In Events, News, Sports

By Todd Schacherl

HIGH-SKILL HIKES

Charleston Peak

At 11,916 feet, Mount Charleston is the highest peak in Southern Nevada. Many of the trails have been closed since Hurricane Hillary in 2023, but this peak is still accessible from the North Loop Trail. This is an out-and-back hike that is about 18 miles round trip.

Hayford Peak

This peak is on the other side of US 95 from Mount Charleston and includes hiking to the Hidden Forest, Hidden Cabin. The hike can be done in a day as a 16-mile out-and-back hike or as an overnight backpack trip. There is also a military plane crash site nearby for those who like to visit such sites.

Rainbow Peak (Direct)

This is a scrambling route to one of the most iconic peaks in Red Rock. It has webbing and even airline cables to assist on the climb. Most people go up that route and then come down the normal route, but it’s not unheard of for the adventurous types to go up and down the direct route. This route is mostly Class 3 and Class 4+. This is not a hike to route find on your own. Go with someone who knows the route.

MUST-DO HIKES

Calico Tanks (Red Rock)

This is a popular hike in Red Rock and starts from the Sandstone Quarry. Get there early as the parking lot is small and fills fast. This is a great hike for winter and spring as the reward at the end of the trail is Calico Tank, which usually has water during those times of the year. By early summer, it’s usually bone dry.

Fern Canyon (Red Rock)

This hike starts from the Pine Creek Trailhead in Red Rock. The attraction for Fern Canyon is that it always has water, even during the summer. There are several small waterfalls and one 30-foot waterfall at the “end.” One can go farther, but folks usually turn around here.

Rain Tree (Mount Charleston)

This hike starts from the North Loop Trailhead. It’s about 6 miles out and back. There is an alternative on the return by going down Wildhorse Canyon. There are wild horses, but it’s rare to see them.

EASY HIKES

Children’s Discovery Trail (Red Rock)

This is an easy hike with lots of things to see. It’s less than 2 miles out and back that ends at a waterfall. There are also some petroglyphs that can be viewed nearby.

Ice Box Canyon (Red Rock)

This out-and-back hike is about 2 miles and ends in a box canyon that during the winter can have a lot of ice and snow. There are usually a couple small pools at the end.

Railroad Tunnels (Lake Mead)

This hike follows the railroad tracks that were used to bring heavy equipment and materials to build Hoover Dam. There is a trailhead near the Lake Mead Visitor Center, but it’s 1.5 miles to the first tunnel. There are a total of four tunnels. One can also start the hike at the overflow parking for the bridge overlook. Tunnel four is very close from there. One can hike past the boneyard, which has a lot of old equipment like the crawlers that were used to bring in the turbines. This trail goes to the parking lot at the dam, and from there all the facilities like tours, a gift shop and food are available. Depending on where one starts, this hike is about 3 to 8 miles. This trail is appropriate for bikes and e-bikes.

WHERE TO CONNECT

Finding people for these routes is easier than one might think. Meetup.com, and specifically Meetup.com/VegasHikers, is a great resource to join hikes with folks who know where they are going. There are more than 27,000 members with events of varying degrees of skill levels and multiple events daily. It’s the most active group on Meetup.com. Activities include hiking, scrambling, backpacking, camping, kayaking, canyoneering and climbing. Oh, and it’s free. Just sign up.

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