Hiking in Nevada
Don’t let Nevada’s reputation of bright casino lights and gaming prevent you from pursuing the magnificent hiking options which exist in all areas of the state. From out-of-the-way desert hikes to waterfall hikes, Nevada is a must-visit location if you love to hike. Hiking trails in Nevada are some of the best that this country has to offer. Some of the hiking trails will leave you breathless as you reach the summit, whereas other Nevada hikes will cause you to stop in awe at never seen beauty. Make sure to come to Nevada to hike, where the hikes are inspiring in photos, but unforgettable, when you are actually here.
Top 14 Hiking Trails in Nevada
Hunter Creek Trail
The Hunter Creek Trail is a favorite 5.7 mile out and back trail located near Reno, Nevada. This hike features an easy access point, stunning landscape and a 30-foot waterfall at the mid-way point. This hike can be hot and has little to no shade until you reach the forest. This hike is very close to the city and features a shallow pool at the falls in the summer. Dogs are allowed on the trail, off-leash, but beware of snakes that can slither across the trail. The trail is clearly marked and easy to follow. The trail is lined in pine trees and a sagebrush-filled hillside. Shortly after starting the hike you will notice the sights and sounds of the city melt away as you take on the trail and hear the creek flowing below. This is a moderate hike due to long and consistent elevation gain as well as trekking across makeshift bridges.
Distance: 5.7 Miles, Out and Back
Elevation Gain: 1,210 feet
Features: river, creek, waterfall
Facilities: Parking and Restrooms at the trailhead
Trailhead Location: Hunter Creek Trail Trailhead
Mount Rose Summit Trail
One of the most beautiful hikes in Nevada is the Mount Rose Summit Trail with unsurpassed views of Lake Tahoe, Washoe Valley, Reno and the Truckee Meadows area, as well as a waterfall, flowing streams, spur trails, and wildflowers in warm seasons. The out-and-back hike is popular in the high season and can become crowded on sunny days. This hike is located between Reno and North Lake Tahoe (Incline Village and Crystal Bay) and allows for pets to join you on the trail if they are leashed. The trailhead can be accessed from the parking lot at the summit of the Mount Rose Highway (NV-431), and you will see the slopes of Tamarack Peak on your left as you ascend the trail, dotted with flowers and grasses. Right before you reach the peak of the hike, you’ll notice a strenuous section that is well worth it for the views at the top. Be sure to stop and enjoy the flourishing wildflowers along the Galena Creek area during warmer seasons.
Distance: 10.5 Miles, Loop
Elevation Gain: 2,290 feet
Features: views, wildflowers
Facilities: Parking at the trailhead, Restrooms closed for maintenance
Trailhead Location: Mt. Rose Summit Tahoe Rim Trail Trailhead
Turtlehead Peak Trail
Another great spot for Hiking in Nevada can be found at Turtlehead Peak near Las Vegas. This hike features breathtaking views from atop Red Rock Canyon Peak. The trail is accessible year-round, but as the temperatures can soar in Southern Nevada, it is suggested that you start this hike early in the day during the hot season. This 4.7-mile trail is an out and back trail that has parking available at the trailhead. This dog-friendly hiking trail allows hikers to walk past petroglyphs as they summit Turtlehead Mountain. Red Rock Recreation Lands status was changed to a National Conservation Area in 1990 and is home to many hikes and marvelous views for hikers and walkers alike. Although this hike is considered tough, the views at the top are always worth it.
Distance: 4.7 Miles, Out and Back
Elevation Gain: 1,990 feet
Facilities: Parking at the trailhead, Restroom is a pit toilet
Trailhead Location: Just North of Sandstone Quarry Overlook, Las Vegas, NV, 89161, USA
Fire Wave Trail
This easy 1.5-mile hike can be found In the Valley of Fire State Park and is considered a newer trail, so be sure to have an up-to-date map when looking for the trailhead. The trail begins at Parking Lot 3 and heads up a long steep ridge of red sandstone to start the hike. This dog friendly hike is an easy way to get the pups out of the house, but please note they must stay on leash for the entire hike. The Valley of Fire State Park charges a small fee to enter, but once inside the park, there is no permit required to complete the Fire Wave Trail. The trail is composed of sand and slickrock and is best for hiking from November to March, before the summer temperatures start to soar. This hike beings in deep sand, then winds around red stone bluffs and continues downhill until you reach the base of the Fire Wave rock. The colorful sandstone around you while hiking is breathtaking with all of the colorful rocks, views, and wildlife. Like other Nevada hikes, don’t forget your camera when you hit the trail.
