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Hiking Las Vegas Blog
Although competition from online casinos is increasingly strong with nonstop offers for players such as promotions from Borgata, Las Vegas remains the world's mecca for gambling lovers, where fans of roulette, slot machines and blackjack dream to go at least once in a lifetime. But if you are visiting this place, it could as well be because you already know that around this sleepless city there are also wonderful places to discover.
Not more than 20 miles from the lively center of Las Vegas, not far from the bustle and the artificial lights of the Strip, there is a wonderful natural park whose trademark, needless to say, is the red rock typical of this area. Red Rock Canyon is in fact a natural stage where it is possible to admire splendid formations of red rock, inserted in a surreal and rather fascinating scenery.
The Keystone Thrust Fault is undoubtedly the most interesting geological element of the canyon. According to studies by scientists interested in the area, this fault was formed approximately 65 million years ago, when two crust plates collided with such force that one of the plates was pushed even over the earth's crust. The fault is clearly indicated by the sharp contrast between the grey limestone and the red sandstone.
There are many hikes to take. If you are an expert, we strongly advise you to hike to Turtlehead Peak trail. Don't take this route lightly, because it is a hike that tests even the most experienced hikers: some points of the climb on the rocks are complex, but the view from the top of Turtlehead Peak is worth all the effort.
Calico Tanks is a real lesson in geology and prehistory in the open-air right in the heart of the canyon, between strange rock formations and narrow paths in the shade of its red walls.
One of the most intriguing excursions in Red Rock Canyon is the Ice Box Canyon trail. After a nice bit of walking in the desert, you will arrive near the most covered area of the canyon, where you will find small natural pools and waterfalls. If the area of Ice Box Canyon is relatively refreshing, it is also true that to reach it you have to suffer a bit of heat during the warmer months: equip yourself accordingly, bringing a good reserve of water. The trailhead is 7.7 miles from the Visitor Center.
If you are a family and want to choose easy paths, we recommend two other trails. From Calico Hill you can reach two different and very evocative viewing points, easily accessible by all.
Also, the Moenkopi Loop is an easy path that starts from the Visitor Center and progresses along a desert area of the park, where you can enjoy the reddish panorama of the Wilson Cliffs, walking between Triassic fossils and stubby cacti on the side of the path. You can walk through the loop and return to the Visitor Center or follow the path along the area of Calico Hills that we mentioned earlier.
Branch Whitney is the author of Hiking Las Vegas and creator of the 52 Peak Club where members hike to the best 52 Peaks around Las Vegas, NV