A hiker on top of the Fire Wave in Valley of Fire State Park, one of the best hikes near Las Vegas

15 Best Hikes Near Las Vegas (By a Local)

I’m a Vegas local and in this guide, I share the best hikes near Las Vegas for all skill levels.

From Red Rock Canyon and Mount Charleston to trails near Lake Mead, you’re sure to be stunned by the incredible scenery. Read on to discover popular Las Vegas hikes plus a few hidden gems featuring caves and hot springs!

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15 Best Hikes Near Las Vegas

Ice Box Canyon

Cool off from the desert heat and take in the glistening waterfalls inside Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

The Ice Box Canyon sign under the clear blue sky
(photo: Kit Leong / Shutterstock)

🥾 Moderate | 2.2 miles round trip | Google Maps | Park Website | 25-minute Drive from Las Vegas | Cost: $15 entrance per vehicle

Inside Red Rock Canyon, you will find the Ice Box Canyon Trailhead. This hike has a lot of shade and cool breezes, giving it the name Ice Box. The best time to take this hike is from December to April because that is when you will see the gorgeous seasonal waterfalls. 

It is a more strenuous hike due to the loose rocks and boulders that you have to navigate but is one of my personal favorite hikes near Las Vegas. You might even get to hike alongside wild burros since they are very common in this area. 

📚 Related Reading: Take a look at my what to do in Las Vegas article for more ideas about what to do near Red Rock Canyon.

Mary Jane Falls

Explore caves as you adventure in the Spring Mountains.

View of the frozen Mary Jane Falls during winter
Frozen Mary Jane Falls in the winter.

🥾 Moderate | 3.2 miles round trip | Google Maps | Park Website | 40-minute Drive from Las Vegas | Cost: free

Mary Jane Falls takes you on a hike through the Spring Mountains, and at the end, you will reach a waterfall and different caves. This moderate trail leads you through cooler forested areas with ponderosa pines. You may also catch a glimpse of Big Falls along this hike, which is a more difficult trail leading to another waterfall. 

👉 Pro Tip: This is a popular hike, so start early to avoid crowds. Also, note that this trail is only open from April to December. 

Petroglyph Trail

Get a glimpse of history on the Petroglyph Trail at Sloan Canyon.

A petroglyph on a volcanic rock in Petroglyph Canyon Trail
Petroglyph Trail petroglyphs etched into volcanic rock

🥾 Moderate | 4.2 miles round trip | Google Maps | Park Website | 20-minute Drive from Las Vegas | Cost: free

With over 300 ancient petroglyphs on this trail, you are sure to see this wonderful art on your desert hike. The main allure to this trail is the petroglyphs, but keep your eye out for a variety of wildlife, including Nevada’s state animal, bighorn sheep. 

A little bit of rock scrambling is required during this trail, which is why it has a moderate rating. While hiking this trail, it is essential to note that the petroglyphs may not be right along the path or super noticeable, so look closely.

Fire Wave

One of the best places to get photos in the Valley of Fire State Park.

Scenic view of the Fire Wave

🥾 Easy | 1.5 miles round trip | Google Maps | Park Website | 1 Hour Drive from Las Vegas | Cost: $10 entrance per Nevada vehicle, $15 out of state vehicles 

Valley of Fire State Park is where you will find the Fire Wave Trailhead, and it is one of the most popular hiking trails in the park. This trail is directly in the desert sun, causing seasonal closures from June through September. Regardless, always start early and bring lots of water. 

This out-and-back hike is perfect for beginner hikers because you just follow the markers and there are not too many areas where you must climb. Once you get to the end of Fire Wave, you will see the beautiful orange and red rocks which come together to look like a natural wave, hence the name. The scenery along this hike is stunning, so don’t forget your camera. 

📚 Related Reading: Arrive to the trailhead prepared with our helpful Hiking Essentials Packing Checklist

Historic Railroad Trail

Venture through old railroad tunnels while taking in magnificent views of Lake Mead.

People at the end of the Historic Railroad Trail

🥾 Easy | 7.5 miles round trip | Google Maps | Park Website | 30-minute Drive from Las Vegas | Cost: free

The Historic Railroad Trail at Lake Mead takes you through an old, abandoned railroad track dating back to the 1930s. Along this popular trail, you will encounter different tunnels, each with different stories attached to them. There are also multiple signs along the trail to inform you about the history of different parts of the railroad, so you actually learn a lot. 

This trail is more like a walking trail, which means it is perfect for everyone, and you can even bring your dogs. Another great part about exploring this historical trail is that you will see the gorgeous desert landscape and Lake Mead below.

