Red Rock Canyon a popular destination for locals and world travelers

Beautiful Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area provides scenic splendor and wide-ranging recreational opportunities just beyond the urbanized area of Las Vegas. Little wonder it attracts more than a million visitors annually. Though many visitors are locals who frequently return, many others come from across the country or around the world.

Red Rock lies west of town where the desert sweeps up to high, colorful sandstone cliffs and canyons backed by rugged foothills and rocky peaks. Follow state Route 159, the extension of Charleston Boulevard, to reach the area within a few minutes of the last stoplight. The route heads west, then curves south parallel with the dramatic rock formations. It junctions with state Route 160, the road to Pahrump.

Although close to the city, Red Rock seems a world away. Great expanses of desert and mountains remain largely untouched. People live in a few scattered locations, leaving the native wildlife as the primary residents. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area covers nearly 196,000 acres, administered by the Bureau of Land Management as part of the National Landscape Conservation Program. Impact on the scenic wilderness and its plants and animals is always an important consideration when facilities for visitors are developed.

Visitors enjoy many outdoor activities in the Red Rock area, including hiking, mountain biking, road cycling, rock climbing, horseback trail riding and driving for scenic pleasure. More than 30 miles of trails have been developed and more miles explore routes following washes and old roads. The 3,000-foot cliffs and deep canyons invite technical climbers for world-class adventures. The BLM has improved areas adjacent to the state highway to provide safe off-road parking at viewpoints and some trailheads.

Major road development includes the paved, 13-mile scenic loop road that accesses the visitor center, several trailheads and many points of interest as well as improvements on spur roads. A $7 fee applies on the scenic loop route.

Overnight camping is limited to one campground off Route 159 that closes in the summer. It contains more than 70 individual sites for tents and RVs available on a first-come basis and seven group sites that must be reserved. Toilets and water are centrally located. There are no hookups for RVs.

Four picnic areas in the conservation area are popular gathering points. On Route 159, watch for the turnoff to Calico Basin a couple of miles east of the scenic loop road. Follow Calico Basin Road through a private residential enclave, passing horse stables and a riding arena to reach the Red Spring Picnic Area.

Red Spring contains 12 shaded picnic tables with grills and a group area suitable for up to 50 people. A boardwalk trail, which is wheelchair accessible, protects the little spring and marshy vegetation. On the way to the spring, watch for examples of ancient petroglyphs on cliffs and rock faces.

After you stop to learn more about Red Rock at the visitor center, tour the exhibits, enjoy the introductory film or browse through the bookshop, you might be ready for a bite to eat. Picnickers find 12 tables west of the parking area with nearby restrooms and water at the visitor center and access to two scenic hiking trails.

Willow Springs Picnic Area is located on a spur road off the scenic loop road in a canyon. Twenty-eight tables and grills are snugged up near the steep cliff among trees and vegetation. Restrooms and water are available. Use of grills may be restricted during summer fire season. Four major trailheads are nearby.

At the Red Rock Scenic Overlook on Route 159, take advantage of the panoramic views as you enjoy your picnic. Shade structures protect 19 tables at the site. Restrooms and the paved Overlook Trail are nearby.

Finding solitude and dodging crowds in Red Rock requires strategic visitation. Arrive early and avoid weekends, holidays and special events.

Margo Bartlett Pesek’s Trip of the Week column appears on Sundays.

