Enjoy Hiking Las Vegas
With all the great hiking in and around virtually any neighborhood, plus some spectacular trails outside of town, hikers of all skill levels can enjoy hiking Las Vegas. Here are some tips for planning your next hike.
“Take a hike!” may be another way of saying “scram,” but in Las Vegas, it’s simply a good idea. Virtually every area has access to spectacular scenery and trails to suit every fitness level, not to mention an abundance of clear skies. Hiking Las Vegas is easily accessible for residents and visitors alike.
Major Parks and Recreation Areas
Red Rock Canyon Natural Conservation Area, Valley of Fire State Park, and Lake Mead form a triad of national and state-run facilities with year-round access by residents and tourists. Hiking Las Vegas comprehensively must include these attractions.
Residents of Summerlin and southwest communities such as Mountain’s Edge are in close proximity to Red Rock, and some residences even have canyon views from their own backyards. Other areas such as Henderson, North Las Vegas, or the eastern side of town are anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes’ drive from Red Rock. From the entrance, drive the scenic loop for excellent views of the remarkable rock formations. For your hike, you can pull off and park at one of several trailheads. The visitor’s center at the top of the loop has trail maps with notes on which ones are for beginner, intermediate, and advanced hikers.
Valley of Fire can be reached either by driving about an hour up the I-15 and heading east on Valley of Fire Highway, or going through Lake Mead and entering Valley of Fire on the eastern end. Either way, hiking Las Vegas really isn’t complete without exploring this area, which is steeped in Native American history and filled with yet more spectacular red rock formations (hence the “fire” part of the name).
At Lake Mead, after entering the recreation area, head north on Northshore Road or south on Lakeshore Road to access trailheads leading through canyons and other terrain, including the Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail, that make for a fine hiking experience. Henderson and Lake Las Vegas are 15 to 20 minutes from Lake Mead. Other areas of the Valley take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes to drive. Mount Charleston is also a cool place (literally and figuratively) to hike during the summer season. In winter, snow falls at that elevation and the area is devoted to skiing and snowboarding.
Neighborhood Trails and Parks
Most neighborhoods throughout the Valley incorporate walking trails into their design, and residents enjoy hiking Las Vegas via these desert trails along the confines and borders of their own communities. In Henderson, a number of city parks contain trailheads into the Amargosa Trail system, which meanders throughout the city of Henderson as far up as the Black Mountain, and all the way down along more urban stretches near the Saint Rose Parkway.
In the Summerlin area, Angel Park Trail is a popular one within the City of Las Vegas trail system. Many of these trails can be partially urban trails, with views of the Strip, crossovers at major roadways, and some interconnection with each other.
No matter where you go hiking in Las Vegas, exercise proper precautions and safety measures. Don’t forget plenty of sunscreen and water. Stick to established trails, try to hike with a buddy rather than solo, and advise others of your whereabouts before you head out. Be especially cautious of slot canyons, washes, and other potential flash-flood zones. With safety in mind, you’re free to hit the trail and enjoy hiking amid all the fabulous desert scenery.
Image Source: Flickr