Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is about 15 miles west of Las Vegas. Over two million tourists visit this area yearly to enjoy the wonderful gifts of nature. This park offers opportunities for rock climbing, hiking, road biking, horse riding and mountain biking. Areas suitable for observing the natural scenery and picnics are also available. Besides these attractions, a visitors’ center with a book store and other indoor and outdoor facilities is located in the park.
Other attractions in the neighborhood of this park include the Blue Diamond village, Spring Mountain Ranch State Park and Bonnie Springs. These areas are located in the southern end of this conservation area.
Keystone Thrust Fault & Other Geological Wonders
The Keystone Thrust Fault, a huge wall-like rock, is the most impressive sight at this tourist area. This feature runs from the Cottonwood Fault to the surrounding area of La Madre Mountain. The thrust fault, a breakage of the earth’s crust, is hidden near the mountain. These wall-like features are popular sites for rock climbing and hiking. La Madre Mountain is the highest part of the walls. Very big rock formations are also present at this park.
Picnics, Overlooks & Hikes
Picnic sites abound at Willow Spring and Red Spring and overlooks at Pine Creek Canyon, Red Rock Wash and Icebox Canyon offer spectacular views of the desert washes and wooded canyons.
For hiking, Pine Creek Canyon maintains a popular hiking trail that leads to the remains of an ancient homestead. The historic farmhouse, bordered by pine trees is located beside a running creek. Also, there is a 0.8 mile trail in Icebox Canyon. A cascading waterfall is a seasonal sight at Lost Creek, but a natural spring flows at this location throughout the year.
13-Mile Scenic Loop
The 13-Mile Loop Drive is ideal for sightseeing and viewing the impressive desert landscape. The Calico Vista parking area also offers good positions for taking photographs of the sandstone peaks known Aztec sandstone. A short hike from the second point at the base of the canyon leads to this cross-bedded sandstone. You can reach this historic quarry site on foot from Sandstone Quarry parking space.
The presence of small deep valleys makes hiking at the quarry site interesting. Several potholes which are filled with water after the rains are found at Calico Hills. The pools of water also serve as home to fairy shrimp, small insects, and insect larvae.
Besides providing access to many features in the park, 13-mile Loop Drive is famous for bicycle touring. Parking areas that lead to trails are located along this road. The visitor center is at the beginning of this road.
The Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area is an amazing attraction site. Little wonder millions of people visit this historic spot. This spectacular landscape protects cultural sites, wildlife, natural resources and provides many recreational opportunities.