Approximately 17 miles (27.36 kilometers) west of the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas but worlds away from the Strip are 500-million-year-old red hills visible from most parts of Las Vegas Valley. As soon as you leave the city, the red rocks will begin to loom around you. This 197,000-acre recreation area is named after its sandstone rock formations sculpted by years of erosion and showcases many large red sandstone peaks and walls known as the Keystone Thrust.
The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is open to the public year-round and draws more than one million people each year. It has a visitors center and a variety of plant and animal life. The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area offers 30 miles of hiking tails and rock-climbing opportunities, picnic areas, a visitor center with exhibit rooms and a bookstore.
The Visitors Center at the Red Rock Canyon Recreation Area is the start of a 13-mile (21-kilometer) panoramic scenic route that winds through a mountainous region. Along the 13-mile scenic drive you will view the impressive Wilson Cliffs, part of the 65-million-year-old Keystone Trust. Numerous geological features abound, including the fossilized sand dunes of the brilliantly colored Calico Hills. Beautiful desert scenery, ancient Native American pictographs, and diverse vegetation make this a site to see.
Especially notable is 7,068-foot Mount Wilson, the highest sandstone peak among the bluffs; for information on climbing, contact the Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center at (702) 363-1921. There are picnic areas along the drive and in nearby Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, 5 miles south, which also offers plays in an outdoor theater during the summer.
The 13 mile scenic drive, Red Rock Overlook on State Route 159 and Red Spring offers a lot of hiking trails, sightseeing and photo opportunities. Bicycles are also allowed on the one-way scenic drive.
Red Rock Canyon Scenic Drive Hours of Operation
The scenic loop is open every day of the year with times changing slightly according to the season:
The Visitor Center is open daily from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm.
Nov – Feb – 6:00 am to 5:00 pm
March – 6:00 am to 7:00 pm
Apr – Sep – 6:00 am to 8:00 pm
Oct – 6:00 am to 7:00 pm
Red Rock Canyon Official website
Red Rock Canyon Contact Information
General Information & Questions
Phone: +1 (702) 515-5350
Programs & Guided Hikes
Phone: +1 (702) 515-5367
Elements Gift & Book Store
Phone: +1 (702) 515-5379
Red Rock Canyon Address
Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center
1000 Scenic Loop Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89161
|Type of Entry||Length of Pass||Current Fees|
|Car/Truck||1 Day||$15 per vehicle|
|Motorcycle||1 Day||$10 per vehicle|
|Bicycle/Pedestrian||1 Day||$5 per person|
|Commercial Tour Vehicle
(bus, limo, taxi, ride-share, etc.)
|1 Day||$15 per vehicle + $5 per person|
|Type of Pass||Length of Pass||Current Fees|
|Red Rock Annual Pass||Yearly Pass||$30 per person|
|America the Beautiful Annual Pass||Yearly Pass||$80 per person|
|America the Beautiful Military Annual Pass||Yearly Pass||Free (active duty military only)|
|America the Beautiful Annual Senior Pass||Yearly Pass||$20 - Seniors age 62 and above|
|America the Beautiful Senior Pass||Lifetime||$80 - Seniors age 62 and above|
|America the Beautiful Access Pass||Lifetime||Free - medically determined to be permanently disabled|
Distance from Las Vegas to Red Rock Canyon is 20 miles (west of Las Vegas)
Take Charleston Blvd (you can pick up that street at the north end of the Strip) It’s a scenic drive-through park. Go early, not in the heat of the day; there's no shade.
Just drive west on Charleston Blvd., which becomes NV 159. As soon as you leave the city, the red rocks will begin to loom around you. Off NV 159, you'll see the turnoff for the Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center, which marks the actual entrance to the park. There, you can pick up information on trails and view history exhibits about the canyon. The center is open daily from 8am to 4:30pm.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (702-515-5367)
Red Rock Canyon GPS Coordinates
GPS Coordinates: 36 degrees 8 minutes North and 115 degrees 25 minutes West
GPS Coordinates: UTM 11 S 0653467 / 4002192
Water, Water, Water
If you plan to hike at Red Rock Canyon, drink at least a gallon (four liters) of water per day. The days are hot and the trails are exposed to direct sunlight. Dehydration can happen to hikers even in fall or winter due to low humidity.
Always remember the desert has its inhabitants. Just because you don't see them doesn't mean they are not there. Watch where you put your hands and feet. Rattlesnakes, scorpions or venomous spiders maybe sheltered under rocks and shrubs.
Always let friends and family members know where you are going and what time you plan to be back. Don't rely on cellphones when hiking as coverage can be limited or non-existent.
|From Las Vegas To||Drive Time||Miles||KM|
|Grand Canyon South Rim||4.5 hours||275||443|
|Grand Canyon West Rim||3 hours||120||193|
|Death Valley National Park||2.25 hours||141||227|
|Hoover Dam||45 mins.||34||54.4|
|Great Basin National Park||4.75 hours||297||478|
|Zion National Park||2.5 hours||155||249|
|Reno, NV||7.25 hours||448||721|
|Los Angeles, CA||4 hours||270||435|
|San Diego, CA||5 hours||332||534|
|Phoenix, AZ||5 hours||295||475|
|San Francisco||9 hours||570||917|