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Red Rock Canyon: Oasis in the Mojave

The unique geologic features, plants and animals of Red Rock will make you rethink the way you view the Mojave Desert.

With snowy weather in our hometown we decided to head south to warm Las Vegas. Our primary reason for the visit was to see Las Vegas but we couldn’t miss the opportunity to explore in Red Rock Canyon (You can read our Las Vegas Journal Entry here). We spent our first night at the Red Rock Campground which was a cheaper option compared to staying in a Hotel and then driving to the park. Finding this place in the dark can be pretty tough and it took a bit of driving around to locate. When you are on the road headed towards the national park before you get to the park the road is off to your left. There is a sign that indicates the presence of a firehouse, you will drive past the firehouse to reach the campground.

Upon arriving around midnight open camping spaces were few and far between. All of the individual secluded camp sites were taken, however we found that directly southwest of the main parking lot where the bathrooms are located there are many tent spaces. There is enough space for multiple tents so if you can find another group to share a site with you can split the price. ($15 per Night). There is no check in registration just a self pay booth (Be sure to pay, they do check)

If you’re goal is to rock climb in the park like us, then staying here is the ideal place because it places you about 5 minutes from the entrance of the park when you wake up in the morning. The earlier you can get to the park the better chance you have of getting a good parking spot and first pick of climbing routes. One of the most popular walls is off to the right side of the road just inside the park at the first pull-out. The wall is called Panty wall and has quite a few routes for all skill levels. We highly recommend this spot; it can get crowded if you arrive too late though.

For those of you not looking to rock climb there are plenty of things to do. Including a 13-mile majestic scenic drive, miles of hiking trails, horseback riding, mountain biking, road biking, picnic areas, and nature observing.

Wild Burros can be seen as well as Desert Tortoise

There are tons of canyons and trails to explore

The ideal climbing and hiking season is during the winter and early spring before it gets too hot. If you are planning to climb or hike, make sure you bring plenty of water and sun protection. Don’t forget to pack a lunch either because you will definitely work up an appetite and the nearest food stop is far away.


-Hiking shoes






-Park fee ($7 per vehicle) *America the Beautiful Pass accepted

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