Las Vegas has more hiking trails in the surrounding area than most people realize. That means you have ample opportunity to get out and about and interact with nature. But to make it easier to choose the right hike for you, it’s worth checking out the best hiking trails in Las Vegas.
The 17 best hiking trails in Las Vegas are:
- Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail
- Lost Creek Falls
- White Domes Trail
- Calico Tanks
- Arizona Hot Springs
- First Creek Canyon
- Petroglyph Canyon
- Fortification Hill
- Las Vegas Overlook
- Frenchman Mountain
- Bristlecone Trail
- Mary Jane Falls
- Fire Wave Trail
- Ice Box Canyon Trail
- Rainbow Vista
- Echo Overlook Trail
- Gold Strike Canyon
The hikes listed above cover varying degrees of difficulty, so there will be something for everyone. In addition, they cover various lengths and terrains, and below we go through each of these Las Vegas hiking trails in more detail, so you can pick the right one for your next adventure.
Table of Contents
The 17 Best Hiking Trails In Las Vegas
1. Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail
Length: 8.2 miles | Difficulty: Easy | Elevation gain: 931 ft
This first trail is a bit of a cheat in that it is nearer Boulder City rather than Las Vegas, but it does mean it’s only a 30 minute drive away. However, the trail itself is excellent, and it is certainly one we recommend you check out.
The trail itself is some 8.2 miles in length, but it’s classed as being very easy even though there is a total elevation gain of almost 1,000 ft. However, it is so gradual, and the views from the trail are so mind-blowing that you likely won’t even notice that there is any incline!
The trail is pretty rough, but it does make for some very easy walking. You will encounter all sorts of scenery throughout its length, and it’s the sort of trail you can go back to time and time again since you see something new on every occasion. You will also be able to see some spectacular views of both Lake Mead and Hoover Dam.
Access to this trail is easy. You will need to park at Lake Mead, and be aware that they do charge a fee for you to park there. However, it’s going to be worth it when you get out there and see what the trail has to offer!
Also be aware that there are no rest rooms to access during the hike. It is quite remote, but underfoot conditions are favorable, so this hike is ideal for hikers of all experience levels.
2. Lost Creek Falls
Length: 0.6 miles | Difficulty: Easy | Elevation gain: 92 ft
The Lost Creek Falls trail is short, easy, and is certainly well worth checking out if you want a quick walk out there in nature. Located in Red Rock Canyon, this is an out and back trail, so you will end up seeing the same things on your return to the starting point, so it’s a good thing the scenery is great!
The trail only measures some 0.6 miles in length, and there is hardly any elevation gain throughout the entire trail. In fact, you are looking at less than 100 ft in total, so it’s as flat as it comes.That means this is a very easy trail to complete, and it’s a great starting point for people just starting out on their hiking adventure.
This short trail manages to squeeze in waterfalls and a number of hidden pathways, so it does feel as if you are seriously exploring the area. Also, you will be able to spot various wildflowers and cacti in their natural environment, so there is always something to look out for.
The Lost Creek Falls trail is perfect for people of all ages and abilities, and even younger kids won’t have any problems in completing the trail.
When it comes to accessing the trail, it is open to the public throughout the entire year. Also, dogs are welcome on the trail, and there will certainly be enough spots for them to go ahead and explore.
The only problem is with parking to get to the trail. As it is so popular, and it does deal with a lot of traffic throughout the year, parking can be tight. Avoid the middle of the day if possible both for the crowds and the hot weather, as this should make it easier for you to enjoy your hike.
3. White Domes Trail
Length: 1.1 miles | Difficulty: Easy | Elevation gain: 150 ft
The White Domes Trail is a loop trail that is extremely popular throughout the entire year. Easy to access, and suitable for people of all abilities, it offers some stunning views of the surrounding area, and all from an easy to follow path.
The trail is a loop, and it covers just over a mile, so it’s a short walk that can be completed in next to no time. Also, there is not too much in the way of elevation with a total gain in the region of 150 ft.
