Just a few miles away from Vegas, the stunning Red Rock Canyon awaits you. It is not so popular among the tourist, although I don’t know what is the reason because the place is amazing. If there is no traffic, you can reach the canyon for less than an hour from the city center.
It is a very popular weekend destination for the locals, so if you enjoy more private experience try to go there during the weekdays. The area is big and has activities for every taste. The simplest and laziest option is to do the Scenic loop ride – 13 miles road among the canyon where you can enjoy the landscape from your car. Few spots are available for a short break and taking pictures. The visitor center will charge you 7$ per vehicle. If you like biking you can do it on your bicycle for about half of the price. Please note that the canyon is located in Mojave dessert and probably summertime it won’t be the best time to go biking. December, in my opinion, is the perfect time for that kind of physical activities. It was also a great time for hiking which was the activity I chose to do.
There are plenty trails, you can choose from, and according to the officer in the information center, they are 26. I believe those are only the major ones. When you are in the canyon you have plenty options of which way to go and more of them are not even marked on the maps. You can start trekking from the information center where you will need to pay 3$ as well. I, however, decided that better option is to start from Red spring – a small town which you will have passed on the way to the Information center. The trail starting from there will eventually get you to the Scenic drive road and you will be actually walking inside of the incredible red canyon instead of just looking at it from your car. It is also the ticket free option, although, in my opinion, it gives you more beautiful view than the other option.
The trek was less than two hours long walking at a normal speed and taking lots of pictures, which you can see in this post. Take at least one liter and a half water with you, just to be on the safe side. Sunscreen is also a good idea. It is always sunny in the desert. When you reach the other side of the ridge you can decide whether to go back to your car or try hitchhiking. I always try to avoid going on the same path, so I decided to try my chances hitchhiking. I met a group of locals on the way to the road and after a short conversation, I had a shared place on the back seat of a car with two lovely dogs. The girl – Lolita was sleeping in my lap the whole way to Red Springs. It turns out that the trek led me close to the beginning of the loop drive, so after all, I did that one as well. Still, I recommend doing the trek which I find way more exciting.
If you happen to enjoy rock climbing – the Red Rock Canyon will be paradise for you. Plenty of routes are available and I think you will need to spend a lot of weeks in the area to cover them all.
Some of the rock formations were really interesting and I did a little research about their unusual color. The canyon was 600 million years ago at the bottom of a deep ocean. Then the seabed raised and the water evaporated. The area became huge dune field without vegetation. As the wind was shifting the sand, it was buried by other sediments. Later the sands were cemented into sandstone which is quite hard and survived nearly 65 million of years. There were iron minerals in the rocks which oxidize and gave the rocks their red colors as seen today.
The Red Rock Canyon is a perfect place for a day-trip from Las Vegas. You can use the city as a base to explore more routes or trails. If you do not want to drive to Vegas and back, you can use the designated campground. It is located only 2 miles away from the visitor center and you will be able to reach all points of interest very fast. The camping is operating from September to May. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have showers, so if you are planning to go there make sure you have an alternative solution available.
On the way back to Vegas you can see the city from above. I believe it is going to be an interesting view at night, so don't hurry to get back to the civilization (:. Let me know if you need more information about the canyon.
Thank you very much for reading and upvoting. Cheers, Eva (:
Steemit Worldmap Data:
[//]:# (!steemitworldmap 36.162270 lat -115.480042 long Red Rock Canyon, USA d3scr)