Guest Author - Gregory A. Kompes
Located just 17 Miles west of the Las Vegas Strip, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area offers beautiful, up-close views of an amazing red rock sandstone formation, part of an ancient thrust vault. There is a hike that leads to the thrust vault where you can see and touch where the older rock has been pushed up and over the young, red sandstone.
By Car or Bike
There’s a 13-mile, scenic, paved, loop road that allows cars and bike riders to circle the inner canyon. There are plenty of pull-off areas and parking lots when you want to stop and take in the amazing beauty of the park.
There are hundreds of miles of hiking trails from easy to difficult that allow you to explore the red rock, hidden springs, seasonal water falls, sandstone tanks, ancient, Native American agave roasting pits, and petroglyphs (ancient rock carvings).
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area offers some of the finest rock climbing in the world. The main type of rock found in Red Rock Canyon here is Aztec (or Navajo) sandstone. Routes in Red Rock Canyon are rated via the Yosemite Decimal System. All class V routes (those involving the use of protection) in Red Rock Canyon range from 5.0 (easiest) to 5.14 (most difficult.) [Source: BLM]
There are several climbing guides that include routes and pictures. My favorite is Classic Rock Climbs No. 28: Red Rocks: Nevada by Todd Swain.
Operating hours change based on season, but generally the park is open from 6am-8pm.
Permits are required for some climbing routes, some horseback routes, and camping
Admission Fees are $7 for a car, $3 for hikers/bikers, $30 annual pass, and the America the Beautiful Pass is accepted.
Get a lot more information and details from the BLM’s Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area’s website.