Most visitors to Las Vegas have no idea how close they are to some incredible hiking opportunities. In fact, as far as scenic wonder and otherworldly terrain goes, the hiking near Vegas is actually some of the best hiking in Nevada. When you go hiking near Las Vegas, you’ll enjoy all the beauty of national recreation areas, plus easy access to popular trails and visitor centers that provide guidance and advice if it’s your first visit.
Hiking Near Las Vegas
Visit The Top Hiking Trails in Las Vegas
There’s no doubt Las Vegas is one of the flashiest, action-packed places on Earth, but we guarantee you’ll find just as much action by putting boots on the ground and hitting the hiking trails that surround the city. Don’t believe it? Head to the nearby Spring Mountains or Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, where hundreds of thousands of wide-open acres welcome those who seek a more natural variety of Silver State adventure. There’s even a full-blown itinerary for intrepid wanderers like you: the Neon to Nature road trip.
Plan Ahead When Hiking Around Vegas
Visitors to southern Nevada can confirm: it gets hot down here. Which is great news for off-season travelers looking for a little solitude on the hiking trails. Winter and the shoulder seasons are best for hiking around Las Vegas, as are the cooler portions of the day in summer (particularly early mornings before the sun starts baking the desert floor). You should bring extra water and sunscreen, and take the usual precautions as you explore terrain that’s new to you. Always let someone know where you’re headed and when you’ll be back, too. And, because Nevada is home to many critters (not all nice), stay aware of your surroundings as you explore our desert trails.
So, what beckons just outside the city? Here are some of the most popular trails in the Las Vegas area.
Fire Wave Hike – Valley of Fire State Park
Explosions of color greet hikers on this world-famous trek through Valley of Fire State Park that’s 1.5 miles long (out and back). Bring your good camera or GoPro for this one! Plan to visit outside of summer, as the trail closes June through September for heat safety.
Rainbow Vista Hike and Fire Canyon Overlook – Valley of Fire State Park
Also located within the Valley of Fire State Park, Rainbow Vista is a one-mile out-and-back hike that brims with color and is suitable for all skill levels. You can drive up Fire Canyon Road for more unbelievable sights, including Silica Dome.
White Domes – Valley of Fire State Park
Just like it sounds, this slot canyon trail features lighter shades of white, brown, and red, making for a pleasing morning or afternoon of exploration on a 1.1 mile loop.
Calico Tanks Trail – Red Rock Canyon
Challenge is the keyword for this 2.2 mile hike in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. The natural steps found here can be difficult to navigate, but with a little patience and ingenuity (crawling on all fours, anyone?), it’s quite doable and part of why it’s so popular.
Ice Box Canyon – Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Just over two miles, the Ice Box Canyon hike in Red Rock Canyon is ripe with scenic beauty. We’re talking green scrub and dramatic brown canyon walls that rise to meet the blue Nevada sky on your way to seasonal waterfalls. Some scrambling over boulders and rocks required!
Calico Hills – Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Talk about dramatic contrast. When you see the red rocks in front of the brown and green hills that stand sentinel over them, you’ll be glad you hiked this area. With a number of parking and access options, you can hike anywhere from 2-6 miles.
Lake Mead Railroad Trail
Visiting Lake Mead? This area brims with history, including former railroad tracks used to bring construction supplies to Hoover Dam that are now well-maintained (and must-experience) trails. Wheelchair accessible and bike friendly, everyone in your group can enjoy this recreation area just outside Las Vegas.
Gold Strike Hot Springs Trail
This hike isn’t for everyone – it requires rock scrambling and rope climbing – but the views descending into Gold Strike Canyon and along the Colorado River are stunning (as are the soaks). The nearby Arizona Hot Springs Trail is similarly strenuous but rewarding. Both trails close May through September due to the high heat.
Mount Charleston Hiking Trails
If it’s elevation gain you seek, head straight to Mount Charleston. Most of the trails here start at more than 6,000 feet of elevation, and some take you all the way up to Charleston Peak (at nearly 12,000 feet!). Mary Jane Falls is another popular hike that brings you to cooler temperatures and waterfalls.