Hiking the Red Rock Canyon Trails

Nothing contrasts the glitz and fireworks of the Las Vegas Strip quite like its neighbor, the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. A 33-minute commute of only 22.7 miles from Polo Towers to the Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center will transport you from the bright lights of the Strip to the majestic beauty of sandstone formations in the Mojave Desert.

There’s hardly a better day trip from Las Vegas than to visit Red Rock Canyon.


Red Rock Canyon has 195,819 acres of natural beauty, just begging all those high rollers in Vegas to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. 26 hikes and trails have been mapped out for hikers to explore the vast geologic formations all throughout the canyon. If you think the desert sounds boring or bland, then you haven’t seen Red Rock Canyon!

“The unique geologic features, plants and animals of Red Rock represent some of the best examples of the Mojave Desert.”

Iron oxide causes the “red, orange, and brown-colored rocks” in the area. The iron concretions and limestone add their own stories to the natural history of the canyon. Even dinosaur tracks can still be seen in the Aztec Sandstone – at three different sites still being investigated by researchers.

Red Rock Canyon is full of wildlife and plants, like the beautiful Crimson Columbine, a red and yellow flower, and the Joshua Tree. The animals that make their home here are something to behold, and include the Chorus Frog, with his black stripe across his eyes, and the Sagebrush Lizard, with his stripes and spots that blend in well with his surroundings. Check out this select list of plants and wildlife.

Hikers can get up close to see interesting petroglyphs and pictographs left behind by past civilizations that lived or passed through the canyon. The hiking trails like Calico Tanks and Ice Box Canyon give hikers exposure to the geology, waterfalls, and open desert of the area. To help you in choosing your trails, this guide gives valuable information, such as distance, average time, and difficulty.

But not all of us are hikers. For those less inclined to climb boulders and scramble up a mountain, the Scenic Loop is a great alternative. Whether riding in a car or on a bicycle, this one-way road has many scenic overlooks and trailheads for you to explore.

“Reaching the park is a breeze and much can be seen from a 13-mile long Scenic Drive. Several trails depart from the Scenic Drive allowing visitors to explore rugged canyon and unique rock formation.”

Where to Stay

Spacious, well-appointed rooms and an ideal location in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip make Polo Towers the place to stay during your next trip to Vegas. The resort is just steps away from fantastic restaurants and world-class casinos, including the MGM Grand and Caesars Palace, and within driving distance of stunning national parks and all the outdoor adventure you can handle. Once you’ve had your fill of Las Vegas for the day, take in the city’s neon lights from Polo Towers’ rooftop pool and spa or sneak in a workout at the on-site fitness center. Make your next Las Vegas vacation unforgettable at Polo Towers.

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