Discovering the Red Rock Canyon in Nevada

Red Rock Canyon

Discovering the Red Rock Canyon in Nevada

There are few who do not enjoy the bright lights and free-spirited atmosphere of Las Vegas, Nevada. But even Vegas can be too much of a good thing. If you find yourself feeling a bit burned out after a few days in Sin City, there are other more peaceful back to nature options nearby. Red Rock Canyon is such a place. Located 15-20 miles west, this gem in the Mojave Desert is a favorite of over one million visitors a year.

Red Rock, besides offering a much-needed solace, has 19 different hiking trails and a diverse collection of flora and fauna taking residence throughout the conservatory. The Red Rock Visitors’ Center is generally open daily from 8 am to 4:30 pm. There is a $7.00 fee for cars, $5.00 for commercial vehicles and $3.00 for motorcyclists and free for hikers and bicyclists. You will find plenty of tour companies that are eager to sell you a package to visit the canyon. I would save my money and just rent a car at the airport instead.

I found having a car to be very useful in Vegas, particularly since I stayed at a hotel off the strip. Driving down highway 159 was rather quiet and uneventful as soon as you reached the outskirts of the city. At one point, it seemed as if I was the only one on the road but it gave me a chance to really pay attention to my surroundings without cars obscuring the view.   Since the state is mostly desert,  most of the land outside the larger cities is undeveloped which allows for that blessed peace and quiet.

Keep in mind when you travel during the high season, the canyon has become a victim of its own popularity. Since we were visiting in the winter, the traffic was almost non-existent. During the more busy seasons like Spring and Fall, expect to have a lot of competition to see this very much in demand one-way 13-mile scenic loop route.


Scenic Drive –
The scenic loop is open every day of the year with times changing slightly according to the season:
Nov – Feb – 6 AM to 5 PM
March – 6 AM to 7 PM
Apr – Sep – 6 AM to 8 PM
Oct – 6 AM to 7 PM
Please call 702.515.5350 for exact times.

Visitor Center –
The Visitor Center is open every day from 8:00 AM- 4:30 pm.




Renee King
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  • Cassandra
    Posted at 11:26h, 15 April Reply

    Oh, that is a good point about visiting off-season. What is the weather like in Red Rocks during the winter?

    • Renee
      Posted at 11:30h, 15 April Reply

      When we visited the temps were between the high 60s and mid 70s…..phenomenal weather!

  • Jack
    Posted at 12:26h, 15 April Reply

    Great post, thanks for the tip about going there off season. This site is on my list for next year:)

  • Maryden25
    Posted at 02:02h, 19 April Reply

    This is what I love about travelling! You can explore and discover many hidden beautiful scenery which you never expect to be actually there.
    This red rock mountain is amazingly beautiful, I never seen any mountain like this.

  • Sunil Himalaya Hiker
    Posted at 04:45h, 24 April Reply

    what a wonderful slide ,enjoyed looking at them
    Want to explore US when I come there for graduate study.
    Especially want to do AT.Coz i love solo thru hiking

  • Alice Pink
    Posted at 09:04h, 25 April Reply

    One day I would really love to explore Nevada. I always remember the movie 127 hours whenever the Red Rock is featured. I saw in the moview the beauty of the place. Have you watched it? Anyway, thanks for sharing your post.


  • Katrina
    Posted at 13:47h, 01 May Reply

    Absolutely agree that Vegas can be too much. The only time I visited as an adult, I was over it in about an hour! I did exactly as you suggested and headed out to Red Rock Canyon. Beautiful out there! Thanks so much for the memories. 😀

  • Katrina
    Posted at 13:48h, 01 May Reply

    Absolutely agree that Vegas can be too much. The only time I visited as an adult, I was over it in about an hour! I did exactly as you suggested and headed out to Red Rock Canyon. Beautiful out there! Thanks so much for the memories. 😀

  • Jeremy Branham
    Posted at 12:48h, 02 May Reply

    Thanks for this Renee! I don’t have much interest in Vegas but I would definitely check out Red Rock Canyon if I was in the area. I love the outdoors and hiking. I am sure it gets pretty hot here in the summer though.

  • candice michelle
    Posted at 14:53h, 04 May Reply

    The place looks so inviting to me. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post!

  • Mark Hansen
    Posted at 06:59h, 08 May Reply

    Wow, who would have thought that the desert could be such a beautiful place. Thanks for sharing.

  • Peter
    Posted at 07:38h, 11 May Reply

    Hi Renee, I adore the red rock canyon and the hiking opportunity it gives with extensive rock trails.

  • James Harris
    Posted at 16:35h, 21 September Reply

    Red Rock is so gorgeous.. And if you’re lucky, you can see some of the old paintings from the Paiute Indian tribe. A lot of them have been vandalized over time, but there’s still a few spots that are preserved. Me and a college buddy of mine used to go rock climbing there a lot, and we’d find all kinds of neat things and sights.

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