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Red Rock Canyon Visit - advice please?

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by Bling, Mar 10, 2013.

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  1. Bling

    Bling Tourist

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    Ok guys, me and the missus are in Vegas Thurs 28th and Fri 29th of this month and would like to pop over to the canyon for a visit.

    Can anyone advise us as to what day and time would be best please, and also what to do when we're there? We do have a rental car.

    Thanks

    Chris
     
  2. ClownHo

    ClownHo High-Roller

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    been there twice: january 2007 and november 2012.

    not sure there's a better time. i think the park closes at sunset. when i was there in january '07, it was a sunny, 50+ degree day, great for a midwesterner who escaped the cold weather. not so great to others, i imagine. not overly warm in november either. if you plan on walking any distance and it's may or later, go early if you plan to walk for a while. since you're going at the end of this month, you should be fine. shouldn't need a coat, shouldn't die from the heat, but grab cheap bottles of water before you go if you plan to spend any time outdoors walking any distance. you can buy drinks at the park. they don't gouge you, but grab big bottles cheap before you get there. (when i went to valley of fire in may 2012 i did walk about a mile on a loop trail, in 90F heat without a water bottle.... not a big deal, but not ideal, either.)

    i haven't done extensive hiking through the canyon, but there are some trails that will allow you to walk for a while. last fall we found some folks wandering along the trails a ways back from the road. we didn't see anything particularly spectacular from hiking straight back from the road, but it was interesting to find our way back to an area most people never see. and i'm convinced there was a snake hanging out in a bush back there. i couldn't see him, and didn't try to find him, but some animal was definitely hiding inside.

    although there is red rock, changing elevations and a nice drive through the canyon, it's not as amazing as it sounds. there's far more red rock to be had at valley of fire, but not as close. the canyon is worth seeing, nonetheless.
     
  3. zamboni

    zamboni VIP Whale

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    I really hate pissing on someones campfire, but I have mentioned it on here before, and after going back two thursdays ago, I still prefer Valley of Fire to Red Rock. I was out there almost ALL day. After going through Red Rock, I don't see it being an all day thing. To me, there is more to see at VoF and having a car is an excellent way to see it all. A lot of stops, and getting out and exploring.
     
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  4. zamboni

    zamboni VIP Whale

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    I see ClownHo agrees.
     
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  5. Bling

    Bling Tourist

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    Yeah, thanks both, great stuff. To be fair though, we're only in Vegas for two days, and was just looking to see something different as well as the bright lights! You think it would be worth just an hour or two visit, to do something different that's pretty close to Vegas?
     
  6. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    Having never been to VOF, I think you'll enjoy Red Rock just fine. They have a visitor center with a gift shop in addition to the drive and you can hike there if you wanted. But I have just done the drive and enjoy pulling over to take pictures.
     
  7. zamboni

    zamboni VIP Whale

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    Get up around 7, hit I-15 by 8 and you'll be there by 8:45. Go until 1 or so and you'll be back in town by 2. Personally I love the place and could spend a few days out there camping, but you can fit a lot in out there is several hours, and it is worth it.

    One word of caution, I have been there twice, and the state troopers on that road are THICK. The speed limit goes up to 75 and I think a lot of folks think that is the green light to go 90+ and they nail speeders left and right. The troopers just sit on side of road and wait. Drive safe and enjoy, place is beautiful.
     
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  8. skinny malinky

    skinny malinky Low-Roller

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    I always try to fit a Red Rock hike into my Vegas trips. I've been there 5 or 6 times now. It's a great escape from the sensory overload of the casinos. As far as what day and time, it really depends on the weather when you're there. Obviously Thursday will be less crowded than Friday, but even on the weekends you won't feel surrounded by people.

    As far as what to do, there's the visitor center and a lot of different trails to hike. The visitor center is nice, but nothing that you'll want to linger in. The trails offer a pretty good variety of hikes, from easy walks with little elevation change, to rock scrambling, to 1000+ foot climbs. Make sure to bring water, and there are a couple of places with picnic tables if you want to eat while you're there. The first couple of trails (the Calico trails, if I remember right) are the most popular, so if you're looking to feel more isolated keep on driving around the loop. Here's a good resource for trail info: http://www.redrockcanyonlv.org/lasvegas/hikes-trails/.
     
  9. Busyman

    Busyman VIP Whale

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    I just went there about a month ago.

    Couple notes:

    1. Go early. Why? See below...

    2. Have plenty of gas. The drive, once in, is 13 miles one-way.

    3. Between getting out your vehicle and seeing the sights and possibly hiking, you want to have water, daylight, and generally...time.

    4. USE THE RESTROOM BEFORE YOU GET OUT THERE!
    Seriously, the outhouse I use when I stay in cabins with no power/water in the Shenendoah are better.
    DO YOUR #2 BEFORE YOU GO THROUGH!

