Monday, February 14, 2011

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area



You can see by the above pictures why this area is called Red Rock Canyon.

According to the Bureau of Land Management Web page for Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. “The unique geologic features, plants and animals of Red Rock Canyon NCA represent some of the best examples of the Mojave Desert.” It is located 17 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip, contains 195,819 acres, is visited by more than one million people each year, including a 13-mile scenic drive,and has  more than 30 miles of hiking trails. What the Web page doesn’t say is that it is also 50 miles from Pahrump.

An even better Web page for all things about Red Rock Canyon NCA is the excellent one from the Red Rock Canyon Interpretive Association.



The sandstone of the area has all kinds of interesting patterns and is also very popular with rock climbers.




Even the smaller rocks have very interesting patterns


Red Rock NCA is one of the few places we have been that allows dogs on the trails. So with our trusty K9 trail guide we headed out for a hike. Raider was like a puppy, charging along and jumping over rocks.




Our first trail was to an area known for petroglyphs and pictographs. Petroglyphs are when the patterns are carved into the rock and Pictographs are when they were put on with paint. In the very nice visitor center at Red Rock NCA they use the term Rock Art to cover both.




There are areas with sweeping views.

Our second hike was one the the volunteer at the visitor center said not to miss. It was to  desert waterfall with a surprise.


With Raider leading the way our trail started across a dry wash.


Then we entered one of the many side canyons.


We did find a waterfall.



We also found ice! Even though it looks clear and sunny in all of these pictures the temperature never reached 50 and even in the sun we hiked in sweatshirts and down vest. Here in the canyon the temperature was only in the 30s.



The surprise at the end of the trail was this frozen tree.



The Red Rock Canyon NCA is real desert and has the cacti to prove it.

This place seems to have everything: there are  wild burros, wild horse and bighorn sheep. We did not see any wild horses but we did see wild burros along Nevada Highway 159 and saw the bighorn sheep along Nevada Highway 160. Unfortunately, both were in areas where we could not pull over to get pictures.The bird list for Red Rock NCA says that there are over 100 species in the area, but all we saw was a single Spotted Towhee and a Common Raven.

More pictures of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area on the slideshow:


  1. What a fantastic place! Thanks for sharing it with us. I'll be putting it on my list for plaaces for Emma and me to visit! :)

    Great photos, by the way. :)

  2. It all looks very beautiful! Thank you so much for these fabulous photos!

  3. Amazing pictures the blue sky is very complimentary to the red rocks or vice a versa!!!

  4. An icicle tree!! Love Red Rocks! Mom has done a number of climbing trips to the area. Long hikes out to the climbs, and usually you are trying to chase the shade on hot days. Amazing rock, and spectacular area! What a great post! Each photo is so clear and full of pattern. Did you stay in the area or a day trip? Love that Raider was your trail breaker :)
    Thanks for taking us along on your Red Rocks journey!

    Sweet hugs,
    Sierra Rose

  5. Your pictures is why we leave them to the people who know how, like you. Some people is good with words or pictures, and some good at the reading or looking of them. Just keep a taking them and putting them up for ones like us who wouldn't know which button to push on them fancy cameras, so we can look at them.

  6. Nice pictures!! Love the markings on the rocks