The trail is located in the Valley of Fire State Park, and it will take you through a slot canyon, so if you want to check out some seriously stunning rock formations, then this is the hike for you!
The hike does provide you with a number of shaded areas to walk in, and that is great as it allows you to go ahead and enjoy this trail at any time of day knowing the sun will not always be beating down on you.
Also, while the path is not the best when it comes to maintenance, there’s still nothing to worry about with it either. However, be careful in shaded parts in the colder months, in case they are slightly more slippery than you may be anticipating, as night time can see freezing temperatures that may leave some ice in the shady areas.
Accessing this trail is easy thanks to it being in the Valley of Fire State Park. Parking is easy, and there is ample parking available even though this is a very popular hike. You can also access the hike throughout the year, but double check that there are no issues in the park before you head off out.
This trail can be accessed by families and people of all ages and abilities. Dogs are also welcome on this short hike, but do keep them on their leash.
4. Calico Tanks
Length: 2.2 miles | Difficulty: Moderate | Elevation gain: 407 ft
Calico Tanks is viewed as being a moderate level hike and classed as an out and back trail. It offers some absolutely stunning views of the surrounding area, but be aware that it is not as easy as some of the other trails in the area.
Located in the Red Rock Canyon, the Calico Tanks trail covers a total of 2.2 miles, but it’s not all plain sailing by any means. It does involve some elevation, but at just over 400 ft in total, it’s not as much as other trails on this list.
But it’s the location that makes this one of the best trails in the area. You are taken through an amazing canyon, with narrow pathways, stunning rock formations, and views to die for. There are boulders and gravel everywhere, but the natural beauty is something that will certainly stick with you.
This trail is accessible throughout the year, but the best time to visit is actually between October and April. It simply means it’s just not as hot on the trail, and yet it will still be pleasant enough for you to enjoy the hike.
Everybody is welcome on the hike, and dogs are also allowed. However, you need to keep them on a leash at all times, so do keep that in mind. Be aware that the Red Rock Canyon can be busy throughout the year. They do have a reservation system though, so you may want to check this out in advance.
5. Arizona Hot Springs
Length: 6.5 miles | Difficulty: Moderate | Elevation gain: 760 ft
The Arizona Hot Springs trail is located at Lake Mead, and even though it is fairly lengthy, it still remains one of the most popular hikes in the area. Of course, it does mean there is a short distance to travel from Las Vegas to access it, but rest assured it will be worth it in the end!
The full length of the trail is some 6.9 miles, and it’s classed as being of moderate difficulty for most hikers. There is a reasonable amount of elevation gain throughout the trail, in the region of some 760 ft.
The trail itself takes you through some stunning wilderness until you reach the hot springs themselves. This certainly feels like a real reward after working your way through the miles to get there.
But do be aware that parts of the trail get rather close to the springs, and you can climb in if you want, but it does mean underfoot conditions can get slippery. You should wear the correct footwear, and pay attention as you move closer to them.
Aside from the springs, there is some amazing scenery and nature to take in. A wide range of wildflowers can be spotted along the trail, and it’s also a fantastic spot if you love bird watching.
This trail is accessible throughout the year, and it remains popular no matter which month you decide to venture out. Be aware that Lake Mead does require you to pay to gain access to the area, but it’s not too expensive, and it’s well worth it.
Parking is also not much of a problem, with plenty of spaces available. This applies even during peak season. The trail is perhaps not suitable for younger children as it is long and quite arduous at times. If you have an issue with mobility, then this may be too difficult for you. Overall though, this is definitely an enjoyable hike for those up to the moderate challenge.
6. First Creek Canyon
Length: 3.4 miles | Difficulty: Moderate | Elevation gain: 377 ft
The First Creek Canyon trail is an out and back hiking trail that comes with a moderate degree of difficulty. It is popular as a trail throughout the year, but it is spacious enough that you can still feel as if you have the entire place to yourself at times.