At the very end of the trail, you will have the option to take an elevator down to the Hoover Dam Visitor Center and continue your adventure with a guided tour

Calico Tanks

Catch breathtaking views of the Las Vegas Valley at the top of Calico Tanks in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

View from the Calico Tanks near Las Vegas

🥾 Moderate | 2.2 miles round trip | Google Maps | Park Website | 30-minute Drive from Las Vegas | Cost: $15 entrance per vehicle

Calico Tanks is one of the most popular Las Vegas hiking trails. You will see gorgeous red rocks, climb up the rock staircases, and take in the natural beauty surrounding you. On this hike, you will definitely need to use your hands and feet to maneuver over the rocks in certain areas. 

Toward the end of the trail, you will come to red rocks which look almost like tanks, giving the trail its name. It is a beautiful trail to take photos or to escape from city life every once in a while.

✈️ Visiting Vegas? Check out my guide to where to stay in Vegas!

Gold Strike Canyon Hot Springs

Get lost in a wonderland of hot pools and waterfalls at Gold Strike Canyon Hot Springs near Lake Mead.

View of a waterfall while on a hike in Gold Strike Canyon Trail
Gorgeous waterfall found on the Gold Strike Canyon Trail

🥾 Difficult | 6 miles round trip | Google Maps | Park Website | 35-minute Drive from Las Vegas | Cost: free/$X for parking/entrance $X

Gold Strike Canyon Hot Springs is one of the most fun hikes in Las Vegas, but it is also on the more challenging side. You will encounter a set of eight different ropes which take you down through different boulders, and this is one of the trickier parts of the hike. The rocks along the path can also get pretty slippery, so be sure to wear adequate hiking shoes

While hiking, you will see beautiful red rocks, captivating wildlife, and bighorn sheep are also very common on this path. Once you fully descend, you will find multiple hot springs and hot waterfalls around you. If you continue walking, you will end up at the Colorado River which is perfect for cooling off after a hot soak. 

👉 Pro Tip: This trail is not available from May to September. 

Frenchman Mountain

Get the best view of the sunrise in all of Las Vegas at Frenchman Mountain.

Sunrise over the Frenchman Mountain

🥾 Difficult | 4.4 miles round trip | Google Maps | Park Website | 40-minute Drive from Las Vegas | Cost: free

Frenchman Mountain is one of the best hiking trails that lead you to magnificent views of the city. Some of the best times to take this hike are right before the sunset or sunrise because the scenery you will get is unbelievable. Since the hike is so steep, many people recommend using hiking poles and good hiking boots to help keep your balance.

Lone Mountain Loop Trail

Take a hike in the middle of Las Vegas at Lone Mountain.

The author, Isabelle Pavese, at the top of Lone Mountain Loop Trail with an overlooking view from it
Me standing at the top of the incredible Lone Mountain

🥾 Easy | 3.2 miles round trip | Google Maps | Park Website | 15 minute Drive from Las Vegas | Cost: free

In Northern Las Vegas, you will find a mountain that is right next to the freeway and in the middle of a large residential area. This mountain is quite popular with the locals because it is a convenient yet gorgeous trail for when you want to indulge in outdoor activities. 

The main trail of Lone Mountain is very easy and flat and takes you all the way around the mountain. However, you can choose to do some climbing on the other paths, which lead to unbeatable views of the Las Vegas Strip. 

Bristlecone Trail

Cool off in the shady forest areas of Bristlecone Trail in the Spring Mountains.

View of a tree trunk during a hike in Bristlecone Trail

🥾 Moderate | 6.3 miles round trip | Google Maps | Park Website | 50-minute Drive from Las Vegas | Cost: free

Many of the hikes in Las Vegas are beautiful, but they don’t offer too much greenery, trees, or shade. Bristlecone Trail, though, is one of the exceptions you will find on your Las Vegas hiking adventures. 

Bristlecone Trail provides shaded forest areas, with enchanting views of the surrounding mountains. You may also spot many unique plants and wildlife during your hike, including the endangered Mount Charleston Blue Butterfly. 

👉 My Favorite Gear: Check out this hydration pack at REI, perfect for staying hydrated on long hikes like this one.

First Creek Canyon

Look out for hummingbirds and other alluring wildlife at First Creek in Red Rock Canyon.

View of a waterfall in First Creek Canyon
A gorgeous seasonal waterfall at First Creek Canyon

🥾 Moderate | 4 miles | Google Maps | Park Website | 30-minute Drive from Las Vegas | Cost: $15 entrance fee per vehicle

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area contains many magnificent hikes, with First Creek Canyon being one of them. This is a popular trail for bird-watching, running, or just exploring. 