Distance: 1.5 Miles, Out and Back
Elevation Gain: 240 feet
Features: views, birding, wildflowers, wildlife
Facilities: Gravel parking at the trailhead, 4.7 miles from Valley of Fire Visitors Center
Trailhead Location: Fire Wave Trailhead
The Gold Strike Canyon Trail is a 4.5 mile hike in Southern Nevada near Boulder City. Gold Strike Hot Springs showcase
cliff jumping, great views of wildlife and even one of the most refreshing ways to take in the majesty of the Hoover Dam. This out and back trail is strenuous as you hike through the canyon to reach the hot springs. Along the trail, there are eight fixed ropes if you trek down to the river, but it can be slippery on the way back up. It’s suggested that you leave the dogs at home for this hike as the trail can be too strenuous for paws. There is parking available at the trailhead off a gravel road under Highway 93, just past the Hacienda Casino. In February and March, keep an eye out for desert flowers as well as bighorn sheep on or above the trail. Due to extreme heat, this hike is officially closed from May through September.
Distance: 4.5 Miles, Out and Back
Elevation Gain: 910 feet
Features: views, caves, river, swimming, waterfall, wildlife, wildflowers
Dogs: Not Allowed
Facilities: Parking at the trailhead, closed during summer due to heat
Trailhead Location: Gold Strike Hot Spring Trailhead
Calico Tanks Trail
The Calico Tanks Trail traverses over sandstone and leads hikers in Nevada to a water pocket with a stunning view of Las Vegas. This hike is moderate in difficulty and is 2.3 miles out and back—perfect for the entire family! This hike in Red Rock Canyon State Park showcases the famous red sandstone rocks and even has two sets of sandstone stairs to ascend. Leashed dogs are allowed on this trail, but it can be too hot for both pets and people in the summer months. Calico Tanks Trail is one of the most popular hikes in this Nevada state park because of the views and pod at the end of the trail. The elevation change of just over 400 feet makes this hike not only beautiful but easily completed by adults and children alike.
Distance: 2.3 Miles, Out and Back
Elevation Gain: 410 feet
Features: views, caves, wildlife, wildflowers, kid-friendly
Facilities: Parking and pit toilet at the trailhead
Trailhead Location: Just North of Sandstone Quarry Overlook, Las Vegas, NV, 89161, USA
Sierra Canyon Trail
The Sierra Canyon Trail is a lightly trafficked 10-mile hike located near Genoa, Nevada. This trail offers walkers and hikers in Nevada stunning views of nature and wildlife. This moderate hike is best from April through October and allows leashed dogs on the trail. This hike is a part of the Genoa Trail System consisting of 16 miles of trail in the Genoa area including the Genoa Loop, Eagle Ridge Loop, and the Discovery Trail. This hike is long with substantial elevation gain and loss but does connect to the Tahoe Rim Trail, just west of Genoa Peak. If you continue one mile past the Tahoe Rim Trail, you will see one of the best views of Lake Tahoe. There is also a shuttle to Kingsbury North and Spooner Summer trailheads if you prefer a one-way hike.
Distance: 10 Miles One Way, 20 Miles Out and Back
Elevation Gain: 4,000 feet
Features: views, creek, river
Facilities: Parking at the trailhead
Trailhead Location: Sierra Canyon Trail Trailhead
Mary Jane Falls Trail
The Mary Jane Falls Trail is another hike in Southern Nevada, close to the Mt. Charleston Wilderness. This 3.1 mile hike is an out and back trail featuring bird watching, wildlife, and a waterfall. There’s a variety of activities this trail offers hikers in the Silver State, including the option to bring leashed dogs along for the adventure. This moderate hike has a visible path but can be slippery in places along the switchbacks. There is shade along the trail, offering many places to stop and take in the views. The waterfall is at the end of the trail and is well worth the uphill hike.
Distance: 3.1 Miles, Out and Back
Elevation Gain: 990 feet
Features: views, cave, waterfall, bird watching, horseback, wildflowers, wildlife, rock climbing
Facilities: Gravel parking at the trailhead
Trailhead Location: Mary Jane Falls Trail Trailhead
Cathedral Rock Trail
Cathedral Rock Trail is a 2.7 mile hike located just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. This out and back trail has an elevation gain of just under 1,000 feet and offers a forest setting that is an excellent juxtaposition to the neon lights of Las Vegas. Dogs are allowed on the trail as long as they are leashed. The trail is one of the few places in the world that hikers can spot the Palmer Chipmunk. Children may enjoy this hike, but they are drop-offs at the top of over 500 feet, so be sure to keep a close eye on them, even with safety railings in place. This trail goes up, out of the canyon, toward the back of Cathedral Rock, with the avalanche chute below. There are a few steep switchbacks on your way to the summit, but the views of Kyle Canyon cannot be topped.
