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  • Writer's picturethebackpackingblotskes

Red Rock Canyon

Updated: Oct 14, 2019

You mean there are things to see in Vegas besides the strip?!

YES!! Quite a bit to see, actually! Having previously been to Vegas twice on girls' trips, I was shocked at what lies beyond the bright lights and flashy costumes... hiking trails and amazing scenery! Now we're speaking my language!

This conservation area is a whopping 200,000 acres, managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Once entering the canyon, you've officially found yourself on a 13-mile one-way drive.. better know which trailhead you're looking for because if missed, you'll have to make the entire 13-mile loop to get back to where you're suppose to be.

Our original plan was to spend two full days here and to hit up three different hiking trails. One thing I quickly learned on this trip -----> forget the itinerary! While a rough outline of where you will be and what you plan to do is good to have, I've found that the details just fall where they may. In order to keep stress levels low, it's best to approach a 2-week road trip with a "go with the flow" attitude.

With that being said, we only attempted one of the three hikes, and I say attempted because we got a mile in and ended up having to turn around because the climb was getting fairly steep and there was quite a bit of scrambling to do. Didn't feel too comfortable about rock scrambling with two small children on our backs. We still saw enough to give us a good feel for what this area has to offer. The red rock is stunning and hiking in sand was a first for us Montanans.

Calico Tanks

If there is one thing that REALLY bums me out, it's having to turn around on a trail before making it to the final destination, and quite honestly, before kids, I think it has happened to me maybe twice in all my years of hiking. But then came along children and everything has changed! We still have a really great record of making it to the end of our trails but this was one we were not able to complete. I've heard there are awesome views of the Vegas valley. Guess that means we will have to return!

Our 2nd day at Red Rock Canyon turned into half a day, but we did a lot in a short amount of time! One of our goals in hiking all 50 states is to make connections with people from all over the country. We actually did this while at Red Rock! I became Instagram friends with a girl living in Vegas, about 2 months before our trip. I told her we would be in the area and would love to meet up if possible.. there was no hesitation on her end! She loaded up her two small children (husband was at work & couldn't come) and met us for a short hike to a canyon waterfall. It was so much fun, getting to know her and talking about things we are both passionate about - adventure & the outdoors! I felt as though we could be awesome friends, and even suggested that they consider Montana as a possible place to relocate :)

Willow Spring

Well, we took a gamble on visiting Red Rock Canyon and I think we hit the jackpot (I promise that will be my only Vegas pun). I don't know when we will make it back, but I kept the visitor guide, so I'll be fully prepared to hit the trails we missed out on this time around. If you are planning a trip to Las Vegas and have a day or two to spare, we highly recommend making your way out to the Mojave Desert to do some red rock scrambling of your own!

Have any questions? Looking for suggestions on where to stay while in this area? We can help! Shoot us an email, we'd love to connect

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