Camping in Vegas and Red Rock Canyon

Glenn had never been to Las Vegas.  Since we have a friend that lives here, it was a great opportunity to connect again  and to have Glenn see the sights.

Since our friend lives outside of the city and doing the bus from her house wasn’t doable, she suggested that we park at Mandolay Bay casino which is at the South end of the Las Vegas strip.  Since we were going to drive our rig which is not parking garage friendly,  I confirmed with casino security that it was ok and free to park in their open surface parking lot for the convention center for the day.  Perfect place to park and then walk the strip.  We walked in and out of many casinos that I knew had interesting things to see at no charge.  Four hours was enough for Glenn – he really wasn’t impressed and wanted to get away from people again.  My feeling about Vegas is that you should see it once but that it enough.

Red Rock Canyon is only 17 miles from Vegas and is a conservation area gem.  It does get A LOT of visitors but with most areas if you hike more than 1 -2 miles, you will lose the crowd.

red sand dunes

red sand dunes

The canyon is made up of a 13 mile scenic paved road with several paved parking areas for trail heads in each of the different geographic areas.

unusual layered sandstone

unusual layered sandstone

Our favorite area was the beautiful red and white sandstone hills with undulating lines and swirls since they are ancient sand dunes.  You can climb and hike to your hearts content within these beautiful rocks.

Trail map of canyon

Trail map of canyon

We also did the White Rock loop trail – 6 miles with some interesting rock formations. A ranger gave us great advice for this trail – hike it counter clock wise since most of the 1,000 feet elevation gain is in the beginning and you can end the hike mostly down hill.

20151106_142529At one of the overlooks we unexpectedly entertained a group of 60 visitors from South Korea.  They had never seen a set up like ours and took lots of pictures of us and the camper.

We enjoyed seeing the rock climbers scaling the face of some of the larger rock areas.

fun rocks to climb

fun rocks to climb

The canyon is at a higher elevation than we thought and were sleeted on one day.  Luckily this was the day we were going to spend the night at our friends house since it was going to be in high 20’s at night.  When we returned to the canyon to hike for two days, we stayed in the BLM Red Rock Canyon Campground.

View from campground

View from campground

$15 a night with no services but 1 mile from the entrance to the canyon.  There are mostly tent campers there  and doesn’t have any shade or privacy.

It does cost $15 to enter the canyon so we were happy we purchased the national park access pass last year since we went in and out of entrance four times.

I never get tired of the interesting rocks

I never get tired of the interesting rocks

Handmade camper

Handmade camper

Talented craftsman of a quality camper

Met this camper craftsman at campground

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also heard that Mt. Charleston area just north of Vegas also has lots of hiking and camping but we didn’t get there. (Yes, yes, it is on our go-back list:))

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2 Responses to Camping in Vegas and Red Rock Canyon

  1. Since my sister lives in Vegas, we try to visit at least once a year – each time making sure that we go to Red Rock. We always ride our bikes – the scenic loop seems kind of benign, but it is an ass-kicker on a bike. Did you see any burros? That’s always the highlight for me. We haven’t camped at the BLM Campground – would you go back there?

    • gconthemove says:

      We saw so many bicyclists on the loop and on the state road coming out of Vegas to the canyon. With the elevation changes it must be a tough ride. We did see two burros and a big horn sheet – just couldn’t get a good enough picture to post. The campground is full of climbers mostly – they put more tents on a site than I’ve ever seen before! We’d stay there again just to have easy access to the canyon. Jezzie would have fun walking in the BLM land around the campground.

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