Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas

When writing this blog post, I found out that there are many different Red Rock Canyons in the southwest. Our visit to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area west of Las Vegas is a definite must when traveling through that area.

With a 13-mile one-way loop, this park is perfect for driving, hiking, and biking. The park is home to 26 hiking trails from easy to difficult, and the online brochure does a great job of explaining the different levels, providing trail information, safety guidelines, and the geological history of the park. Perfect for planning a wonderful day of exploring.

Fees & Passes

America the Beautiful Passes are accepted here, but if you don’t have one, here are the 2021 entrance fees. For more information on passes accepted, click here.

Car/Truck1 Day$15 per vehicle
Motorcycle1 Day$10 per vehicle
Bicycle/Pedestrian1 Day$5 per person
Commercial Tour Vehicle(bus, limo, taxi, ride-share, etc.)1 Day$15 per vehicle + $5 per person

The Scenic Drive

As I said, this is a 13-mile one-way loop. There are plenty of places to stop along the way to enjoy the magnificent views. Please remember there are also hikers and bicyclists using the road, not to mention animals crossing, so stay alert.

What amazed us was how much the colors changed as we went along on the drive. It was truly spectacular.

Of course, we’ve been told we should sell this to Ford for advertising! If you’re out there Ford, call me and we’ll talk!

The Petroglyphs Wall Hike

The Petroglyphs Wall was located a short distance from the Willow Springs Picnic Area, about 2/3 the way around the Loop. This was an easy walk, and the wall was very well preserved.

The La Madre Spring Hike

We chose to do the La Madre Spring Hike, which also began at the Willow Springs Picnic Area. This 3.6-mile hike was on the moderate end of the difficulty scale. There was an elevation gain which could make breathing a bit more difficult, and we’d recommend good hiking shoes/boots and possibly hiking poles as the gravel path could be a bit slippery. Shade is at a premium, so be prepared with plenty of snacks and water.

We were there in late April, and when we got to the top of the trail at 5200 feet, we did have snow. Fortunately, it was just spitting a bit, but be prepared for the weather to change quickly at that elevation.

Red Rock Canyon was one of those places we’d heard about, but didn’t actually have on our hiking bucket list. However, after experiencing it, we were glad we made the trip there.

Next week its on to Ouray, Colorado, and more great hiking and spectacular views.


  1. Jennifer – Thanks for posting this. I was there in the mid-1980’s with my late husband. We loved it. Especially the hike to the hieroglyphics. It was beautiful and awesome then, and it still is!

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