Las Vegas
Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon is worlds away from the glittering lights of the Strip, but is only a short drive away. In just minutes, kids can see Joshua trees, wild burros, lizards, jackrabbits, and rose red sandstone cliffs. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is about 15 miles from central Las Vegas; to get there, drive on Blue Diamond Blvd. (Rte 160) or Charleston Blvd. (Rte 159).

Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area -Take the 13 mile scenic drive, stopping for hikes along the way, and bring a picnic.
Visitor Center - Be sure to make your first stop at the visitor center, which has stellar exhibits outdoors in the Discovery Plaza about Mojave Desert ecology. Indoors touch tables have rocks, petrified wood, sandstone and fossils, climb on a giant bronze desert iguana, and check out the live desert iguana and chuckwalla in the terrarium.
Trails -
- Calico Hills - Stop at the overlook for Calico I, and take the trail along the red sandstone cliffs to Calico II.
- Lost Creek - Even the youngest kids can hike the Lost Creek trail to a seasonal waterfall. The waterfall flows down the rocks in winter, but even at other times of year, it's a beautiful rock grotto at the end of the trail, with rocks to explore ("it's like a bat cave").
For a longer loop trail (.7 mile), take the Lost Creek Children's Discovery Trail. Numbered stops explain the lost creek, a pictograph, and plants and animals that survive in this challenging environment. (Pick up the brochure at the visitor center).
- Willow Springs - Walk up the trail to see pictographs on the cliff wall. Also at Willow Springs is a large picnic area.
- Ice Box Canyon - Older kids will enjoy scrambling over the rocks on this 2.6 mile trail.
Red Rock Overlook - On Rte 159, outside the scenic drive, the overlook has panoramic views of the Calico hills and a covered picnic area.
Horseback rides - Cowboy Trail Rides near the entrance to the visitor center offers gentle 1 hour rides, 1 1/2 hour rides with some up and down, 2 hour rides back into the canyon, and 3 -5 hour rides for more experienced riders, sunset trail rides and barbeque. For kids 6 and up.
Bonnie Springs Ranch - An old west town, petting zoo with burros, goats, sheep, old-fashioned miniature train, trail rides (kids 6 and up) and pony rides, rodeo events with barrel racing, bucking horses and team roping.
Wild burros - Watch for cute wild burros on the road (Rte 159) between Spring Mountain Ranch State Park and Blue Diamond. We also saw several on the road to Bonnie Springs Ranch; they were just standing in or next to the road. Don't try to feed or pet the burros - they can bite and kick.
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