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Gun Range Ridge Loop Trail
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Gun Range Ridge
Gun Range Ridge Loop Trail
Public Trailhead parking area (view south).

Overview

A number of nice use-trails have been established in the Red Rock Canyon Campground Area. The Gun Range Ridge Loop (2.65 miles round trip) runs east from the public trailhead towards Gun Range Ridge, then makes a long loop south and back around to the trailhead, following the paved road at the end. Except for crossing one gully, this loop is gentle and easy with broad expansive views. After hiking this loop, consider hiking one of the other short or long loops in the campground area.

This hike is nice because it is close to town and not on the Scenic Loop Drive. This makes it free, a quick little get away from town, and it minimizes time driving to and from the trailhead.

Link to map.

Gun Range Ridge Loop
Trailhead (gate through fence) (view east).

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ...this hike is about as safe as hiking in the desert can be, but watch out for dog poop near the trailhead. Watch for vehicles on Moenkopi Road on the way back; the speed limit is low, but drivers don't necessarily drive slow.

While hiking, please respect the land and the other people out there, and please try to Leave No Trace of your passage. Also, even though this hike is short and close to civilization, be sure to bring what you need of the 10 Essentials.

Gun Range Ridge Loop
Trail junction that starts the loop (view east).

Getting to the Trailhead

This hike is located in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, about 30 minutes from town, but not on the Scenic Loop Road. For non-campers, drive out West Charleston Blvd to the General Access Campground Trailhead, which is located along the Campground Road. Park here; this is the trailhead.

For campers, continue into the campground, park at your campsite, then walk out into the desert and pick up the trails.

Gun Range Ridge Loop
Nice, flat hiking (view southwest).

The Hike

From the public trailhead (Table 2, Waypoint 17), the trail crosses the road, passes through the fence, and heads east across the desert. Initially the trail runs through an old burn area with little vegetation.

Gun Range Ridge Loop
Fork in the trail; go either way (view south).

In the burn area, the vegetation is sparse, but it is coming back. Common species here include big galleta grass, common Mediterranean grass (a weed), tumbleweed</