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Petroglyph Wall Trail
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Petroglyph Wall Trail
Petroglyph Wall Trail
Petroglyph Wall Trailhead parking (view W)

Overview

The Petroglyph Wall Trail is a short walk from the Willow Springs Picnic Area to a rock-art site at the base of the cliffs just across Red Rock Wash. The trail is too short (0.15 miles) to call it a hike, but it is an interesting place to visit. For people driving the Scenic Loop Road, this makes a nice place to stop, stretch your legs, and spend a few minutes walking in the desert. There is much more rock art hanging on the walls of Red Rock Canyon, but you'll have to search for it. While looking about, notice that the cliffs on both sides of the canyon are in designated wilderness area: the Rainbow Mountain Wilderness Area behind the petroglyphs, and the La Madre Mountain Wilderness Area on the other side of the canyon.

This site includes petroglyphs (artwork pecked into the rock) and pictographs (paintings).

Link to map.

Petroglyph Wall Trail
Start of petroglyph Wall trail (view W from parking area)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ...this is a pretty safe hike, but it is not what one would call an accessible trail. Please respect the Native American sites and don't deface them; they are part of the history of this land, and when they are gone, they are gone forever.

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

Petroglyph Wall Trail
Petroglyph Wall Trail sign (view W)

Getting to the Trailhead

This hike is located along the Scenic Loop Road in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, about 45 minutes west of Las Vegas. Drive out to Red Rocks, pay the fee, and then drive about half-way around the Scenic Loop Road to Willow Spring Road. Turn right and drive north 0.6 miles to the end of the pavement and the Willow Springs Trailhead. Park here; this is the trailhead.

 

Petroglyph Wall Trail
Petroglyph Wall Trail (view W from just beyond trailhead)

The Hike

Just past the end of the pavement, but before the dirt turn-around loop, a small sign on the left (west) side of the dirt parking area marks the start of the trail. From the trailhead (Table 1, Waypoint 01), the trail runs northwest past several singleleaf pinyon pines towards Red Rock Wash, staying to the left of the pole fence that borders the dirt turn-around loop.

At the edge of the wash, the trail switchbacks to the southwest and drops into the wash. Bending back to the northwest, the trail climbs out of the wash on a well-defined trail. A few yards farther, the trail ends at a pole fence (Wpt. 02) that blocks access to the base of the cliff. The rock art is behind the fence.

A sign provides information about the petroglyphs (to the right on the open rock face) and the pictographs (to the left under the overhang).

When ready, follow your footprints back to the trailhead.

Petroglyph Wall Trail
Trail bends up-canyon (view N) ...
Petroglyph Wall Trail
... then bends hard to the left (view NW)
Petroglyph Wall Trail
Trail turns downstream (view SW) ...
Petroglyph Wall Trail
... and crosses Red Rock Wash (view SW)
Petroglyph Wall Trail
Crossing Red Rock Wash (view SW)
Petroglyph Wall Trail
Across Red Rock Wash (view W)
Petroglyph Wall Trail
Trail runs up along the wash (view NW) ...
Petroglyph Wall Trail
... then climbs onto a low bench above the wash (view NW)
Petroglyph Wall Trail
Trail angles Bending towards the cliffs (view NW) ...
Petroglyph Wall Trail
... then bends to the left (view NW)
Petroglyph Wall Trail
End of trail (view NW towards petroglyphs)
Petroglyph Wall Trail
End of trail (view W towards pictographs)
Petroglyph Wall Trail
Petroglyphs are becoming hidden behind the trees (view NW)
Petroglyph Wall Trail
Petroglyphs visible between the trees (view NW)
Petroglyph Wall Trail
Small pictographs are clearly visible (view W)
Petroglyph Wall Trail
Red-paint pictographs

Rock Art

Petroglyph Wall
Petroglyphs (view west)
Petroglyph Wall
Pictographs (view west)
   
Petroglyph Wall
Pole fence and information sign
Petroglyph Wall
Petroglyphs on open wall
Petroglyph Wall
Petroglyphs
Petroglyph Wall
Petroglyphs
Petroglyph Wall
Petroglyphs
Petroglyph Wall
Petroglyphs
Petroglyph Wall
Petroglyphs
Petroglyph Wall
Petroglyphs
Petroglyph Wall
Pictographs
Petroglyph Wall
Pictographs
Petroglyph Wall
Pictographs
Petroglyph Wall
Pictographs

Return to the Trailhead

Petroglyph Wall Trail
Starting back (view E)
Petroglyph Wall Trail
Trail crosses wash heading upstream (view E)
Petroglyph Wall Trail
Climbing out of the wash (view E)
Petroglyph Wall Trail
Returning to the trailhead (view E)

Table 1. Hiking Coordinates Based on GPS Data (NAD27; UTM Zone 11S). Download Hiking GPS Waypoints (*.gpx) file.

Wpt. Location UTM Easting UTM Northing Elevation (ft) Point-to-Point Distance (mi) Cumulative Distance (mi) Verified
01 Trailhead 635084 4002669 4,559 0.00 0.00 Yes
02 Petroglyph Wall 634935 4002642 4,585 0.15 0.15 Yes

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
© 2014 Jim Boone; Last updated 140831

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