Red Rock Canyon Campground Area Hikes

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This page last updated on 06/15/2017
(Fig. 01)
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Directions: From the Stratosphere Casino, take a right onto Las Vegas Blvd south (the Strip) to Sahara Ave. Turn right onto West Sahara Ave. (NV-589) and continue to W. Sahara Ave. for 10 miles until it turns into Desert Foothills Drive. Continue on for about 4.5 miles and turn left onto (NV-159) W. Charleston Blvd., crossing over Highway I-215, the "Western Beltway". Continue to drive west on (NV-159), also called Blue Diamond Rd., out into the desert for 3.3 miles to Moenkopi Road. Watch for the campground signs. Turn left onto Moenkopi Road and drive just a couple hundred yards to the parking and trailhead for the Fire Station Loop Trailhead on the right (Fig. 02). The campground is at the end of the road.

Area Description: Moenkopi Road leads to the Red Rock Canyon Campground Area. This is the only developed camping area for the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. It was opened in 1998 to replace the Old Oak Creek Campground, and formerly known as the 13-Mile Campground. It is located two miles east of the visitor center on W. Charleston Blvd (State Route 159). The campground is located one mile south on Moenkopi Road from the junction with W. Charleston Blvd. Open 24 hours a day, this is a dry facility with no electrical, no showers, water or sewer hook-ups, that is a mixed use campground for campers with tents, and recreational vehicles. There are water faucets for drinking and vault toilets.

Surrounding the campground and the fire station facility, there are a number of nice use-trails. Some trails follow old roads, others run across virgin desert, one runs in a wash, another across flats, others up ridges and onto hilltops with views of the Las Vegas Strip and Red Rock Canyon and Calico Basin. The five trails are the Campground Wash Loop Trail (1.67 miles); the Campground Flats Loop Trail (1.6 miles); the Gun Range Ridge Loop Trail (2.65 miles); the Campground Knoll Loop Trail (2.73 miles); and the Fire Station Hill Loop Trail (3.23 miles).

01/28/2016 Trip Notes: For today's hike we chose the 3.23 Fire Station Loop Trail (Fig. 02), the longest and most difficult of all the hikes here. After passing thru the fence (elevation 3,456 ft) at the trailhead the hike heads towards the Blue Diamond Hills (Fig. 03). Off to the North Northwest you have a great view of the Calico Hills behind Calico Basin and the town (Fig. 01). As you cross the flats, paralleling the deep wash of the Wash Loop Trail, you begin a steady climb up the first of two hills. At the top of this first hill we had views East looking down on the Fire Station (Fig. 04), the town of Calico Basin to the North (Fig. 05), and the "Muffins" atop of Blue Diamond Hills (Fig. 06). From here the last quarter mile climbed up another 130 feet to the summit (3,892 ft). (Notes con't below) 

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Notes Continued: Here is a picture of Blake and myself at the summit (Fig. 08). The town of Calico is in the background of (Fig. 09) At the summit, not only did we have many of the same great views in three directions (Fig. 10), we also had a good view of Las Vegas, even though it was a little hazy (Fig. 11). Notice that the rocky, craggily outcrop was surrounded by dozens of barrel cacti (Figs. 11 & 12). After spending time enjoying the summit views, we rounded the peak and began a rather steep descend (Fig. 13). The picture in (Fig. 14) was looking back toward the summit about halfway down the back side. The last picture in (Fig. 15) was a "zoomed in" view from the summit showing the snow capped Mt. Charleston. It was a beautiful sunny day in the mid 60's. This roughly 3 mile hike, with a total elevation gain 430 feet, made for a very pleasant hike. After we finished hiking, we drove out to a picnic area at the campground and had lunch before returning home.

(Fig. 08)
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