Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, just west of Las Vegas, NV, is a beautiful and relaxing place. It is the perfect destination to spend a day or two! With nearly 200,000 acres to explore, this conservation area is a popular destination for rock climbers, hikers, tourists, and sightseers.
We have actually been to Red Rock before – it’s a fabulous place for hiking if you are visiting Las Vegas! It’s not far from the city, easy access, and trails of all different difficulties. We love the views, that it is so family friendly, and it’s cheap (well, truth!).
The conservation area has a beautiful visitor’s center that includes exhibits highlighting the local animals.
The first thing that we did after entering the visitor’s center was to stop by the information desk where we picked up Jr. Explorers books.
The Jr. Explorer program at Red Rock isn’t officially part of the Jr. Ranger program that we love to collect badges with, but the kids don’t care- it’s another cool pin, and the booklets here were enjoyable (and in color – which makes them more appealing to the kids!). They even got rad pencils here!
We spent our first 20 minutes or so exploring the visitor’s center, going over the booklets so the kids would know what they needed to do,
watching the chuckwalla lizard near the info desk, and checking out the view…
There is also a great gift shop in the visitor’s center. It features everything from toys and Ts to artwork and pottery, even bumper stickers (yay!) and scrapbook pages!
Next we toured the grounds behind the visitor’s center where there are some great exhibits! This lizard was the kids”favorite…
The kids had a Jr. Explorer bingo page to do in their booklets, and they were on the lookout for cute little statues scattered throughout the area.
Em’s “Do I really have to do this page???” look. lol.
Caleb was really into this one! I initially did not get him a booklet, but the ladies at the desk asked if he would like to do it also, and offered him one. He had a great time with it, and needed minimal help considering he’s 3.
The outside viewpoints are themed after forces of nature – this is fire…
The kids loved exploring the fun hands-on displays.
The littles helped each other find the statues that were more difficult to find so they could try for a bingo blackout. The campgrounds really have them loving bingo, and you always end with blackout.
Not sure what this one is about – turned around to find these two wrestling a desert tortoise. lol. Can’t take this family out in public these days!!!
At the end of the outdoor displays, is a viewing island. This is the view to the left of it, and where we would be spending most of our day…
The red rocks that the area is named after…
We had the best time exploring with Greg (our oldest) along for the ride! Tribe of 9 (and yes, he’s just as ornery as he always has been!).
After completing what they needed to in the visitor’s center for their Jr. Explorer booklets, we drove the loop trail drive past the red rocks and to the Willow Creek Picnic Area. After lunch, Savanna (7) and everyone older took to the rocks. They went over half-way up the hill before coming back down to go explore the cave we found when we were last here, a couple of years ago.
Still the fun and easy going joker he always has been; love his sense of humor! We’ve had the best time traveling with him for 3 weeks.
Greg has always been a gadget guy. And he still is. Every time we see him, he has some newfangled ‘toy’ that the kids latch onto, and suddenly think that we need. This day was no different – Greg had picked this crazy-cool water bottle on his travels. The Hydrapak Stash Water Bottle is made by Hydrapak, and it collapses down as it is emptied. When it is completely empty, the rigid top and bottom parts screw together to keep it into the compact shape of the picture to the right.
Perspective… (Vaughn, Molly, and Caleb are at the bottom, just above the bushes/trees, in the middle)
After playing around in the rocks, and doing the rope in the cave, we went for a walk up the wash. The kids found a fossil…
The day was overcast and a bit chilly, but perfect for playing around and doing a short walk with the littles.
Willow Creek Picnic Area is a great place to go explore Red Rock with a family! It does not have the crowds that are constant over at the red rocks, there are picnic tables here, and you can just head out to explore any direction that you wish.
Caleb ready for a nap…
I loved these bushes that we found in the wash! The branches didn’t have the usual bark, and the outside had this smooth patina layering. It was the most beautiful shiny, rusty color.
At the end of the day, as we were loading up, this grey desert fox ran around in the picnic area, and right in front of our van.
Red Rock is not technically part of the National Park Service, but as BLM, it is part of the Department of the Interior, and your NPS America the Beautiful, Senior, or Access passes will get you into the park free. Without a pass, entrance into the park is $7/vehicle.
There is a nearby federal campground for out of the city camping, but we didn’t stay there or collect the info on it (we always stay at the Clark County Shooting Range when we are in LV since that is why we go there, and it is out of town).
We really enjoy visiting Red Rock; it is beautiful, peaceful, and relaxing. You can find out more about it on their RedRockCanyonLV site.