Distance: 2.7 Miles, Out and Back
Elevation Gain: 980 feet
Features: views, horseback, bird watching, kid-friendly
Facilities: Limited parking $8, restroom at Mt. Charleston Lodge
Trailhead Location: Cathedral Rock Picnic Area
Van Sickle Rim Trail
The Van Sickle Rim Trail is famous for those who love hiking in Nevada. This 6.3 mile out and back trail is located near Stateline, Nevada, overlooking Lake Tahoe. The trail features wildflowers, bird watching, stunning views, and a lake. This trail is best trekked from April through November, when there is no snow on the trail. Dogs can be leashed on the Van Sickle Rim Trail. Access is through the Van Sickle Bi-State Park behind Heavenly Village in South Lake Tahoe—look for the stone sign to enter. After driving in about ¼ mile, you will see the trailhead access. This state park opened in 2011 and now welcomes both hikers and mountain bikers on the trail.
Distance: 6.3 Miles, Out and Back
Elevation Gain: 1,360 feet
Features: views, wildlife, bird watching, wildflowers
Facilities: Restroom and parking lot at the trailhead
Trailhead Location: Van Sickle Rim Trail Trailhead
First Creek Trail
Just outside of Las Vegas, hikers in Nevada will discover the First Creek Trail featuring a waterfall, wildlife, and mountainous views. This kid-friendly hike is 3.6 miles out and back and suitable for all skill levels. This trail is best for hikers and leashed dogs from February through November. The hike starts with a flat traverse across the desert for about one mile and then when you reach the mouth of the canyon, you turn 90 degrees to the right and see the hidden waterfall. There is a wide path to the top of the waterfall but reaching the base can be more difficult. The striking cliffs surround you as you make your way down to the plunge pool. This hike is in Red Rock Canyon State Park but outside of the fee area.
Distance: 3.6 Miles, Out and Back
Elevation Gain: 535 feet
Features: views, wildlife, bird watching, wildflowers, waterfall, kid-friendly
Facilities: Gravel pullout on the side of the road. Room for 40 cars. No restrooms
Trailhead Location: First Creek Trail Trailhead
Ice Box Canyon Trail
Ice Box Canyon Trail is a strenuous hike located near Las Vegas, Nevada. This 2.3 mile hike takes about two hours out and back. The trail takes you through a cool, shady canyon (see where the hike gets its name?) with seasonal waterfalls in Red Rock Canyon State Park. The narrow canyon rarely gets sunlight and stays cool with the cold water and cold air coming down from the mountains above. To reach the trail, you will have to cross the desert into the end of the canyon. The trail is used for hiking, walking and bird watching. Paved parking is available at the trailhead and dogs are allowed on the trail as long as they are leashed. From Las Vegas, drive ten miles on SR 159 and turn west after approaching the Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center. The parking lot will be right off the trail.
Distance: 2.3 Miles, Out and Back
Elevation Gain: 580 feet
Features: views, wildlife, bird watching, wildflowers, waterfall
Facilities: Paved parking provided at the trailhead
Trailhead Location: Ice Box Canyon Trail Trailhead
If you’re looking for a hike near Lake Mead, Nevada, Railroad Tunnel Trail is just for you. This dog-friendly hike is 7.1 miles out and back and takes hikers up a former railroad grade. The views of Lake Mead are panoramic along this easy hike. On the trail, you will discover five large tunnels that were once a part of the now-gone railroad route that went from Boulder City to the Hoover Dam. The fifth tunnel is about 1.5 miles from the Hoover Dam Parking Garage. In 2017, the trail received a new layer of decomposed granite improving the overall accessibility. This trail is open to hikers, bikers and leashed dogs.
Distance: 7.1 Miles, Out and Back
Elevation Gain: 685 feet
Features: views, road biking, river, wildlife
Facilities: Parking provided 500 yards from the trailhead
Trailhead Location: Railroad Tunnel Trail Trailhead
The Ruby Crest National Recreation Trail is located in the Ruby Mountains in Spring Creek, Nevada. The lowest part of the trail is at 7,200 feet, and the highest part of the trail is at 10,893 feet above sea level! This 37-mile through-hike is a moderate-hard hike passing many lakes along the way including Liberty, Lamoille, Castle and Overland lakes. Water is typically abundant on the trail except between North Furlong and the Overland Creek Drainage. While this hike can be done in one day, many hikers spend the night on the trail and finish it in two. You can even spend some time fishing along the way. Dogs are allowed off their leash on this trail. The Ruby Crest National Recreation Trail is best used from July through August.
Distance: 37.7 Miles, Point to Point
Elevation Gain: 3,693 feet
Features: views, road biking, river, wildlife, lake, river, creek, swimming
Facilities: Parking is available in the lot next to the trailhead
Trailhead Location: Ruby Crest Trail Trailhead
For more information on other hikes in Nevada, as well as for other outdoor hiking events and adventures, visit the Nevada Outdoor Hiking page.