Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area - Summary Page

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This page last updated on 04/10/2018

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Red Rock Canyon Cover
Directions - Red Rock Canyon

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From the point where SR-159 (West Charleston) leaves SR-160 (Blue Diamond Rd) to the Park's entrance, the 13-mile Scenic Drive (Fig. 02) is generally referred to as the Red Rock Canyon Scenic Byway. In addition to driving, making stops and hiking along the Scenic Drive, one can spend many hours and days hiking the peaks and canyons along the Wilson Cliffs and Cottonwood Valley. For a detailed map and more information on the hikes in Cottonwood Valley and along the Wilson Cliffs, the two shaded areas in (Fig. 02), go to my page Ref - Wilson Cliffs & Cottonwood Valley. I have hiked no less than a dozen hikes in Red Rock Canyon and Calico Basin. Use the map in (Fig. 02) to locate each of the hikes and and their links outlined below.

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12/08/2015 Trip Notes: The Calico Hills are a 3.2 mile long section of brilliantly red sandstone cliffs, easily what is one of the Red Rock Canyon's most beautiful features. Below the road, at the base of the hills, there are numerous trails that traverse open country with interesting rocks, fossils, birds, rock art, contrasting vegetation types, and grand scenery all around. The main trail is known as The Calico Hills Trail. Click here for pictures and description of this hike … Calico Hills Trail Hike - (RRCNCA).

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12/01/2015 Trip Notes: The First Creek Trail is in the Cottonwood Valley. It is wrestled between Oak Creek and Spring Mountain Ranch, beneath the towering red-and-white Wilson Cliffs in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. First Creek Canyon is home to a very well known secret: the waterfall. But most people will never see it because it’s quite well hidden. Click here for pictures and description of this hike … First Creek Canyon & Falls Hike (RRCNCA).

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11/10/2015 Trip NotesThe Keystone Thrust Fault is considered the most significant geological feature in Red Rock Canyon. The Keystone Thrust Fault extends from the Cottonwood Fault along State Route 160 north for 13 miles along the crest of the Red Rock escarpment. It then curves east along the base of La Madre Mountain before it is obscured by very complex faulting north of the Calico Hills. The escarpment in Red Rock Canyon NCA provides examples of one of the most dramatic and easily identified thrust faults to be found anywhere. Click her to view …Keystone Thrust Trail (RRCNCA).

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09/17/2014 Trip Notes: The 13-mile long Red Rock Canyon Back Country Byway is the jumping off point for no less than a dozen hikes within the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Besides using it to get to numerous hiking trailheads, just driving around it provides some of the most scenic views in the Las Vegas valley. For more pictures and information on this visit, click on the following link … Red Rock Canyon Back Country Byway.

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08/09/2014 Trip Notes: The Willow Springs Picnic Area is located about halfway around the Scenic Drive off of Rocky Gap Road in the middle of Willow Springs Canyon. The Red Rock Wash runs through the canyon on the west side of the picnic area. Adjacent to a spring with large cottonwood trees, it has approximately 28 picnic tables, various trash receptacles and toilets. There are six trails that either start at, run through or converge near the Willow Springs Picnic Area in Willow Springs Canyon: The 1.1-mile Willow Springs Loop Trail; the 0.15-mile Petroglyph Wall Trail in Willow Springs Canyon (RRCNCA); the 1.8-mile La Madre Spring/Dam Hike (RRCNCA) - Summary Page; the .5-mile Lost Creek Falls (Upper) Trail; the 0.31-mile Lost Creek Falls (Lower) Trail (RRCNCA); and the southern portion of the 6.35-mile White Rock Loop Trail (RRCNCA). Refer to the map in (Fig. 02). Pictures, descriptions and links to each of these trails can be found on the page at … Willow Springs Canyon Hikes (RRCNCA).

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11/14/2013 Trip Notes: On this visit to Red Rock Canyon, five of the people in our group chose to hike the White Rock Loop Trail, two decided to hike the Pine Creek Canyon, while the remainder spent time at the Visitors Center and making various stops around the scenic 13-mile loop. At the end of the day we all met up at the Willow Spring Picnic Area for lunch and dessert to celebrate Bill’s birthday. As I chose to hike the White Rock Loop Trail, here is a link to the page I created for that hike … White Rock Loop Trail (RRCNCA).