Expect to be taken through meadows, to stunning rock formations, and even a scenic waterfall. The scenery is breathtaking, and you will not be disappointed with the views you encounter throughout the entire trail. The trail is popular not only for hiking, but also running. It provides you with the opportunity for bird-watching, and nature trips to the area will always prove to be popular.
However, one tip is to venture out onto this trail after it has rained. There are times when the waterfall can dry up, and it’s one of the highlights of the trail, so you don’t want to miss out. By going out after it has rained, you will see the waterfall in all of its glory!
As this trail is part of Red Rock Canyon, accessibility is not an issue. However, Red Rock has created a reservation system for the scenic drive in the area, so be prepared for some potential problems getting to the area, and also getting parked, if you don’t choose to use this.
The trail itself is relatively well maintained, and it is certainly family-friendly. You can also take your dog with you on the trail, but they must be kept on a leash at all times. But beware that there is also some scrambling, so that may help with deciding as to whether or not you wish to tackle the trail.
You can access this trail at any time of the year. The only preference should be after rain simply because you want to get the best out of the trail, with the waterfall being a main attraction.
7. Petroglyph Canyon
Length: 4.1 miles | Difficulty: Moderate | Elevation gain: 558 ft
Rated as a moderate trail to hike, Petroglyph Canyon is popular throughout the year, and it’s easy to understand why when you get there. This loop trail takes you through an area with ancient petroglyph carvings, but that’s not the only reason you should check it out!
The trail measures some 4.1 miles in length, and it’s located in Sloane Canyon. It does have some elevation throughout the loop trail, but it is generally relatively flat and is fairly easy to hike.
The Petroglyph Canyon trail is classed as moderate because of several stages that involve some light scrambling. However, it is still deemed suitable for families, and even young children should have no real difficulty in completing this loop.
But it’s the ancient carvings that draw people here, along with the stunning scenery. You will be able to spot the carvings all along the hike, but there are also different varieties of wildflowers to check out as well, and the general views are great too.
Here is a bonus tip from other hikers: Complete the loop in a clockwise manner. It will make it easier to complete certain boulder sections going clockwise.
This trail is open throughout the year, but it’s best to check it out between March and October. Parking is available at the start of the trail in Sloane Canyon, but keep in mind that this is a popular site, so try going earlier in the day to miss the crowds.
The parking is not really big enough for the popularity of the trail. If you fail to get a spot here, then you will be forced into parking around half a mile away. However, it’s definitely worth the extra steps!
8. Fortification Hill
Length: 3.5 miles | Difficulty: Hard | Elevation gain: 1394 ft
Located at Lake Mead, the Fortification Hill trail will provide you with some stunning views of the surrounding area. However, it does involve climbing up an incline, but it will be worth it once you catch a glimpse of the surrounding vista!
At just under 4 miles, this is not the longest trail in Las Vegas. However, it is classed as being difficult thanks to the last mile of the hike to the summit. There, you will encounter rocky terrain, and it will involve doing some scrambling in order to get to the top.
Be aware that the gravel surface on the upper slopes will tend to be slippery. We recommend using trekking poles to make it safer, and this applies to anyone, and not just people with mobility issues.
The actual trail from the trailhead to the summit constantly offers spectacular views of the surrounding area, but they only get better the higher you go. However, this is not the most well-maintained path, so take care as you hike and you might want to focus more on where you walk rather than the views until you get to the top.
This trail is not the easiest to access, but that is only the case if you want to drive right up to the start of the trail. That is because you need an SUV to get there due to there being quite a lot of sand in the area.
If you don’t have an SUV, you will be required to park further away at Lake Mead. Also, remember that Lake Mead charges a fee for access, but you will need to hike some added distance before you can even start the trail itself. That may change who can complete the hike. It is already tough at sections, and the added distance may make it even less accessible for some people.
9. Las Vegas Overlook
Length: 6.3 miles | Difficulty: Hard | Elevation gain: 1355 ft
The Las Vegas Overlook is a loop trail that provides you with a view of downtown Las Vegas, which is quite a reward after a relatively difficult hike. However, there is a whole lot more to enjoy about this hike than just seeing Vegas at the top!