    5. It goes without saying but bring your camera, DUH. Bring extra batteries.

    6. Wear good shoes. Hiking shoes are best.
     
  10. Bling

    Bling Tourist

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    Great stuff, thanks very much :)

    Again, superb, thank you! A real silly question this - I've done loads of research to date, one of the last things on my list to research is the driving do's and dont's in the US (I haven't researched that yet!). So - the 75 and 90 you mention, is that mph or kph lol?! Apologies - as I said a real newbie question!
     
  11. Busyman

    Busyman VIP Whale

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    MPH, it's always MPH in the US.
     
  12. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

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    Only been to RR once and it was during early Aug (triple digit temps that trip).

    While walking around the visitor center we heard them talking to other visitors who planned on doing a hike and said to bring 1 liter of water per person per mile. You won't this during your time but still something to keep in mind in case the weather warms up.
     
  13. NandJfrmNJ

    NandJfrmNJ High-Roller

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    Do you plan to hike? If so, there are many trails of all levels to do so. When you go to the visitor's center, ask a ranger for guidance as to which trails to take. RR has some slot canyons and waterfalls (should be some water in them at this time of the year from snow melt) but you need to get out of the car and hike to see them. At least do the First Creek hike. It's great for beginners. If you're more adventurous, try Icebox Canyon. The trails are well marked so you won't have any trouble finding them.
     
  14. saintpauljeff

    saintpauljeff VIP Whale

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    I was out at the canyon last August. Hiked about 4 of the trails over the course of an afternoon, it's a pretty good workout depending on which trails you pick. Thought it was great- very peaceful out there and a great change of pace from the gambling bit.
     
  15. thoots

    thoots Low-Roller

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    I sure enjoyed myself when I went out there on my last trip. A very refreshing change from the hustle and bustle.

    You drive for miles and miles and MILES AND MILES through endless urban sprawl, until you finally get there.

    I just drove around and stopped to take pictures at the various turnouts, and anywhere else that was interesting.

    A few pictures:

    original1.jpg

    original2.jpg

    original3.jpg

    Snakes? Did someone mention snakes? This guy was just heading down the road, just like the rest of us:

    original4.jpg

    Enjoy!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2013
  16. daveg000

    daveg000 High-Roller

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    You can also take a Virtual tour to get an idea! Google Earth goes down all the main roads at Street level!

    First you should know that the road is a big loop. Charleston street, turns into rte 159 on the north and it goes around and ends up just south of the Airport.

    Starting on the north You can go into Calico basin, The Red Rock Canyon Loop, travel further around, and you have the Spring Mountain Rach State Park, Then the Old Nevada Bonnie springs ranch (my favorite becase tof their bar).

    Again if you go to google earth, it goes down all these roads.

    You will have a better chance of seeing wild burros, we usually see tham more south of Red Rock, and you can look up each site on the internet.

    The other thing that amazed me, was that the "spings" in the names were springs, and there were regular grass, oaks maples out there in the middle of the desert at Bonnie Springs.
     
  17. NickyDim

    NickyDim VIP Whale

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    This would be my choice too. The rock outcroppings here are right out of a Road Runner cartoon, with arches and really nice scenic views. Red Rock is nice long distance vista views, whereas Valley of Fire is more up front and in your face.

    But if you are set on traveling west stop at Red Springs just before Red rock Canyon entrance on Calico Basin rd. it's free and a really nice place to have a lunch or just relax. Check it out on Google map.
     
  18. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    RR and VoF are different experiences, like Bryce isn't Zion and Carmel isn't Kauai, but they all rock.

    For the occasional tourist wanting to see some southwestern wonder and catch a bit of Vegas not usually seen, then Red Rock is the way to go. If someone really likes hiking, RR has far more, longer, way more diverse trails, even leading up into the high country. And it's great for climbers and cyclists.

    VoF is more of an at-hand awe-ing experience and it's best jaunts are found bushwhacking. The high Mojave beauty of VoF largely is confined to the state park proper.

    Everyone's mileage will vary.

    Did someone mention snakes? I've spent years and years out in the desert, from camping to golf to shooting to hiking, and I've come across more rattlers in the yards of various homes I've occupied in So Cal than I have out in the Mojave (Colorado, Sonoran), or hiking trails and hills in the OC. Snakes want far less to do with you than you do with them.
     
  19. Bling

    Bling Tourist

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    Lol, awesome, thank you! BUT - this is Valley of Fire isn't it (I hope?!). I only say that as you mentioned 'miles and miles of urban sprawl' ? Whereas Red Rock is not far from town?
     
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  20. Bling

    Bling Tourist

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    Wow, great stuff, thanks very much! A quick question - how long (time wise) do you think that 'loop' would take by car?
     
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