Red Rock outside Vegas shines bright without neon
The BLM-managed conservation area is so popular that entry reservations are required. Hikers, cyclists and rock climbers keep it humming.
Vegas rocks! You already knew that, you say?
But did you know Vegas has Red Rock?
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is the go-to-hiking destination on the west side of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ah, you think, I’ll have the whole place to myself, since there will only be a few dusty desert dwellings within dozens of miles.
Wrong! Las Vegas has grown into a metro of 2.25 million, with houses and shopping malls as good as any in the West between Chandler, Arizona, and Issaquah, Washington. OK, so Vegas doesn’t have a Scottsdale or Bellevue yet, but give it time. And those places will never have a Vegas.
Friends of NV Wild @friendsofnvwildWe❤️Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and we’re grateful that @SenCortezMasto & @RepDinaTitus are championing legislation to expand this beloved place by more than 50,000 acres. #WildernessWednesday #RedRocktotheRefuge 📽️: Friends of Red Rock https://t.co/0DuGRmUiRq
The robust neighborhoods mean that Red Rock Canyon would be overburdened with visitors, so the managing BLM has an entry reservation permit season most of the year. Get a permit at recreation.gov, or arrive early in the morning before the entry gate is staffed (Redrockcanyonlv.org).
The park has a half dozen trailheads, but it’s used by more than just hikers. I saw one cyclist huff and puff uphill then pull into a parking lot for a rest, only to be passed by someone riding a motorized skateboard. The canyon is also a mecca for rock climbers.
The park has a campground, but it’s outside the gate so campers need to make entry reservations, too.
And when you’re done with Red Rock, you know where you can go to really rock.
The biggest college football game of the season at Las Vegas (the Pac-12 championship with Oregon vs. Utah, 5 p.m. PST on ABC, Dec. 3) was played at this place tonight. Utah won 38-10 to claim its first Rose Bowl berth.
More to do outside Las Vegas: