Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (RRCNCA) is located west of Summerlin. Just a short drive from the thousands of tract homes, shopping centers, casinos, etc., is one of the best areas in all of Nevada for hiking, rock climbing, photography, or a just a nice place to take in the desert scenery.
If you are in Summerlin, take Charleston Blvd. west and you will run into the park entrance on the right. It's about a 10 minute drive from Red Rock Casino. This is the primary way that most people get to the park. RRCNCA can also be accessed by taking Blue Diamond Blvd. and going west. Follow the signs which direct you to Red Rock. Here's a map showing the different routes to Red Rock:
What makes Red Rock so nice is that it gives a person a chance to just get away for a few hours or a day from the chaos of LV. If you are staying in LV on an extended stay and are just sick of the Strip, casinos, hotels, smokers, drunks, etc., then head out to RRCNCA to clear your head for a few hours.
Here's the BLM website for the Red Rock which provides information on location, hours, fees, camping, hiking, rock climbing, etc.
I have been to RRCNCA numerous times -- before moving to LV and since I moved here. Every time I visit I find something new and interesting to explore or take pictures of. Since I really enjoy photography, RRCNCA just presents unlimited options for photography in terms of scenery and contrasts. The hiking options at RRCNCA are also impressive. Trails are everywhere and they range from easy to very strenuous.
There is also a scenic drive that winds it way through the area for about 12 miles or so. There are 4-5 places to stop along the way for a break or to take pictures. This is a nice option if it is too hot or you just don't feel like hiking or walking. Personally, I think this drive just scratches the surface of what RRCNCA has to offer, but everyone has their preferences. Just remember, if you take this drive you are just getting a visual overview of RRCNCA -- which is beautiful, but keep in mind there is so much more to the area.
Here are some things to note for a visit out to RRCNCA:
I have been to Red Rock twice during the peak summer heat. Don't ask why I went there during the summer, but I did. The heat can be brutal out in this area during the summer. It's always a few degrees cooler than the LV Strip due to the elevation, but the heat can really take its toll -- especially if you are walking around or hiking. My suggestion is go early and get in and out of there by 11:00am. Bring plenty of water and don't hike alone.
The crowds at RRCNCA can be out of control on the weekends. What I notice is that tourists doing the day trip thing from the Strip do the "drive in and drive out" routine using the scenic loop. They might stop 1x-2x, take a few photos, and then they are back in their car. What happens is that the scenic loop becomes jam packed with cars -- sort of reminds me of a Los Angeles freeway at rush hour. I guess the solution to avoid the masses is get there early, or just park your car and take off on a trail -- that's a great way to get away from everything for a few hours.
Like I noted the hiking options are varied at RRNCA. If you have children make sure you find a suitable trail for them -- there are several excellent trails for families. Be especially careful with climbing boulders and rocks in the area. What looks like harmless fun can sometimes lead to serious injuries.
All pictures in this post were taken by and are the property of Jimmy Hoofa.