The trail itself is classed as difficult, and it covers some 6.3 miles in length. It also comes with a total elevation gain of 1,355 ft, but it will prove to be worth the trek when you see the views at the top.
Located in Red Rock Canyon, parts of the trail are very steep and will involve some scrambling. However, the trail provides a number of activities and viewpoints to check out throughout the loop, so you should take your time to enjoy everything it has to offer. Even though it’s cool seeing Las Vegas from this angle, we suggest checking out the stunning views of the mountains as well.
The trail itself is easy to access since it’s located at Red Rock Canyon. However, there is a reservation system in place for the area, so planning ahead is advised.
The trail itself is easy to get to even though it is a tough trail to complete. It’s best to venture here from October to May, and it’s also best at either dusk or dawn. It is moderately popular, so you should be able to have most of the trail to yourself. While it is family friendly, you need to remember that it is a difficult trail. Also, dogs are welcome but must be on their leash at all times.
10. Frenchman Mountain
Length: 4.4 miles | Difficulty: Hard | Elevation gain: 2000 ft
Finally, we have Frenchman Mountain, and this is perhaps the toughest trail on our list. It has a substantial amount of elevation gain, but the views you get from the trail will prove to be outstanding and well worth the hike.
This trail covers some 4.4 miles in length, and over 2,000 ft of elevation gain. It is rightfully classed as being difficult as a trail, but that doesn’t stop it from being pretty popular with hikers. Located in the Shadow Rock Park, you will need good walking boots in order to complete this trail. Also, the paths are rocky, so being sure of your footing is going to be important.
We also suggest having some trekking poles by your side. Due to its difficulty, it is not a family friendly hike as it does require some experience on your part to successfully complete it. As trails go in the Las Vegas area, this is one that will challenge you. It will take several hours to complete, so bear that in mind when setting out.
From an accessibility point of view, this trail is easy to get to with parking near the trailhead. There aren’t too many spaces available, but this is not the most popular of hikes, so you shouldn’t encounter too many issues in terms of parking.
The trail is accessible throughout the year, but if you want to see it at its best, then go early in the morning or as the sun is setting. However, keep in mind that it can be quite dangerous at points, so going as it is getting darker is not best idea.
11. Bristlecone Trail
Length: 5.8 miles | Difficulty: Moderate | Elevation gain: 975 ft
Next, we have the Bristlecone Trail, and it’s only a 45-minute drive from Las Vegas to then access a pretty spectacular trail. This loop trail is located in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, and it promises a wonderful hike in some pretty stunning surroundings.
At 5.8 miles, this loop trail is of a moderate length, but it does include a total elevation gain of close to 1000 ft. That means there are some inclines on this hike, but they shouldn’t be too difficult for most people to be able to complete.
The trail itself has two different trailheads. Look out for signs for both the upper and lower trailhead, as they deliver completely different hikes.
If you want to get to the Bristlecone Pines, with a shorter hike and less of that elevation, then we recommend going for the upper trail. It will still deliver some pretty amazing views of the surroundings, but it does stop some of the leg burn.
The trail itself is open throughout the year, and be aware that both bicycles and pets are allowed. That means you may encounter some people speeding past, so have your wits about you at all times.
The trail itself is relatively well maintained, but that’s not the case throughout the entire loop. Also, to access the complete trail, which means to complete the 5-mile loop, it will involve you walking around a mile on a normal road.
When it comes to the popularity of the trail, it usually won’t be too busy.Parking is available, and no parking pass is required.
12. Mary Jane Falls
Length: 4 miles | Difficulty: Moderate | Elevation gain: 950 ft
Mary Jane Falls represents a trail of moderate difficulty where there is an opportunity to explore another section of the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. An out and back trail, it has a reasonable level of elevation gain even though the trail is not as tough as others in the area.
The trail covers a total of 4 miles, but the elevation gain does mean it takes slightly longer to hike than most people realize. This trail actually takes you to one of the tallest falls in the area, and that alone is a good enough reason to go and check it out.