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10/16/3013 Trip Notes:  Blue Diamond Hill is located within the boundaries of the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, outside the fee area, east of SR-159. It is covered with dozens of mountain bike trails and horse trails that provide many miles of relatively easy hiking. The trails on the northern end of Blue Diamond Hill provide great views of the Wilson Cliffs across the valley to the west, the La Madre Mountain Range to the north, and if you make it all the way to the “Viewpoint” on the eastern edge, views of the Las Vegas valley far below. Click here for pictures and details about this hike … Blue Diamond Hill Trails - Summary Page.

04/25/2013 Trip Notes: Driving along the 11-mile scenic loop, we headed to the Sandstone Quarry parking lot, our primary destination for the day's activities. From here everyone divided into four separate hiking groups; some hiked to the Sandstone Quarry Overlook Trails, some to the Calico Tanks (RRCNCA) - Summary Page, some to Calico II & I, and some to the Pine Creek Canyon Trail. Refer to (Fig. 02) above for the trailhead location.

E-P102016710/11/2012 Trip Notes: On this visit we hiked to the La Madre Spring & Dam. The actual trailhead is about a half mile from the Willow Springs Picnic Area parking (Fig. 02). This area is the beginning of the 47,180 acre La Madre Mountain Wilderness Area and contains the La Madre Mountain and several archaeological areas including the Brownstone Canyon Archaeological District. It is administered by the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and the Bureau of Land Management. Click here for pictures and details about this hike … La Madre Springs Dam. Refer to (Fig. 02) above for the trailhead location.

E-P101007909/04/2012 Trip Notes: Harvey Smith and I decided to do a little 4-wheeling today through Cottonwood Valley. We drove to the Late Night trailhead off NV-160 and headed north through Cottonwood Valley to the Black Velvet Canyon trailhead located inside the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. As it turned out, this ended up being an absolutely beautiful hike that led us up a boulder filled wash to a point just below the 2,000 foot high Black Velvet Wall, one of the most famous free climbing places in the entire U.S. Check it out here … Black Velvet Canyon.

05/10/2012 Trip Notes: On today's visit with the rock-hounds from the Henderson Heritage Park's Senior Facility we made four stops. First we made a relatively short visit to Red Spring. Along with a few spring flowers and a couple more landscape pictures, I got a distant picture of a  long-eared Black-Tailed Jackrabbit. Get more info and pictures here ...  Calico Basin and Red Spring.  We then made a stop at the Red Rock Visitors Center, which contains an extremely well put-together collection of area artifacts, photographs, scenes of the ancient inhabitants of the area, and a desert tortoise habitat.  Click here for pictures and more info on the desert tortoise ... Desert Tortoise. There is also a great observation deck that's perfect for snapping some pictures of the area. Next, we stopped at the Willow Springs Picnic Area (refer to the map below) and walked the relatively short trail across a wash to some Petroglyphs. Click here for pictures and more info ... Willow Springs Canyon Trails (RRCNCA). Finally we drove to the trailhead to the Pine Creek Canyon Trail. We we spent several hours here hiking the trail and walking along a stream through this relatively lush, green canyon. Check it out here ... Pine Creek Canyon. Refer to (Fig. 02) above for the trailhead location.

03/03/2011 Trip Notes: I visited the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area to hike the Lost Creek Falls trail on a daytrip with the rock hounds from the Heritage Park Senior Facility. Having been here with friends and family who have visited us over the past several years, this was probably the sixth  time I have been to Red Rock and driven its 13 mile Loop Drive, but only the second time I have hiked Lost Creek Falls. Because this time was much earlier in the spring, there was much more water going over the falls, which made visit much more enjoyable.The following links will take you to pages with pictures, descriptions and slideshows of our hikes to the  Lost Creek Falls (Lower) Trail (RRCNCA) and the Calico Basin/Red Spring Summary Page. Refer to (Fig. 02) above for the trailhead locations.

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Slideshow Description: The slideshow above contains 41 pictures that were taken at various vantage points along the 13-mile scenic loop.