Las Vegas, Nevada, is renown worldwide for many things. Those willing to venture away from the glitz, bright lights and Strip will be treated to a tranquil oasis. Believe it or not, Nevada’s largest city is just a stone’s throw away from several unique desert and mountain hikes.

When hiking around Las Vegas, take appropriate measures to stay safe. Depending on the season, extreme heat or snow and ice can make these trails dangerous. Exercise caution, come prepared and respect your limits.

 

1. Lost Creek Falls

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Red Rock sizedLast Adventurer

Trail Length: 2.4 km roundtrip, out-and-back trail
Time: 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: minimal

Why It’s Special: Depending on the season, this hike leads to a rare desert waterfall.

Located a short distance from Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area features a number of fantastic rock formations including sandstone peaks and canyons. Out of all of the trails within the park, only one leads to a waterfall. This trail leaves from the Lost Creek parking area, crossing through a large willow thicket and over several bridges before ending in a secluded slot canyon. From November through May, hikers will be treated to a beautiful cascade that is not visible from the start of the hike. During the off-season, hikers will be left to marvel at the smooth, eroded walls from the falls.

How do I get to the trailhead? Lost Creek is Stop 14 on the Scenic Loop Drive in the park.

Read more: redrockcanyonlv.org

Distance from Las Vegas: 26.5 km

 

2. Crystal Springs Boardwalk

Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

Ash meadowsLast Adventurer

Trail Length: 1 km roundtrip, out-and-back trail
Time: 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: minimal

Why It’s Special: Surreal pools of cerulean water in the middle of the desert.

Even though Las Vegas is located in the middle of a desert, the surrounding environment was once drastically different. While this is apparent in a number of areas, none are more striking than the pools at Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. The best pools can be seen with little effort along the park’s main trail, which is an elevated boardwalk that passes alongside unique pools of fossil water. For those with more time, another excellent, but short hike leads past Longstreet’s Cabin, who was a bonafide wild west outlaw who lived in the area near his own unique pool of water.

How Do I get to the Trailhead: Ash Meadows is located some 160-km to the northwest of Las Vegas.

Read More: fws.gov/refuge/ash_meadows/

 

3. Mouse’s Tank

Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of FireLast Adventurer

Trail Length: 1.6 km roundtrip, out-and-back trail
Difficulty: Easy
Time: 1 hour

Why It’s Special: The trail leads to the hidden water source of a Native American outlaw.

Like Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire is full of spectacular geologic formations that pass through a number of slot canyons. One of the most accessible hikes is also one that has a unique history. During the 1890’s, after a Native American was accused of killing two prospectors, he hid in what is now the state park and utilized the hidden source of water that now bears his name to survive. The trail leaves a parking area, heads up a slight hill, and then passes through a number of towering slot canyons before ending up at the hidden pool. Keen-eyed hikers can find petroglyphs along the trail.

How Do I Get to the Trailhead: The trailhead is located a short distance from the park road north of the Visitor Center; there are signs and a parking area.

Read Morevalley-of-fire.com/mouses-tank 

Distance From Las Vegas: 78 km

 

4. White Domes Loop

Valley of Fire State Park

white domesLast Adventurer

Trail Length: 1.7 km, loop trail
Time: 1 hour

Why It’s Special: The trail traverses a unique geologic region that has been filmed in many television shows and movies.

The Valley of Fire has a number of unique geological features, including many formations of Aztec Sandstone. Because of this surreal terrain, the area has been featured in a number of TV and movies. The White Domes area was featured in the 1966 movie the Professionals. From the parking area, the trail descends into a phantasmagorical area alight with bold colours and a slot canyon that offers great photographic opportunities, before winding back up to the beginning.

How Do I Get to the Trailhead: The trailhead is located a short distance from the park road north of the Visitor Center; there are signs and a parking area.

Read More: parks.nv.gov/valley-of-fire

Distance From Las Vegas: 78 km

 

5. South Loop Trail

Mount Charleston

Mt CharlestonTydence Davis Flickr cc by 2.0

Trail Length: 27.4 km roundtrip, out-and-back trail
Difficulty: Challenging
Time: 5-8 hours

Why It’s Special: The trail leads to the summit of 3,600-metre-tall Mount Charleston, the highest peak in the area.

The highest peak outside of Las Vegas is Mount Charleston, and it is a mountain that can be seen from a number of areas in the city. The south loop trail is strenuous, especially during the summer or winter months. The trail gains extensive elevation over a 13-kilometre one-way distance. Most of the route is exposed, with great views of southern Nevada. The trail also passes through a bristlecone forest, before heading across exposed ridgeline to the summit.

How Do I get to the Trailhead: The trailhead is at Cathedral Rock Picnic Area.

Read Moresummitpost.org 

Distance From Las Vegas: 65 km

 

 

Have you hiked any of these trails?

Which was your favourite?

Comment below!

 

 

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