Get out of Las Vegas with a moderately challenging hike in Ice Box Canyon at Red Rock. Hiking in Red Rock Canyon is a popular activity in Sin City, but you’ll need a car to get you there. Once you reach mile marker 8 on the 13-mile loop drive, though, you’ll need to rely on your legs to get you any further.
The Ice Box Canyon hiking trail begins innocently enough, with a few stray rocks cluttering the trail. The trail meanders here and there through desert scrub. Like many of Red Rock’s trails, it’s not always obvious where the trail is exactly, but follow the footprints left in the dirt and you should be okay.
This particular trail is popular with climbers, and you’ll soon see why. Once you’ve passed through the open desert dust, the walls of Ice Box Canyon begin to close in around you. They’re sneaky. One minute you’re in the sun … the next minute there’s a mysterious shadow hovering over you. Listen carefully for echoes from rock climbers; chances are you’ll spot a few scaling the walls.
In this more enclosed area, the path turns from inconvenient stones and rocks to downright boulders. You will get dirty and scratched up as you scramble over a pile of rocks just to slide down them on the other side. Keep your eyes open for wildlife back here; snakes, chipmunks, lizards and birds make their homes on this trail.
Rumor has it that this trail officially “ends” where you come upon a few stagnant pools of water, but the truth is that there are a number of valid places to turn around. As you progress down the trail, you’ll find increasingly larger and more arduous piles of boulders that require muscle power and stamina to climb up and over, and any of these is a good stopping point. Regardless of how far you hike into Ice Box Canyon, enjoy your time away from all that glitters on the Las Vegas Strip. After all, it’s a desert out there … but you’d never know it stuck inside an air-conditioned casino.
Red Rock Canyon tip: Carry lots of water and wear sunscreen – you’ll spend a lot of time in the desert sun!
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