However, be aware that this trail is very popular. That means you have little chance of getting the hike to yourself. So, be prepared to share it with others.
The trail takes you along the edge of Kyle Canyon. Do be aware that there can be a significant difference in the temperature between this trail and what you would find in the middle of Las Vegas.
Thanks to its popularity, it’s recommended to try this as an early morning hike. However, there is still no guarantee that it won’t be crowded.
One cool thing is that this hike starts at an elevation of 7,800 ft, and yet you still climb up to over 8,700 ft. That does mean you may experience the air being slightly thinner than you are used to, but as long as you take your time and stay hydrated, there shouldn’t be a problem.
The trail is open throughout the year. You start at a picnic area, and this is where you will find toilets. You will not require a parking pass. The best time to hike this trail is in either winter or spring. This is primarily due to the congestion that you can encounter on the trail in the summertime. Also, the weather is not too hot when hiking at these times.
The trail is clearly marked, and overall, this trail is very accessible, and if you have a dog, then you can take them with you too! The only requirement is for them to be on their leash at all times.
13. Fire Wave Trail
Length: 1.2 miles | Difficulty: Easy | Elevation gain: 140 ft
Located in the Valley of Fire park, this trail is relatively easy to complete, and is very popular with hikers in the Las Vegas area. Offering some amazing scenery, it manages to pack so much into such a short hike.
At just 1.2 miles in length, this out and back trail is very easy, and with just over 140 ft of total elevation gain, it’s relatively flat compared to many other hikes in the area.
This hike is an absolute highlight of the Valley of Fire State Park, and it can be completed in a relatively short period of time as well. However, do be aware that sections of the trail go through some soft sand, so that may pose some difficulties for people with mobility issues.
The trail is very well marked throughout its length, so getting from A to B will not be a problem. The trail is very popular, so expect to run into other people during your hike. With the opportunity to take in some amazing views, and to get up close to some stunning sandstone formations, this trail packs a real punch!
The trail itself is open throughout the year. There is a parking lot across the road from the trailhead, and it’s easy to then spot where you will start. Be aware that the parking lot is pretty good, but you should perhaps go out earlier in the day to avoid the crowds.The parking lot, and indeed most of the park, will be closed between sunset and sunrise.
Due to the potential for high temperatures, it’s perhaps best to avoid this hike during the summer months. Other times of the year are perfect, but you have little in the way of shade during the hike, and it can get very hot.
Be aware that you will need to pay a parking fee to gain access to the parking lot. However, this is dictated by the State Park, and funds do go back into looking after the park. Overall, this trail is easily accessible and very enjoyable.
14. Ice Box Canyon Trail
Length: 2.6 miles | Difficulty: Moderate | Elevation gain: 300 ft
Located in the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area, the Ice Box Canyon Trail offers you the chance to take in amazing sights and to tackle a high desert trail. All of this is possible in only a short drive from Las Vegas.
This is an out and back trail, and it covers a total of 2.6 miles. It does have a relatively modest elevation gain of 300 ft, but even though that does not sound like much, there are some rocky areas to contend with.
These rocky areas mean this may not be the most family-friendly trail to hike on. Also, the first mile of the hike is in open desert. That means it’s perhaps not the best idea to hike this on a hot summer day since there’s no shade. Also, the temperature does plummet once you reach the canyon, hence the name of the trail.
When in the canyon, you will encounter some greenery and more water than you will have seen elsewhere on the trail. Eventually, you will be able to make your way to a small waterfall and stream before making your way back to the start.
The trail is accessible throughout the year, but be aware it is popular, so expect some crowds in peak months. Also, while there is parking in the conservation area, you will need to pay for a parking pass.
This trail is best enjoyed earlier in the day. It helps you to avoid most of the crowd as congestion can be a real issue during peak times. Also, this allows you to avoid the worst of the heat.
