Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is one of Southern Nevada’s most treasured natural landmarks. Encompassing nearly 200,000 acres along the far western rim of the Las Vegas Valley just west of the Summerlin master-planned community, Red Rock Canyon is easily the valley’s most popular conservation area with more than 1 million visitors annually. Visitors are drawn to the scenic views and abundant outdoor recreational opportunities.
Red Rock Canyon features more than 2,000 climbing routes and is ranked one of the top five climbing destinations in the world. It has become a year-round hiking and rock climbing destination for professional and amateurs alike and features 19 hiking trails, ranging from easy to strenuous.
Hiking distances range from less than a mile to more than six miles in length. The most notorious and strenuous hike at Red Rock Canyon is Turtlehead Peak, which gains more than 2,000 feet in elevation from the start of the hike to the peak’s summit at 6,324 feet.
Cyclists are also drawn to Red Rock Canyon. The 13-mile scenic loop through the conservation area is frequently traveled by cyclists who enjoy the scenic views, wide roads and one-way travel.
In 2007, National Geographic Adventure named Las Vegas as the country’s top city to live and play based on its proximity to world-class recreational venues like Red Rock Canyon. The article cited Summerlin specifically as one of the valley’s best places to live because of its immediate adjacency to this popular outdoor area.
“Many Summerlin residents consider Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area an extension of their backyard,” said Tom Warden, senior vice president of The Howard Hughes Corp., developer of Summerlin. “And what a backyard it is. The abundant recreational opportunities, lush Mojave Desert vegetation and picturesque mountain backdrop views combine to create an environment unlike any other in the Las Vegas Valley.”
The Howard Hughes Corp. has been actively involved in the protection and preservation of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area since the 1980s.
“We’re extremely passionate about protecting and preserving this area,” said Warden, who serves on a variety of boards and works with organizations dedicated to Red Rock Canyon’s preservation. These organizations include Outside Las Vegas Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Southern Nevada Conservancy, Desert Conservation Program Committee and Friends of Red Rock Canyon.
For more information on Red Rock Canyon or ways to get involved, contact the Bureau of Land Management at 515-5350.