Red Rock Canyon: A Must-Do When Visiting Las Vegas

While Las Vegas is known for its dazzling lights and lively entertainment, just a short drive away lies Red Rock Canyon, a natural gem that offers a stark contrast to the city’s glamour. Located in the Mojave Desert, is a breathtaking destination that should be on every traveler’s must-do when visiting Las Vegas.

Red Rock Canyon showcases the stunning natural beauty of the Mojave Desert, featuring towering red sandstone cliffs, dramatic rock formations, and an array of desert flora and fauna. This protected conservation area offers visitors a chance to escape Las Vegas crowds and immerse themselves in a serene and awe-inspiring landscape for a couple of hours. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a photography enthusiast, or simply seeking a tranquil retreat, Red Rock Canyon has something for everyone.

How to Get There

It is conveniently located just a 30-minute drive west of the Las Vegas Strip. The most convenient way to reach the canyon is by car. You can rent a car on Las Vegas strip starting at $42 dlls/day for the most economical option. These are some companies you can find on the strip:

Alternatively, several tour companies offer guided tours and day trips to Red Rock Canyon, providing transportation and expert guides to enhance your experience. These are some options:

Make sure to check for any entry fees or parking charges before your visit. Currently, the fee is $20 dlls per vehicle.

Tips and Tricks

  1. Plan your visit: Before heading to Red Rock Canyon, check the weather conditions and trail closures. It’s advisable to visit early in the morning to beat the heat, especially during the summer months.
  2. Stay hydrated: The desert climate can be unforgiving, so bring plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout your visit. It’s recommended to carry a reusable water bottle and refill it at the visitor center before starting any hikes or exploration.
  3. Wear appropriate clothing and footwear: Dress in lightweight, breathable clothing and sturdy shoes suitable for hiking and walking on uneven terrain. Apply sunscreen and wear a hat to protect yourself from the desert sun.
  4. Explore the visitor center: Start your visit at the Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center, where you can learn about the geology, flora, and fauna of the area. The center also offers interpretive exhibits, guided walks, and a gift shop.
  5. Take the 13-mile scenic loop where you’ll find many scenic/photo stops with plenty of parking, and entrances to many hiking trails. Reservations for entry to the Scenic Drive are required from October 1 through May 31.

Photography Opportunities

Red Rock Canyon offers endless opportunities for photography enthusiasts. The vibrant colors, striking rock formations, and sweeping vistas provide a stunning backdrop for capturing memorable shots. Sunrise and sunset are particularly magical times to capture the canyon in all its glory, with the soft golden light casting a warm glow on the red rocks. Professional portraits and motion & still photography require film permits. Find more info here.

Best Time to Go

The best time to visit Red Rock Canyon is during the spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) seasons when the temperatures are milder. However, even during the winter and summer months, early mornings offer cooler temperatures and fewer crowds. Be aware that summer temperatures can soar, so take appropriate precautions if visiting during this time.

Opening Hours

The Red Rock Canyon 13-mile loop is typically open November through February 6 am to 5 pm, March 6 am to 7 pm, April through September 6 am to 8 pm, and October 6 am to 7 pm. The Visitor Center is open daily from 8 am to 4:30 pm. However, it’s always recommended to check the official website or call the visitor center to confirm the current operating hours and any closures or restrictions.

Red Rock Canyon is a natural wonder that provides a refreshing escape from the glitz and crowds of Las Vegas. Whether you’re seeking adventure, serenity, or breathtaking photography opportunities, this scenic destination offers it all. From its towering cliffs to its diverse wildlife, Red Rock Canyon is a must-visit attraction that showcases the beauty of the Mojave Desert. Plan your trip, follow the tips and tricks, and immerse yourself in the wonders of Red Rock Canyon for an unforgettable experience.



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