Hiking in Las Vegas: A Complete Guide to Hiking in Sin City

Situated within easy driving distance, there are numerous conservation areas and state parks that serve as the perfect destinations for hiking in Las Vegas. It is considered to be the best for outdoor enthusiasts in the country. Moreover, these hikes can get over in a day and you can be back in the city before it lights up! What more to ask for when you can find some extraordinary landscapes with beautiful hiking trails and wildlife and be close to nature along with some partying?

Here Are Our Favourite Spots for Hiking in Las Vegas:

1. Railroad Tunnel Trail, Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Railroad Trail

Spanning 1.5 million acres, Lake Mead National Recreation Area is America’s first national conservation area including large lakes and mountains, making it perfect for hiking in Las Vegas. The conservation area has many hikes ranging from easy to strenuous. The best of them is Railroad Tunnel Trail because it is historic, easy to hike and suitable for all.  The hike begins at the Alan Bible Visitor Center in Boulder City. Leading through five tunnels, the old rail trail runs along the hillside offering panoramic views of   Lake Mead. The recent improvements in the trail made it wheelchair accessible too.
Distance: 8 miles
Intensity Level: Easy
Average Time: 2 hours
Tip: The trail gets busy in the afternoon, has no shade and it can get extremely hot. So start your hike early in the morning and also wear plenty of sunscreens.

2. Fire Wave, Valley of Fire State Park

Hiking in Valley Of Fire

Fire Wave is one of the most popular and easy destinations for hiking in Las Vegas. Throughout the trail, one can witness the brightly coloured rock formations in yellow, orange, pink and red that resembles a fire wave. The view after sunrise and before sunset cannot be missed. The trail is not suitable for mobility-impaired as it’s mostly on soft sand and rock slopes.
Distance: 1.5 miles
Intensity Level: Easy
Average Time: 40- 45 minutes.
Tip: Fire wave has no shade and it is scorching hot in summer, so carry plenty of water and sunscreen. 

3. First Creek

Hiking in Las Vegas

Part of the Red Rock National Conservation Area, the First Creek Trail is a well- maintained across a desert valley towards a little waterfall. Although the pool is very appealing, swimming is prohibited here due to environmental concerns. 
Distance: 4 miles
Intensity Level: Easy-Moderate
Average Time Taken: 2 hours

4. Mount Charleston

Mount Charleston Trail

Nearly 12,000 feet, Mount Charleston is the highest peak in the Spring Mountains and all of Clark County. The elevation ensures cooler temperatures whereas areas lower down are too hot to hike. Many trails including the South Loop Trail, North Loop Trail, Mary Jane Falls and Big Falls. But among all, Mary Jane Falls is highly preferred by the masses for it is quite interesting and offers scenic experiences along its way.
Distance: 17 miles
Difficulty: Very strenuous
Average Time: 8-10 hours
Tip: Make sure you start at the time of sunrise to complete the hike in a day and carry plenty of water, sunscreen, and snacks

5. Bristlecone Trail

Bristlecone Trail

Named after the bristlecone pines, the oldest trees in Nevada, this trail offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. You can start the trail at the end of Lee Canyon Road in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. The loop trail is 5 miles in length and runs into the Spring Mountains showcasing a wide range of animal species and pine trees.
Distance: 6 miles
Intense Difficulty: Moderate
Average Time: 1.5 hours

6. Icebox Canyon Trail

Hiking in Icebox Canyon

Located along with the Red Rock Canyon National Creation Area, the Icebox Canyon is a 2.6-mile in-and-out hike following a rocky path to an amazing waterfall. This scenic drive an hour away from the city offers various hikes around the conservation area and offers some of the best views one can get while hiking in Las Vegas. The hikers can witness a variety of flora while passing through the desert. After reaching the canyon, the trail follows a very small stream that is home to abundant wildlife.  
Distance: 2.6 miles
Intensity Level: Strenuous
Average Time Taken: 2 hours
Tip: Bring along a sweater since the temperatures tend to get cold the closer you get to the mountains. 

7. White Domes, Valley of Fire State Park

Hiking in White Domes

The White Domes area is full of surreal terrain that is ideal for hiking in Las Vegas. The trail descends into an area perching with colourful sandstone formations and jaw-dropping scenery. This trailhead is located quite near the park road to the north of the Visitor Center. One has to drive through the Valley of Fire State Park to reach the hike as it is at the end of White Domes Road. Soon into the hike, you will reach the slot canyon, the defining feature of the trail.
Distance: 1 mile
Intensity Level: Easy
Average Time Taken: 1 hour
Tip: Carry some woollen clothes to keep yourself warm

8. Pine Creek


Offering some of the most diverse scenery, Pine Creek is a part of the Red Rock Canyon.  Along the trail, you will see a grove of Pinyon and Ponderosa trees. Beginning in the desert, the trail is accessible to hikers of all levels and also features varied species of flora along the way.
Distance: 3 miles
Intensity Level: Easy-Moderate
Average Time Taken: 2 hours 30 minutes
Tip: Bring a topographical map to help you with the location as the GPS signal is not available here.

Things to Carry While Hiking in Las Vegas:

1. Carry plenty of water and keep hydrating yourself.
2. Take sufficient snacks like nuts, energy bars and even chocolates as you tend to lose energy faster than you think.
3. Sunscreen is a must in all seasons.
4. Hand sanitisers and tissues.
5. Backpack – Keep it light!
6. Hiking boots are a must.
7. Carry a Trek route map or a compass.
8. Camera- We don’t want to miss those awesome clicks!
9. Knife or a multi toolset
10. Choose weather appropriate clothing.

Have we missed out on any of your favourite destinations for hiking in Las Vegas? Let us know in the comments below?

This post was published by Harshitha Pudota

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