15. Rainbow Vista
Length: 1.1 miles | Difficulty: Easy | Elevation gain: 95 ft
The Rainbow Vista hike is one of the easiest in the Las Vegas area, yet it offers the hiker so much in the way of things to check out. With easy access, it is popular throughout the year.
At just 1.1 miles long, this hike is not too long for anybody to tackle, and with a total elevation gain of less than 100 ft, it means you won’t have to worry about any real inclines. This is an out and back hike, and it’s certainly something suitable for the entire family.
Dogs are welcome on the trail, but they must be kept on their leash at all times. Located at the Valley of Fire State Park, you will be treated to numerous amazing views of the park, and also a number of encounters with those rich red stones.
Be aware that the trail is very popular no matter the time of year. This is due to the ease with which it can be completed along with the short length of time it takes.
The trail is also easy to follow with clear markings throughout its length. However, it’s also made easier by the fact that so many people hike the trail that it’s obvious where the trail should lead.
Accessing the trail is easy thanks to it being located in the state park. Be aware of the need to purchase a parking pass, which is dictated by the park itself.
There is a reasonable amount of parking available for the trail. However, parking can be harder to find if you plan on hiking it during the peak summer months. Also, be aware of the heat, as there’s little in the way of shade to protect you on this hiking trail.
For both of these reasons, it’s perhaps best to hike this trail earlier in the day, and to avoid it during the summer. This will allow you to better explore the views without feeling pushed along by the number of people following you.
Overall, if you want a nice and easy trail to complete when time is short, then the Rainbow Vista trail could be the perfect one for you.
16. Echo Overlook Trail
Length: 4.6 miles | Difficulty: Difficult | Elevation gain: 1417 ft
Located close to Mount Charleston, this trail is quite difficult thanks to the total amount of elevation gain. This is not a trail that is suitable for people just starting out hiking.
At a length of 4.6 miles, this trail packs quite a lot into that length considering you will have to cope with over 1400 ft in total elevation. This out and back trail will allow you to encounter an array of nature and a variety of wildlife.
The trail is open to anybody throughout the year, and the trail does allow for both dogs and horses to use it. However, keep in mind that there are a number of steep sections, and the terrain is rather rocky at various stages. Be prepared for it to take several hours for you to complete.
If you want to get the best out of this trail, then hiking it in fall months is best. The trees go an amazing color, and it completely changes your entire experience of the area.
The trail itself is readily accessible throughout the entire year. It can be found in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, and parking is available relatively close to the trailhead.
Even though the hike is deemed difficult, it is a very popular route for experienced hikers. That does mean you may run into a few problems regarding the parking if you hit the trail at peak times.
Parking issues aside, the trail is easy to follow, although rocky at parts. Overall, it’s an excellent hike even though it will really test you and your abilities!
17. Gold Strike Canyon
Length: 6 miles | Difficulty: Difficult | Elevation gain: 1466 ft
Located in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, this Gold Strike Canyon trail is a tough one to complete. However, that just means you should only tackle this trail if you have quite a lot of experience with hiking in general.
The trail is a total of 6 miles long, and it involves almost 1500 ft of elevation gain. Located close to Boulder City, it incorporates some rocky terrain with a number of steep sections that will certainly get your legs working. The trail incorporates a range of terrain, so you have the opportunity to explore different forms of nature eventually leading to some hot springs.
Look out for steps and ropes to help you complete the hike. There are a number of points where it can feel dangerous, so if you are nervous with hiking tough trails, then this may not be the right one for you.
However, the entire trail is actually well marked out, and it is busy enough without it being too popular that it becomes crowded.
The trail is easy to access thanks to it being within the confines of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. That also means there is adequate parking available, but you do need to purchase a parking pass in order to gain access. Also, the fee you pay is for the vehicle. If you enter on foot, then there is still a fee per person.
The Las Vegas area is covered in so many hiking trails that we implore you to get out there and check them out. We promise that you will be amazed at the views and scenery that you encounter, and you may end up with a new-found appreciation for what nature has to offer in and around Las Vegas!