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Hiking Around Las Vegas; a hiking guide by Jim Boone
Hiking Around Las Vegas: Mountains, valleys, washes, forests, cliffs, wildlife, canyons, rivers, historic places, lakes, petroglyphs, solitude, wildflowers, adventure, ...there really are a few good places to go Hiking Around Las Vegas!

Hiking in the desert carries special risks. Always carry water, take the 10 Essentials, choose routes of the appropriate difficulty, tell someone where you are going, tread lightly on this fragile land, and please respect the wilderness and the other people out there.

If you need hiking buddies, consider hiking with these groups: The Sierra Club (Toiyabe Chapter, Southern Nevada Group), the Las Vegas Mountaineers Club, the Around the Bend Friends, and the Vegas Hikers Meet-Up Group.

Best Day Hikes Around Las Vegas; Mountains and Ranges seen from Las Vegas.

A Note about GPS Coordinates

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Wilderness Areas Around Las Vegas

Wilderness Areas Around Las Vegas

The Clark County Conservation of Public Land and Natural Resources Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-282) established 17 new wilderness areas and expanded 1 existing wilderness area around Las Vegas. These lands offer solitude, grand vistas, and remarkable hiking experiences; plus they protect the land, plants, and animals from the encroachment of civilization.

Arrow Canyon, Black Canyon, Bridge Canyon, Death Valley, El Dorado, Ireteba Peaks, Jimbilnan, Jumbo Springs, La Madre, Lime Canyon, Mt. Charleston, Muddy Mountains, Nellis Wash, North McCullough, Pinto Valley, Rainbow Mountain, South McCullough, Spirit Mountain, Wee Thump Joshua Tree

Basin and Range

Basin and Range

Basin and Range is a vast area (880,000 acres) of nearly undisturbed federal land in Lincoln and Nye counties that includes grand scenery, ecological value, many cultural and historic sites, and an enormous earth art project called City.

Basin and Range stretches some 70 miles north-south and 45 miles east-west and includes four entire Wilderness areas as well as six mountain ranges with peaks to almost 9,000 feet and numerous inter-mountain valleys (basins). Driving from south to north requires traversing about 90 miles of dirt roads. There are no developed recreational opportunities, but people can visit rock art sites, camp, hike, ride horses, tour the dirt roads on bikes and off-road vehicles, stargaze, watch birds, hunt, and just spend time in quiet solitude.

Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument

Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument

Our newest National Monument does not, as of yet, have any designated trails or other amenities. However, the area is open to the public and a plethora of old dirt roads provide miles of hiking opportunities among broad washes and yellow mud ridges. The area was designated, in large part, to protect Ice Age fossils such as Mammoths and Camels, so the area is closed to collecting. Look for and enjoy the fossils, but please don't touch.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Hike up, over, around, and among towering red and white sandstone cliffs. Taller mountains, limestone with fossils, and an amazing geologic story add interest to hiking in this popular area.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Hike high in the mountains, down narrow canyons, along creeks with flowing water, down to the lake, through old railroad tunnels, or soak in the hot springs. This wild desert park has it all.

Mt. Charleston Area

Mt. Charleston Area

When the desert gets too hot, head for the cool of the mountains and the mixed pine-fir forests. Hike to waterfalls, 12,000-foot peaks, and ancient Bristlecone forests.

Note: Sporadic road and facility repairs on Mt. Charleston are affecting access to some trails at some times. Construction work continues into 2015. The Carpenter I Fire also closed most areas south of Kyle Canyon Road. Check online or consider calling the Forest Service (866-388-7162) for status updates. See photos.

Desert National Wildlife Range

Desert National Wildlife Range

Hike desert flats, deep canyons, barren rocky peaks, and hidden Ponderosa pine forests. This is big wild country with more solitude than you can shake a stick at. Nice fossils and car camping too.

Gold Butte Region

Gold Butte Region

The Gold Butte Region is wild and remote country with high peaks, low valleys, and grand views. Don't go here unless you are prepared to survive on your own.

Sloan Canyon NCA

Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area

Sloan Canyon NCA, essentially the hills south of Henderson, provides quick access to miles of hiking from the edge of town. The NCA includes the entire North McCullough Wilderness Area and amazing petroglyphs in Sloan Canyon, proper.

Mojave National Preserve

Mojave National Preserve

The high Mojave Desert is a great place to hike in the spring and fall. Hike all day, hike for a few minutes, or even hike underground.

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park

A winter hiking paradise, Death Valley offers deep canyons, high peaks, stark desert terrain, and the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere. From 282 feet below sea level, you can hike across the valley and hike straight up to 11,049 feet (or at least stand at Badwater and look up at Telescope Peak).

The park is criss-crossed with old dirt roads that link historic sites with geologic wonders and provide endless off-trail hiking opportunities.

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon... the name says it all. Few places are as spectacular as the Grand Canyon. Stroll along the paved Rim Trail, backpack along the river, or do something in between, but hike the canyon. Be sure to watch for California Condors behind the Bright Angel Lodge.

Zion National Park

Zion National Park

Red and white sandstone cliffs tower above the Virgin River. Stroll along the river, hike the narrows, or climb the mountains.

Other Hiking Places

Other Hikes

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
© 2015 Jim Boone; Last updated 150601

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