Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Located 17 miles west of Las Vegas, Red Rocks was designated as Nevada’s first National Conservation Area.

During a recent visit to Las Vegas, my friend Andrew took me to explore this incredible place.

From the first moment we entered Red Rocks, my jaw was dropping.

The vast, wide open landscape, with those incredible peaks rising to the sky, blew me away!

The colors of the desert are so varied, and I love the multiple layers shown in the next image.

It’s incredible to think that the Las Vegas strip is just a few miles away.

The conservation area showcases the most incredible sandstone red rock formations.  “These sandstone cliffs are made up of Aztec Sandstone.  The formations, 180-190 million years old, are comprised of lithified sand dunes that formed in the a vast desert that covered a large part of the southwestern United States during the Juraassic Time.  Lithification is the process of changing unconsolidated sediment into sedimentary rock”.

“The red color of some of the outcrops of the Aztec Sandstone is due to presence of iron oxide or hematite. Exposure to the elements caused iron minerals to oxidize or “rust,” resulting in red, orange, and brown-colored rocks. Areas where the rock is buff in color may be places where the iron has been leached out by subsurface water, or where the iron oxide was never deposited”

The highest point in Red Rocks is over 8000 ft high.

“In marked contrast to a town geared to entertainment and gaming, Red Rock offers enticements of a different nature including a 13-mile scenic drive, miles of hiking trails, rock climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking, road biking, picnic areas, nature observing and visitor center with indoor and outdoor exhibits as well as a book store”.

Andrew and I followed the 13 mile scenic drive, and he was patient enough to pull over every time I said “Oh my gosh, look!”

The 100 degree temps required much drinking of water … and we were driving!

Next time, perhaps a winter visit is in order, and we can hit one of the many hiking trails within the conservation area.

Please visit here to see some amazing photography.  Just incredible!

Thanks, Andrew, for showing me the natural beauty of Nevada.

13 thoughts on “Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

  1. I was at Red Rock Canyon about 20 years ago and I was just as amazed by it as you, Laurie. Unlike your day, ours was cool, in the 50’s, and windy, so we didn’t do any exploring outside of the vehicle. These are beautiful photos that bring back memories. I’m glad you were able to see this up close.

  2. Hey cutie Pa-2-Tee, that does look isolated and hard to imagine just 13 miles aways is the LV strip. 100 degree’s sounds crazy to me, who can hike or bike in that ?? Cute pic of you and your boy 😀 I can easy see dinosaurs stomping around, but I can’t imagine what they’d eat….besides each other ! eeep! xo k

  3. While the particular region is unknown to me, it’s a very familiar landscape…and yes, it would make for a much nicer visit in the late Fall or Winter when the temps are down!

  4. Thanks for explaining the reason behind the beautiful colors, Laurie. What a gorgeous place. Does your friend Andrew live there? My friend Leslie moved to Vegas several years ago specifically for the hiking and outdoor beauty. The strip gets all the attention, but from what I gather, there is a lot of natural beauty throughout the state. Now about that heat….ugh. I’m glad you kept hydrated so you could capture so many of these stunning vistas. xo

Because Boomdee dared me: Lay a little sugar on me :-)

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