Sep 8, 2022

Nevada Hiking Trails: 5 You Can't Miss

two people doing the gold strike hot springs trail head

Hiking is one of the first activities that come to mind when we think about outdoor recreation. There's nothing like disconnecting from technology and seeing the beauty of nature as you relax and recharge. Las Vegas is just one of the cities you can explore, with many breathtaking hiking trails that leave travelers in awe. Hike the greener side of Sin City solo or with family or friends! 

5 of the Best Hiking Trails in Nevada

Believe it or not, Nevada has a number of outdoor opportunities to secure your hiking gear and travel to greater heights. Here are a few must-see Nevada hiking trails.

1. Goldstrike Hot Springs

Located in Boulder City, Gold Strike Hot Springs Trail is approximately 40 minutes from the Strip, a perfect destination for those who want to soak in a primitive hot pool and take photos around waterfalls and grottos. The first mile is easy but gets difficult as you approach the canyon walls.

Around four miles round trip, it's a strenuous three- to four-hour hike amid massive boulders. Traversing the trail is like going through a fun obstacle course filled with walking, climbing, and scrambling, so bringing pets and small children is not recommended.

This hiking tour is accessible through the Colorado River and a popular destination for kayakers willing to brave rough terrains and get closer to nature. Although it's highly popular among tourists, Goldstrike Canyon is not a route you can visit anytime you want. It's closed to hikers during summer because of the extreme heat. Thus, plan your visit during the cooler months. (It’ll be much more comfortable.)

2. Calico Tanks Trail

The Red Rock Canyon covers the eastern part of the Mojave Desert. It started to form 600 million years ago, making it a remarkable geological and cultural site worth exploring for hikers and history enthusiasts. Calico Tanks Trail, one of Red Rocks Canyon Conservation Area's popular hiking spots, has several large boulders, uneven terrains, and rock staircases.

Calico Tanks Trail is a moderately difficult route that takes about an hour to finish. Starting at the Sandstone Quarry Trailhead, it's known for its giant red sandstone rock formations and diverse desert flora and fauna that aren't present in the surrounding areas.

plant on Nevada hiking trail

Calico Tanks Trail begins at Sandstone Quarry, the same starting point as Turtlehead Peak Trail. It's a 2.5-mile round trip hike, a path that dogs and children can easily navigate, making it a great Nevada hiking trail for the whole family. Most sections of the route are easy. At the farther end of the hike is a water catchment tank that holds water due to seasonal rains.

3. Ice Box Canyon Trail 

Ice Box Canyon trail, another route in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, is a strenuous hike featuring seasonal waterfalls and rocky terrains. It's a diverse desert ecosystem with trees, rock gardens, and steep sections.

The trail is approximately 10 to 15 degrees cooler than the open desert, as it sees less sunlight and catches water flowing from the mountains. It's protected from the sun, hence its name. Traveling this route only takes about one to three hours and offers a lot of shade, making it a refreshing escape for those who want a short break from city life.

It’s important to hike early if you want to avoid huge crowds. Children are welcome, but much younger kids may have difficulty moving around larger rocks at the far end of the canyon. Dogs, too, may have a hard time moving around certain areas, so keep them on a leash for their safety.

4. Railroad Hiking Trail

Located at the Lake Mead Recreation Area, the historic Railroad Hiking Trail offers breathtaking views of Lake Mead and Boulder Basin. It's an easy route, very accessible for everyone who wants to explore around by foot. Since it's flat and wide, bikers, runners, and hikers can easily navigate around.

The Railway Trail was used during the construction of the Hoover Dam in 1931 to haul and transport building materials. The railroad stopped operations upon the dam's completion in 1935. The tracks were removed in 1962. Then, in 1995, the trail opened for everyone to enjoy.

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It's an eight-mile, five-hour trail open all year round for solo travelers, families, and pets. You can even bring your dog with you and leisurely explore with young children in strollers. Passing through the five 25-feet diameter tunnels is the most memorable part of hiking this trail! You can start from the Alan Bible Visitor Center, near Boulder City, one mile from the first tunnel.

5. Petroglyph Canyon Trail

The Sloan Canyon Petroglyph Loop Trail at the Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area is a moderately challenging route featuring unique geologic features and cultural resources. It's part of the Sloan Canyon and the home of several Native American carvings from hundreds of years ago.

The route encompasses four miles of uneven, rocky terrains, including the 100 Petroglyph Trail and 200 Cowboy Trail segments. Today, hikers from all over explore the trail to check out incredible rock formations, petroglyphs, and pictographs, carved by Native Americans who once used the site as hunting and spiritual grounds.

Scrambling is needed to traverse some sections, but it's worth it, especially once you reach the main petroglyph gallery, 1.6 miles from the Sloan Canyon Visitor Station. It’s open all year round and can be accessed by beginner hikers. However, hiking tours in the summer are not recommended due to the extreme heat. 

Get Outside to Hike and Kayak in Las Vegas

Hiking trails of varying terrains are, indeed, a one-of-kind outdoor adventure people of all ages can enjoy. But what if you could do more than just hike in one trip? Evolution Expeditions’ Hoover Dam tour allows travelers to explore the beauty of the canyon by water and foot. So, be prepared for hours of paddling and walking around sparkling green waters and massive canyon walls! Learn more about our Hoover Dam guided kayak tour and Hot Springs hike, and book your spot today.

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