Written By: Nicole Fera Las Vegas hikes

Let’s face it, not many people are heading to Las Vegas for the workout facilities and vegan fare. It’s a chance to let loose, hit the party scene and take a break from everyday life. For most of us this means spending your time in the casino, lounging at the pool with a cocktail in hand or dining at any of the amazing restaurants and loading up on the carbs. If this sounds like you, then I’m willing to bet that you’re going to be neglecting the health side of things for a few days. Luckily, there are some amazing hikes and trails that are just waiting to be explored and conquered to help get your health back on track and go home feeling better than expected.

Las Vegas Overlook

lasvegasoverlook

Known as the Las Vegas Overlook, this is one of the most popular hikes that you can set out on in the desert. The trail takes you along the edge of the Blue Diamond Hills and gives you a view of the beautiful LV Valley for miles. Some of the trails found in this area are extremely difficult, but this trail is a moderate level that most people can complete without a problem. The entire trail is about 6 miles, but the nice thing is that if you’re feeling adventurous you can branch off onto another trail on the way. Mountain biking and horseback riding are also allowed on this trail which makes it perfect for whatever adventure you plan on setting out on for the day.

Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 6.3 miles / 10.1 km
Duration: 1-3 hours

Red Rock Canyon National
Conservation Area
West Charleston Blvd
Las Vegas,  NV 89135

 

Echo Canyon- Fossil Ridge Loop

echo-canyon-trail-and

The Fossil Ridge Loop trail at Echo Canyon is located near the Blue Diamond Hills, across from the main part of the Red Rock Canyon. This is the hike you want to check out if you are looking for a nice day outside with the family, as it is not too challenging, and there are plenty of places to stop and rest. Dogs are also welcome on this trail so feel free to bring your furry friend along for the trip! The easiest way to go about this is to park along SR 159 near the entrance to the horseback-riding road. You can enter the canyon there and then hop onto the trail that heads directly into Echo Canyon. You’ll wind your way up to Blue Diamond Hill and then the trail will take you back downhill to the parking lot some miles later.

Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 4.5 miles / 7.2 km
Duration: 1-3 hours

Red Rock Canyon National
Conservation Area
3205 NV-159
Las Vegas, NV 89161

 

Gray Cap Peak

graycappeak

If you’re looking to burn off those strawberry Margaritas and Pina Coladas that you drink poolside at the Cosmopolitan this weekend, then this is the trail for you. The Gray Cap Peak trail is considered difficult as far as your everyday hiking goes, but it’s the perfect workout to endure before heading back to reality. The trail will take up about half of your day due to the uphill challenge so make sure to get an early start if you want to finish before sundown. The hike starts off relatively easy, giving you a chance to work up a sweat and prepare for the long trek up the canyon. One thing to remember, as the trail splits up often, is to always stay North of the giant body of water that you will run into. Follow the ridge line and pay attention to the signs and by the time you make it back you’ll be ready for another night on the town, guilt free.

Difficulty: Difficult
Length: 6.2 miles / 10.0 km
Duration: Half day

Red Rock Canyon National
Conservation Area
3205 NV-159
Las Vegas, NV 89161

 

The Potato Knoll

potato knoll

The Potato Knoll hike is perfect for those of us who are A) Hung-over, B) Exhausted, C) Out of shape or D) All of the above. I like to call these kinds of hikes strenuous walks because you’re still burning your calories and getting the fresh air from the great outdoors that you might be craving, but you’re within your workout limits. This might also be the hike you to choose to check out if you have kids, dogs or the whole family looking to get outside and get their hike on. Along this trail you’ll see cacti, amazing rock formations, and plenty of dried up creeks as you make your way around. The nice thing is that there are options along this trail to head farther to the top so if you surprise yourself along this route and want to push yourself, the option is always there.

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 4.7 miles / 7.6 km
Duration: 1-3 hours

 

White Rock Loop

whiterockloop

Another one of the loops at Red Rock Canyon, White Rock Loop is one of the best hikes if you want to see a different side of the desert. Yes, there will be rocks and mountains as excepted, but on this hike you can make your way down to a hidden forest of juniper and pinyon. Pinyon is a type of pine tree that grows in the desert and gives off nuts that are still eaten today. It’s a great contrast of color when you finally run into these plants after being surrounded by so much rock and desert all day. Just keep in mind that the growth of these plants is all dependent on the levels of precipitation that have fallen in the area.

Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 6.3 miles / 10.1 km
Duration: 1-3 hours

Red Rock Canyon National
Conservation Area
West Charleston Blvd
Las Vegas,  NV 89135