to carry youngsters.

After you could have completed soaking within the scorching springs remember to proceed by way of the canyon till you attain the Colorado River, the views there are merely superb!

Should you favor a unique type of journey, you too can kayak to those scorching springs and several other extra on the Colorado River. Try BFT’s Information to Kayaking Black Canyon’s Scorching Sprigs from Hoover Dam.

Arizona Scorching Springs trailhead instructions


Greatest Time of Yr for Mountaineering in Las Vegas

The very best time to hike in Las Vegas is throughout the cooler winter months between November and March. Daytime temps within the winter vary from the mid-50s to low 70s, which is good for heading out on the path.

The one anomaly is Mt. Charleston, which receives snowfall within the winter, making it an awesome place to go snowshoeing (get ideas for snowshoeing right here). In any other case, Mt. Charleston is greatest visited in the summertime months for mountain climbing (and it’s usually 20 levels cooler than the Valley!).

Summers in Las Vegas could be dangerously scorching with temperatures hovering into the 100s. Should you do plan on mountain climbing throughout the summer time, it’s important that you just get a really early begin (suppose: dawn or earlier) and pack loads of water and solar safety.

It’s additionally vital to notice that many Las Vegas hikes are closed throughout the summer time together with the Arizona Scorching Springs, Railroad Path, some trails in Valley of Hearth State Park.


Suggestions for Mountaineering in Las Vegas

Earlier than heading in your Las Vegas hikes, listed here are some important mountain climbing ideas to bear in mind:

Deliver a map

It’s simple to get misplaced within the desert as there aren’t at all times options that clearly outline the path. Earlier than you head out, obtain the map to your telephone utilizing Gaia or AllTrails and be sure you have loads of battery to final the day.

Take note of the path as you hike. You may discover path makers, in any other case generally known as cairns. These are sometimes constructed by land managers to assist hikers know they’re on monitor, which is why it’s vital to not construct your individual rock stacks for enjoyable within the wilderness.

Carry loads of water and snacks

It’s vital to remain hydrated and fueled whereas mountain climbing within the Las Vegas desert. Ensure to carry a minimum of 1-2 liters of water per hour of mountain climbing. I extremely suggest bringing a hydration backpack so that you don’t must depend on water bottles. The recent temperatures and solar publicity can shortly dehydrate you.

You’ll additionally wish to pack energy-dense mountain climbing snacks like nuts and vitality bars to maintain your vitality ranges up.

Lastly, don’t neglect to carry a cooler with ice to retailer a post-hike beverage in your automotive!

Costume for the desert

Should you’re not used to mountain climbing within the desert, it’s a good suggestion to brush up on a few of BFT’s desert mountain climbing ideas – particularly relating to what to put on.

Throughout the day, desert temps could be scorching and dry, so that you’ll wish to put on breathable, light-weight, moisture-wicking materials in mild colours. It will provide help to keep cool and comfy on the paths. You may even wish to think about a long-sleeve solar shirt to assist defend your pores and skin and maintain the solar’s rays at bay.

In colder climate, put on moisture-wicking layers so you could have choices because the day warms up or cools down.

With regards to footwear, go for sturdy sneakers or mountain climbing boots that present assist, safety, and traction. The paths round Las Vegas could be rocky and unfastened, so that you’ll want good traction and assist.

Learn Extra

Desert Mountaineering Sources

Inform somebody of your mountain climbing plans

Telling somebody about your mountain climbing plans is essential on your security. Share the small print of what path you propose on mountain climbing, if you’ll be leaving, and if you count on to return.

This fashion, if something goes fallacious otherwise you get misplaced, assist could be despatched to the proper location. Mountaineering within the desert could be disorienting and even harmful, so remember to let somebody know the place you’re going.

Be cautious of wildlife and desert hazards

Mountaineering within the Las Vegas space comes with its fair proportion of wildlife and desert hazards, so it’s vital to know what to anticipate and be cautious.

  • Warmth: Summer season months can get extraordinarily scorching, usually averaging over 100 levels within the desert.
  • Snakes: Rattlesnakes do stay in Las Vegas and are sometimes encountered on the paths. Keep vigilent, give them their house and do not forget that they need as little to do with you as you do with them.
  • Wild burros: One of many causes I like mountain climbing in Las Vegas a lot is seeing the wild burros! Get pleasure from them at a distance, although. Don’t attempt to method or contact them.

Don’t bust the crust

Cryptobiotic soil is a dwelling crust on the bottom floor that’s comprised of microorganisms like cyanobacteria and different microbiota. These little black patches could be 1000’s of years outdated!

Cryptobiotic soil is vital for a variety of causes together with:

  • Water absorption
  • Stopping erosions
  • New vegetative progress

Should you see a thick, bumpy, black or brown crust, please be certain to not step on it. These tiny clumps are very fragile and vital for the desert ecosystem.

In search of extra outside adventures round Las Vegas? Try these posts:

What are your favourite hikes in Las Vegas? Which of them would you love to do? Depart a remark beneath!



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