Las Vegas, conveniently located at the bottom of a basin surrounded by numerous mountain ranges, makes it the perfect stomping ground for those looking to explore the Mojave Desert. With atmospheric conditions of low humidity and rocky peaks reaching elevations above 10,000 feet, Las Vegas is a great option for hikers of varying abilities. Whether you’re already familiar with some of the trails in the area or considering hiking through the desert mountains for the first time, this list of the best day hiking trails near Las Vegas can serve as a great reference point.
1. Calico Tanks Trail
Located 16 miles outside of Las Vegas in Red Rock Canyon, Calico Tanks Trail is a great daytime adventure for hikers and they’re dogs alike. This 2.5 mile rocky trail features picturesque views of Las Vegas and the surrounding areas. This popular trail is accessible from September to May and is an enjoyable hike for all ages and levels of experience.
2. Mary Jane Falls
Mary Jane Falls is a moderately difficult trail with an elevation gain of 1040 ft. over a span of 2.4 miles total out and back. It is open to the public from March to November and features waterfalls as well as a beautiful view at the end where hikers are allowed to bring lunch and picnic together.
3. First Creek
First Creek is open from February to May and is notorious for its waterfall that is so hidden many hikers miss it. Due to the short, 3 mile flat, desert terrain, this trail is great for a quick midday hike with whole family (Fido too)!
4. Fern Canyon
Open from September to May, this 3.5 mile hike is unique from others in Las Vegas due to the abundance of ponds, creeks, lush vegetation and a seasonal waterfall at the end. Fern canyon provides a variety of trails including some that are steep and rocky and great for those who enjoy bouldering. There are numerous rest spots for lunch breaks and plenty of streams and pools to explore on the way up.
5. Ice Box Canyon Trails
The Ice Box Canyon Trails are accessible year-round and are a great option for those looking for a little bit of a challenge. These lightly trafficked trails an excellent source for wildlife sightings. Ice Box Canyon’s 2.5 mile loop is a great option for a fun, slightly more difficult, day hike.