Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Red Rock

#121 of 184 in Nature in Arizona
National Park · Nature / Park
The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in Clark County, Nevada, is an area managed by the Bureau of Land Management as part of its National Landscape Conservation System, and protected as a National Conservation Area. It is about 15 miles (24 km) west of Las Vegas, and is easily seen from the Las Vegas Strip. More than three million people visit the area each year.
The conservation area showcases a set of large red rock formations: a set of sandstone peaks and walls which were formed by thrust faults including the Keystone Thrust. The walls are up to 3,000 feet (910 m) high, making them a popular hiking and rock climbing destination. The highest point is La Madre Mountain, at 8,154 feet (2,485 m).

A one-way loop road, 13 miles (21 km) long, provides vehicle access to many of the features in the area. Several side roads and parking areas allow access to many of the area trails. A visitor center is at the start of the loop road. The loop road is also popular for bicycle touring; it begins with a moderate climb, then is mostly downhill or flat.

The Rocky Gap Road in Red Rock Canyon NCA is a side-canyon accessible only by an unmaintained primitive road from the scenic loop which mostly only off-road or high clearance vehicles can access. State Route 159 cuts through an the Cottonwood Valley, also a sidetrail of the Old Spanish trail. The Wilson Cliffs, a massive escarpment, can be seen to the west from SR 159.

Toward the southern end of the National Conservation Area are Spring Mountain Ranch State Park; Bonnie Springs Ranch, which was recently sold (2019) and closed to the public, which includes a replica of a western ghost town; and the village of Blue Diamond.

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Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area reviews

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43 reviews
  • I can't believe this place is so close to Las Vegas! We had a great time exploring, hiking, and taking photos. We spent four hours here, but could have easily stayed all day. Don't forget to...  more »
  • Fortunately for us, our hotel was located just a few miles from the park so we made this a definite stop during our stay. After entering the park I was a bit disappointed as I thought I would be...  more »
  • Red Rock, a true gem and a visual landmark that creates the real feel of the Vegas Valley. World renowned for rock climbing and also a really great place to take a motorcycle or bike ride through. If you are in the area and enjoy the outdoors this place provides all the scenic eye candy you’ll need. If you are on the opposite end of the valley, Red Rock provides a great backdrop for watching the sun go down behind Mt. Charleston. Enjoy the many things you can do out there - hiking, a family picnic or a scenic drive. A great place to visit.
  • A beautiful, accessible bit of nature very close to the sights of Las Vegas. Really it's the best part of Vegas. Great for hiking, running, biking, leisurely strolls, or a pleasant afternoon drive. It's definitely worth the entrance fee. But if you want a taste of Red Rocks without the fee, stop at Calico Rocks just before the entrance to the main visitor center for almost as much beauty at no cost.

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