Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area – A Scrambler’s and Climber’s Dream

Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area, Las Vegas, Nevada

There’s a lot more to Nevada than The Strip. This is made abundantly clear on a quick day trip to Red Rock Canyon, which lies just outside Vegas. Red Rock is best described as a beautifully-striped playground or jungle gym. Known as one of the top scrambling and bouldering places in the world, it’s a climber’s and hiker’s dream. It’s one of the few areas where I’ve found miles-long scrambling routes. Trails dart every which direction allowing you to essentially choose your path, and then go for it. The park is small, but packed with activities. My favorite areas thus far are: Calico 1, Calico 2, Ice Box Canyon, and Kraft Boulders, which has the famous Plumber’s Crack highball boulder (pictured below).

A note to travelers with furry friends, Red Rocks is very dog-friendly, which is not that common for national parks / monuments / conservation areas. This is a great one to visit with your dog.

Red Rock Canyon Calico 2 TravelSages
Calico 2 boulders – Yes, you can climb and scramble all over these.
Joshua Trees Calico 1 Red Rock Canyon TravelSages
There are Joshua Trees all over the trails leading to Calico 1 area. 
Plumber's Crack Red Rocks Nevada TravelSages
Patrick climbing Plumber’s Crack highball bouldering route.
Plumber's Crack Red Rocks Nevada TravelSages
Patrick at the top of Plumber’s Crack highball bouldering route.
Ice Box Canyon Red Rocks Nevada TravelSages
Ice Box Canyon. Lots of scrambling on this route.
Red Rocks Nevada TravelSages
More wild striping and spotting in Red Rocks.


About the author

Lauren is a 'digital nomad' (for lack of a less obnoxious term) who works, lives, and travels out of her truck camper with her partner, Patrick, and dog, Odin, the one-eyed Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. She started TravelSages in the summer of 2013, and has since founded a digital marketing consultancy, called LyteYear, and a sustainability brand, called RePrint. Before moving into her tiny mobile home, Lauren lived in Chicago for 6 years, pursued two graduate degrees, studied abroad at Oxford, worked for a summer in Hong Kong, and traveled to various countries in between. She has a mildly unhealthy love of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Netflix, and breweries with good New England IPAs.

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