When you think of Las Vegas most people think of the fancy hotels, the neon lights and the overall glitz. But a vacation to Las Vegas can offer all of that and so much more.
Hiking and walking is one of my favorite things to do while on vacation. So I always pack my hiking shoes right next to my stiletto heels when traveling to sin city. Red Rock Canyon is just a short drive from the strip. The friendly and helpful visitor center staff can provide the most current advice on which trail to take based on your ability and time. We’ve loved every hike we’ve taken in this area. Calico Tanks Trail requires some rock scrambling and finding a natural pool of water (think puddle) in the desert is thrilling. The distance was too short for us so we kept going further up the canyon. I think we hiked about 3 hours round trip.
The high canyon walls surrounding Icebox Canyon keep the trail remarkably cool, thus the name. We actually had cold noses when we were in the shade for a period of time. My girls loved hopping from rock to rock. This walk requires some attention to your footing. It’s not a mindless, put one foot in front of the other, trek.
Even if scrambling over rocks or hiking into a canyon is not your idea of fun you should still consider a drive to Red Rock. The park offers a 13 mile scenic loop through the desert landscape with spectacular views of the red rock formations and the limestone cliffs. Pick up materials at the visitor’s center that will explain the geology of this amazing place in the Southern Mojave Desert. Petroglyphs can also be viewed at Willow Springs and near the Red Spring Picnic area.
The cliffs at Red Rock Canyon make for some of the best rock climbing opportunities. I have never climbed in this area but I definitely have this activity on my bucket list now that my rotator cuff is healed. I’m not experienced enough to climb without an expert. American Alpine Institute and several other companies offer guided rock climbing at Red Rock.
Many of our travelers who vacation in Vegas want to take a day trip to the Hoover Dam. I can attest that the Lake Mead area is also great for hiking. The dark (and cool) railroad tunnels on the Historic Railroad trail make this hike interesting. Scrambling over rocks is not required on this flat surface route. The Railroad path is part of a much larger trail system called the River Mountains Trail which offers 35 miles of trail in the area. The Alan Bible Visitor Center is a good place to start for additional trail information for the Lake Mead area.
Use common sense when planning a hiking excursion in the desert. Temperatures reach 110° in the summer. The park service advises to drink 4 liters of water per person per day when hiking in these conditions. I have not hiked in the dead of summer. I found hiking in April, May, September and October to be absolutely perfect in this area.
If you are looking for a versatile destination for your next vacation with Sundance Vacations I highly recommend Las Vegas.
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