ad-high_impact_4
Life
Barber sets up shop in grandfather’s old shop
Andres Dominguez’s new barber shop is filled with memories of his grandfather, who ran the El Cortez landmark for more than 30 years. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Life and times of a 90-year-old horse player
Leo Polito of Las Vegas describes meeting legendary jockey and trainer Johnny Longden on the beach at Del Mar. Mike Brunker/Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Learning the history of singing bowls
Presentation at Summerlin Library teaches residents about the history of singing bowls (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Learning live-saving techniques in Stop the Bleed class
Leslie Shaffer, an AMR paramedic, shows how to control bleeding during a Stop the Bleed course at the Summerlin Library. The class is designed to teach anyone how to control and stop life-threatening bleeding. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vicki Richardson speaks about on the power of art
Artist and arts advocate Vicki Richardson talks about the power of art to inspire and challenge. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
DressCoders pairs tech with haute couture
DressCoders is a startup focused on haute couture garments. The company uses illuminated thread that is washable and can be sewn right into the fabric. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Brava infrared oven
In cooking with the Brava infrared oven,there’s no preheating. the bulbs can reach 500 degrees in less than a second. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sinks Merge Style And Utility
Study could determine cause of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s diseases
Dr. Aaron Ritter, director of clinical trials at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, discusses his research on how inflammation in the brain impacts Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Holocaust survivors talk about tragedy and friendship
Janos Strauss and Alexander Kuechel share their perspectives on life. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
'Siegel Cares' Santa delivers toys to kids at Siegel Suites in Las Vegas
Siegel Cares, the charitable wing of The Siegel Group, delivered toys to families at their apartment complexes in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Revisiting “Christ the King” sculpture
A longtime admirer of the sculpture at Christ the King Catholic Community in Las Vegas shares her perspective. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye)
Henderson couple adds another school to their generosity
Bob and Sandy Ellis of Henderson, who donate to several Clark County School District schools, have added Matt Kelly Elementary in Las Vegas to their list of schools where every student gets new shoes, socks and a toy. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Terry Fator Christmas House
Arguably better than a hotel holiday display, is Terry and Angie Fator's home located in southwest Las Vegas.
UNLV Winter Graduation Packs Thomas & Mack
UNLV's 55th winter commencement ceremony included approximately 2,146 undergraduate and graduate students who recently completed their studies. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Build-A-Bear comes to Reed Elementary School
Students participated in a Build-A-Bear-Workshop at Doris Reed Elementary School in Las Vegas, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018.
Rev. Father Seraphim Ramos talks about Greek Orthodox icons during an interview with the LVRJ
Rev. Father Seraphim Ramos talks about Greek Orthodox icons during an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center art depicts names of God
Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center founder Sharaf Haseebullah talks about new diamond-shaped art panels featuring some of the 99 names of Allah at the main entrance the Las Vegas mosque. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Holiday poultry with Tim and Chemaine Jensen of Village Meat & Wine
Tim and Chemaine Jensen of Village Meat & Wine explain the different types of poultry available for the holidays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Catholic Charities hosts early Christmas meal
Students from the Bishop Gorman High School football and cheerleader team helped to serve food at the Christmas meal sponsored by the Frank and Victoria Fertitta Foundation at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada on Sunday. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Incarcerated Christmas
This is the fourth year HOPE for Prisoners has worked with the Nevada Department of Corrections to create a Christmas for prisoners to visit their families. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
2018 Homeless Vigil
Straight From The Streets holds its 23rd annual vigil to remember the 179 homeless individuals who died in Clark County this year.
Getting through the Holiday blues
Psychologist Whitney Owens offers advice on keeping your mental health in check during the Holiday season in Henderson, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Operation Homefront Holiday Meals for Military
Operation Homefront Holiday Meals for Military program gave meal kits to 200 families at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10047 in Las Vegas Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. It all started with a chance encounter in a supermarket in Utica, N.Y., near Fort Drum. A soldier, his wife and infant had a handful of grocery items they couldn't afford. A Beam Suntory employee picked up the $12 cost for the groceries. The program has grown from providing 500 meal kits to military families in 2009 to providing more than 7,000 nationally this holiday season.K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women at WestCare Women Children Campus in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Former 51s manager Wally Backman chats about new job
Former Las Vegas 51s manager Wally Backman talks about his new job with the independent league Long Island Ducks during the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 10, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside the kitchen at Springs Preserve
The staff of Divine Events do party preparation in the kitchen at Divine Cafe at Springs Preserve. With nine parties the following day, this is a particularly busy time for the crew. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Hall talks about his memories of Dec. 7, 1941
U.S. Army Corps Edward Hall, a 95-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor talks about his memories of that horrific day. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Roy Choi on cooking for Park MGM employees
As he prepares to open his new restaurant Best Friend later this month at Park MGM, celebrity chef Roy Choi took the time to cook for the resort’s employees Tuesday. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Best Friend Menu Reveal Wednesday
Chef Roy Choi tells us what to expect from Wednesday’s Facebook Live Menu Reveal for his new Park MGM restaurant Best Friend. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like