Scenic Drive through Red Rock Canyon

While visiting Las Vegas, a trip to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is a must! The 13 mile scenic drive offers breathtaking views around every corner, hiking, rock climbing, adventure, and amazing photo opportunities.

Red Rock Canyon Vegas Family Vacation

Red Rock Canyon is a short, scenic drive from Las Vegas, just 15 miles west. The scenic one-way drive barley touches the 195,819 acres within the Mojave Desert.  It is very easy to see why the park got the name “red rock” as there are very large red rock formations unlike any mountains I’ve ever seen!

There is a large variety of different types of rock formations including sandstone and red rock. There is so much to see that you really can’t take it all in and photos can never do the beauty justice.

It was over 100° when we visited so we were not able to enjoy the many hiking trails at the park. It is also a popular destination for rock climbing.

Just look at these views! There are many parking lots along the scenic drive to allow you to take in the view, take photos, and even picnic. Be sure to bring plenty of water as the temperature gets over 100° in the summer.

My kids are ages 10 and 12. I’d consider my kids “outdoor kids” as we love adventure outside. They loved the views, looking for wildlife, the heat, and exploring Red Rock Canyon.

Red Rock Canyon is one of the national parks that gives fourth graders and their families a FREE entrance when you print this pass. We were happy that our daughter is in 4th grade and we had a free pass although it is only $7 per car entrance fee.

There are wild animals within Red Rock Canyon if you are lucky enough to spy them.  When my husband was a teenager, he said they saw many wild burros within the national park. My husband and I both tried to see them on previous visits to Red Rock Canyon and didn’t find any. We were excited to see the Wild Burro signage during our visit, however we never found any during our trip.

There are also desert tortoise crossing signs, we didn’t see any however you can see 8 females and two males at a habitat within the Visitor Center.

Beyond the gorgeous rock formations, the plant life is amazing.  Some of our favorites include the Joshua tree, Mojave yucca, banana yucca, creosote, and blackbrush. We even spied blooming cactus to my son’s utter delight! (Did you know that the “blooms” on cactus plants that you buy at Lowe’s are paper and not actual blooms? We found out the hard way and were so disappointed. To find a blooming cactus in the wild was amazing!

Even more amazing was when we discovered the moving stamen inside the cactus blooms. What an amazing discovery!


Whether you explore with a quick drive through the scenic trail by car or historic volkswagen bus, a trip to Red Rock Canyon is a must-see side trip excursion while visiting Las Vegas.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
1000 Scenic Loop Dr
Las Vegas, NV 89161

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This is part of our Kidifornia Family Adventure Series. Follow us live June 17-28th on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and this Blog! We decided to add Nevada to our Kidifornia (California) feature because it offers so much family fun and because of the new direct flights from Akron Canton Airport to Las Vegas on Spirit Airlines!

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