Less than thirty minutes from the Las Vegas Strip and what seems like a universe away is Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Better known simply as “Red Rock Park” or “Red Rock”. Not to be confused with a nearby casino called “Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa”.
Red Rock Canyon was designated as Nevada’s first National Conservation Area and is located west of the Las Vegas Strip on Charleston Boulevard/State Route 159. In marked contrast to a town geared to entertainment and gaming, Red Rock offers enticements of a different nature including a 13-mile scenic drive, miles of hiking trails, rock climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking, road biking, picnic areas, nature observing, and visitor center with indoor and outdoor exhibits as well as a book store.
Things to See and Do at Red Rock
Once there, the variety of things to see and do can be a bit overwhelming. The world-class visitor center (it really is!) at the beginning of the drive will give you a great introduction to the unique natural and cultural history of this area along with safety and orientation information.
From the parking locations, there are 21 different trails to explore the peak tops, rolling sandstone ridges, steep-walled canyons which highlight special wildlife, vegetation, and cultural history. The visitor center really should be your first stop!
The Visitor Center is also the last place for modern conveniences like flush toilets and running water! No matter the time of the year, it is still a desert and you can dehydrate rapidly any time of the year. So have refreshments with you at all times! There are water refill stations here as well.
Most people are there to drive the Scenic Drive, a 13 mile-one-way paved road, provides access to explore the many special canyons and sandstone hills in the heart of the Conservation Area. There are 12 different trailheads for people of almost all skill levels as well as a children’s hike and learn are. Plus parking areas to begin your next outdoor adventure.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is a “National Conservation Area” enjoyed by the local population as well as visitors from the United States and many foreign countries. Three million visitors each year enjoy the spectacular desert landscape, climbing and hiking opportunities, and interpretive programs sponsored by the BLM.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is only 30 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip. If you are using a GPS unit, please type in Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center, or 3205 State Highway 159, Las Vegas, NV 89161.
Thinks to Know About Red Rock
- Public transportation does not extend to Red Rock Canyon. Tour buses and commercial tours may be available from your hotel.
- Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area Scenic Drive Timed Entry fees and information – Click Here For Details!
- Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is not a National Park, yet your America the Beautiful National Park Pass (National Park Pass) will work for entry. (Pass holders are still required to pay the $2.00 non-refundable reservation fee)
- Red Rock Canyon website.