Tag Archives: Red Rock Canyon

Calico Basin – Kraft Mountain Loop Trail

Whenever my husband and I go to Las Vegas, we like to take some time out to hike. Sometimes we travel to the Valley of Fire or Mount Charleston, and other times we might plan day trips to Bryce Canyon, the Grand Canyon, or Mount Zion. If we are not in a traveling mood, we go to Red Rock and usually tool around on the rocks in the Calico Basin.

Now, until this last trip, I had no idea that the Kraft Mountain Loop trail was so incredibly beautiful and worth the hike. You do not have to pay to hike this trail. You can park in the nearby lot and walk to the trailhead, but you will have to climb upward a good distance to get to the good stuff.

Once you hike Hell Hill – yes, that is what they call it, you will have a choice of a few different routes to take. You can either hike upward and rock scramble, or you can head out and downward making sure to follow the trail as it heads to the right, which is Kraft Mountain Loop. This will start you off on some amazing scenery. You will go through shelf caverns and there will be plenty of opportunities for photo shoots and to climb up and down the rocks as you go.

This hike is a 3.1-mile loop and it is absolutely worth it. The hardest part is climbing up Hell Hill. As you go along, if you come to an opening on the trail and meet a ten-foot drop down between large boulders, there once was a rope there to help hikers safely climb down, but if the rope is gone, back-track briefly and loop around to your left; you will find an easier passageway to maneuver.

As you go you might see some wildlife, and you will most definitely see people climbing all over the place. We did this hike in mid-November and the weather was perfect. We also went in mid-afternoon and were able to view the sun as it began to descend below the mountains, which created some great photos. I will definitely do this hike again.

For more information on Kraft Mountain Loop, please check out the below website:

Kraft Mountain Loop Hiking Trail, Summerlin South, Nevada (hikingproject.com)

Red Rock Canyon

If you are in Las Vegas and you love the outdoors, especially hiking, you should definitely take the time to visit Red Rock Canyon. Only seventeen miles off the strip, Red Rock is well worth the drive. It will give you a break from the indoors and the craziness of the strip.

I frequently take time for a hike in Red Rock. You cannot beat the amazing views. You can either choose a specific hiking trail, or just spend some time climbing around on the rocks. One of my favorite things to do is take pictures of all the unique rock formations. The colors in Red Rock are extraordinary.

Just outside of the payment zone for entering the park, there is a boardwalk that you can meander through. You will see tons of different plants as well as some animals. Do not make the mistake I made; go when it’s not ridiculously windy. The boardwalk is not protected from the elements and you will lose your hat, sunglasses, or anything else that is not tied down, including light-weight people.

If walking and hiking does not sound exciting to you, there are other options. You could take the 13 mile scenic drive, which will leave you feeling peaceful and relaxed. However, if you still want to be outside, but you just don’t want to walk, you could also opt to go horseback riding. After your horseback ride you can relax and have a nice picnic lunch at one of the many picnic areas.

Be sure to stop at the visitor center before leaving the park. There are many more things to learn and see. You can check out the exhibits as well as the bookstore. I always stop simply to purchase a magnet for my travel collection.

For more information on Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, please visit: https://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/lvfo/blm_programs/blm_special_areas/red_rock_nca.html