4 hikes to enjoy near Las Vegas
Las Vegas is famous for its bright lights and vibrant strip, but there’s so much more to keep the discerning tourist happy in the Nevada desert.
We’ve already covered the best places to eat out when in The City of Lights, but for a seasoned hiker you’ll want more than a good meal and the glitz and glamour to keep you entertained. How about a challenging hike that takes in the best of the local scenery?
We’ve picked four hikes that we think fit the bill perfectly, ranked from easiest to most challenging.
Valley of Fire State Park – White Domes Loop
The Valley of Fire offers a unique glimpse at some original Aztec Sandstone formations during a mile walking route.
According to IMDB the area has been featured in several movies, including Total Recall and Martin Scorsese’s 1995 flick Casino, which also featured the Riviera Hotel and Casino as a location. You’ll get to see part of film history as you make your way around this stunning trail.
The hike starts from the end of White Domes Road, where you leave from the end of the parking lot and walk up a sandy trail between tall sandstone formations. Around a third of a mile from the start, you’ll reach the “ruins”, a wall made of stone with timbers and plaster, which was left over from the 1965 movie The Professionals.
Red Rock Canyon – Lost Creek Falls
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is located a short drive from Las Vegas, with the trailhead for this walk at Stop 14 on the Scenic Loop Drive, with the Lost Creek Falls hike the only one in the canyon that leads to a waterfall.
This trail leaves from the Lost Creek parking area and crosses over several bridges before ending in a secluded canyon. Be aware, however, that the waterfall is only active from November to May, otherwise hikers will be able to look at the smooth, eroded walls created by the falls.
A good base for any walk to Red Rock is the Red Rock Casino which is just two miles from the park. It may be 11 miles from the Strip, but it has one of the best poker rooms in the City.
It is well known for its tournaments and some of the best players from across the city head to the casino to test their skills. In partypoker’s guide to cash games they note how these are considered ‘the most prestigious form of the card game’. Mainly because the best players will compete in these tournaments looking to make a name for themselves regardless of whether they have to trek a considerable amount of Nevada’s desert to get there or not.
Mount Charleston – Mary Jane Falls
The Mary Jane Falls Trail is a 3.1-mile walk located near Mount Charleston, which features a stunning waterfall. It is only open from March until November so if you’re planning to walk it, make sure you plan accordingly.
It’s challenging in more ways than one as the trail is not marked, so it’ll test your orienteering skills as much as your endurance. The views from the summit of the trail are well worth the effort though.
To get there, take U.S. Highway 95, then take State Route 157 west before finding Echo Road. Travel to the end of Echo Road and you set off from there.
Mount Charleston – South Loop Trail
For a real challenge, this is an eight-mile hike that is fairly strenuous and should only be attempted by seasoned hikers. Starting at Cathedral Rock Picnic Area some 40 miles from Vegas, it is an exposed route with stunning views of South Nevada.
An article by Vegas.com explains how there are 52 miles of trails around the area, with this being one of the toughest to complete. Be aware this is a climb as well as a hike and eventually leads to the summit of 3,600-metre-tall Mount Charleston.