The spring season is when you are the most likely to see the waterfall or water running through the creek. The trail starts flat and gets rockier as you continue on, but it is not too difficult to navigate over the rocks.    

👉 Pro Tip: Snakes are a common sighting on this path, so be sure to keep an eye out.

Cathedral Rock

Hike through this colorful area with spectacular wildlife in Mount Charleston. 

🥾 Moderate | 3 miles | Google Maps | Park Website | 45-minute Drive from Las Vegas | Cost: free

Cathedral Rock Trail in Mount Charleston is bursting with some of the best wildlife you will see on your Las Vegas hikes. Abundant, colorful wildflowers add to the scenery and draw a variety of butterflies. 

The first half of the hike is steep, and it is important to wear good hiking shoes to make sure you stay safe. You may also see a waterfall on this hike, and the views of Kyle Canyon at the top are astonishing. 

Note that the Cathedral Rock hiking trail is not open during winter.

👉 Read Next: Best Parks Near Las Vegas

White Domes Trail

Venture through a beautiful slot canyon featured in multiple movies at the Valley of Fire.

A narrow path in White Domes Trail

🥾 Easy | 1 mile | Google Maps | Park Website | 1 hour Drive from Las Vegas | Cost: $10 entrance per Nevada vehicle, $15 out-of-state vehicles 

The White Domes Trail at the Valley of Fire State Park is an easy hike that takes you through a gorgeous slot canyon. You will be sure to see the expansive desert landscapes featuring incredible rock formations and wildlife. This hike is perfect for beginners and also those who love taking photographs.  

Black Mountain Trail

Challenge yourself with this difficult hike to get the spectacular views in Sloan Canyon.

🥾 Difficult | 6.8 miles | Google Maps | Park Website | 35-minute Drive from Las Vegas | Cost: free

The challenging Black Mountain Trail at Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area is a very steep yet rewarding hike. There are a lot of switchbacks during this hike until you get closer to the top. 

While this trail does not start out with a lot of scenery, it gets increasingly more beautiful as you continue on. There is not a lot of shade on this hike, so it is important to stay hydrated and hike during milder temperatures. 

📚 Related Reading: Check out my day trips near Las Vegas article to find more things to do near Sloan Canyon.

Arizona Hot Springs

Soak in nature’s hot tub after a strenuous yet incredible hike near Lake Mead.

A hot springs at the end of Arizona Hot Springs Trail

🥾 Difficult | 5 miles round trip | Google Maps | Park Website | 35-minute Drive from Las Vegas | Cost: $25 entrance per vehicle 

Along the Colorado River, you will find the Arizona Hot Springs Trail. This hiking trail takes you through a bright slot canyon, and at the end, there are hot springs to take a rewarding soak.

There are four different pools in the canyon, and each of them has different temperatures so you can pick the one that is most comfortable for you. 

The hike is long and strenuous. Be sure to get there early and bring a headlamp in case you need to navigate in the dark. If you want to extend your trip, you may also choose to camp near Arizona Hot Springs. 

👉 Pro Tip: This trail is closed from May to September due to the extreme heat. Also, because of a recent flood, the ladder to reach these hot springs has been damaged and the attraction is currently inaccessible. Check the park website for updates. 

FAQs About Hiking Near Las Vegas

Is Red Rock Canyon worth seeing? 

Red Rock Canyon is worth seeing because of its multiple hikes for every skill level. It also offers breathtaking scenery with colorful mountains and stunning wildlife. 

How far is the Vegas Strip from Red Rock Canyon? 

The Vegas Strip is a 25-minute drive from Red Rock Canyon. 

Does Vegas have good hiking?

Vegas has good hiking trails, including Ice Box Canyon, Fire Wave, and the Black Mountain Trail

Can you hike the mountains in Las Vegas?

You can hike the mountains in Las Vegas, with most of them having trails to ensure that you take the safest paths. 

🏕️ Read Next: 9 Best Campsites Near Vegas


Whether you’re visiting or living in nearby Las Vegas neighborhoods, I hope I inspired you to check out the best hikes near Las Vegas. Stay safe on the trails and enjoy! 

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  1. A couple of hikes that weren’t’ mentioned. Big Falls is a 100 foot water falls. It starts out on the Mary Jane trails and branches off. This is specular. Above Big Falls is little known Hidden Falls. I just just up there in August and it was still running with a little snow. Also at Red Rock The Pine Creek trails have waterfalls rock climbers, this is world famous. The creek runs all year around and is under a canopy so it’s not too hot. The water flower from the top of Bridge Mountain, enjoy

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