Oak Creek (Red Rock Canyon)

Las Vegas, NV
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Diverse canyon offers plenty to do, not the least of which is watching climbers

There are so many ways to enjoy Oak Creek in Red Rock Canyon that I've broken some of the major routes into separate hike descriptions. The most obvious way to reach Oak Creek is via the paved scenic loop road, which takes you down a gravel road to a parking area and trailhead. This is a nice place to begin if you want to explore the upper canyon, or as part of Knoll, Arnight, or long hikes to 1st Creek, Pine Creek, or Icebox. The lower canyon (between the parking lot and SR 159 - Charleston Blvd.) is one of the largest and most lush vegetation of any of the washes in Red Rock and I cover that in another hike. The wildflower blooms and snowmelt filling the creeks in spring may only be surpassed by the winter beauty of ice and snow in the canyon. Fall colors are spectacular, thanks to the ash, aspens, and willows. Brilliant purples of the western redbud contrast sharply against the green pines, mahogany, and junipers when early summer/late spring takes hold.

Red Rock Canyon is located 18 miles W of Las Vegas Blvd. on Charleston Ave. (SR 159). Enter the canyon at the fee/entry station & take the scenic loop to the very last pkg - Oak Creek TH. You can begin at this point (vault RR, no water) if you want to explore up into the canyon. This is also the TH for the Arnight, Knoll, trails. Follow the signs leading into Oak Creek canyon, or just follow the many rock climbers who work up the north wall of the canyon - Rainbow Mtn. The main trail from this parking area takes you west, along the north rim of the creek. Of the many ways to explore this canyon, this is the route most often written up in guidebooks. Horses have to use existing 2-track trails to ride within the maintained canyon - along scenic loop, so you don't want this pkg/TH. If you're not impressed with this hike, try one of the other because this is a great all-around canyon !!

Red Rock (BLM) ranger at entry to NCA (fee station) 702-515-5950

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1 Completed 2 Reviews

To Elaine and others who take horses on walking trails...not to say that I wouldn't enjoy horseback riding! BUT when your horseback riding on WALKING - HIKING trails, sorry to say but the horse feces on the trails are horrible along with the many, many flies the feces attract. Just saying?? Something to think about the next time you go horseback riding and to maybe be conscience of those of us on foot.

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1 Completed 2 Reviews

Great hike with my nephew! We never made it to the creek but awesome trails through rocks, trees, and the canyon. Next time we're going even further!! And did I mention the beautiful views.

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14 Completed 8 Reviews

Just finished hiking and got a good workout. Nice place to go instead of gambling.... Lol. I ventured off trail and over some rock formations that were challenging and I was rewarded with views that were beautiful. I will definitely be back when I come back to vegas.

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882 Completed 130 Reviews

I have always hated visiting Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon changed all that.

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7 Completed 6 Reviews

This trail is a favorite with local equestrians as well since it's one of the few places you can introduce your horse to water crossings. We head southwest from the parking area at the end of the loop and follow the trail that takes you across the creek and up to the base of the mountains in the shade to take a lunch break before looping back around to the creek and back. It's about a 6 mile loop for us.

Most of the hikers we came across were extremely friendly and willing to engage in conversation with us, which helps to let the horses know that it's a person coming towards us and not a predator, we really appreciate that. We did have one couple that hid behind a tree and refused to answer me when I tried to get them talking. After we passed them one of our riders heard them talk to each other so they were English speaking, they apparently were not happy to share the trail with us though.

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4 Completed 3 Reviews

We accidentally hiked this trail instead of the First Creek trail that's about a mile down the road. We chose the west trail, which took us on a hike through the wash. It is a beautiful hike, but because I am still strengthening up from a broken ankle last Spring we were in search of something a little easier.

With all that said, it's a gorgeous hike; we took the trail slow and steady. I'm glad to accidentally have spent the afternoon exploring this area. It's definitely on my "we gotta go back there!" list.

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12 Completed 10 Reviews

Lots of flowering cacti. Went up some of the boulders on the dry river and had a nice picnic under the trees. Beautiful scenery. Our bull terrier roughed up his paw pads on the small rocks throughout the trail. Consider booties for the pups. Next time we'll go further up the boulders.

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10 Completed 10 Reviews

This was a nice hike once you got past all the small gravely rocks going in. Once you get back there you will find greenery and there is a stream back there also. It wasn't my favorite.

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2 Completed 2 Reviews

Really beautiful area for hiking, rock climbing and bouldering. The bouldering is especially beginner friendly as erosion has created a lot of handholds. I'd have given it 5 stars but it's a little crowded.

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8 Completed 7 Reviews

I like this hike for a chill afternoon. Not much elevation gain, close to home, and pretty scenery.

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