Sunday, November 20, 2016

Hiking Calico Tanks Trail at Red Rock Canyon

Hiking Calico Tanks Trail at Red Rock Canyon
Las Vegas can be more than casinos, bright lights, buffets, and shows. There is also some awesome hiking nearby. Where is this awesome hiking spot? It's at Red Rock Canyon. It's about a 30-40 minute drive depending where you are on the Vegas Strip or about 40 minutes from Henderson (where my parents house is). We headed straight to Red Rock Canyon after our long drive from Davis since it was the best day before I'd be doing the Remix Challenge for Rock'n'Roll Las Vegas.

There is a fee to get in to the park, however it was free the day we went because it was Veteran's Day. The fee for cars is $7 per vehicle so we saved a bit which was nice. After going through the fee station, we headed straight to the visitor center where there is information, a nice gift shop, restrooms, and a nice spot to take pictures outside.
It was already late afternoon by the time we left the visitor center and decided we would do the Calico Tanks trail. Hubby and I had actually done the trail before (before kids) and liked it because it was short and had great views at the end. We figured it would be perfect for the kids especially since we did not have much daylight left. We parked at the Sandstone Quarry parking lot. It looks like parking can be tough since there were cars parked along the road even before the parking lot. However, we were lucky and found a spot right in the lot and close to the start of the trail. There are bathrooms at the trailhead. We started hiking close to 3:30pm and knew we had until 5:00pm when the park closes.
Calico Tanks Trail
The Calico Trail is an out and back trail, 1.2 miles out to the cool views with a total of 2.4 round trip. On the trail are lots of cool climbing spots. From the parking lot if you look up at the rocks, it is very likely that there are climbers climbing them. We saw a bunch and found it really cool to see. I think the boys were inspired and enjoyed finding areas along the trail for them to climb.
Climbing the rocks on Calico Tanks Trail
 I really liked hiking on the rocks. It is so fun hiking on different terrain.
Hiking the Calico Tanks Trail
Here are some happy hikers. You know it's a good trail when they are already asking when they can hike it again during the hike. :)
happy hikers
The rock scrambling or climbing on the rocks made this hike so much fun for the boys. I believe there are different routes to get to the end point of the hike because we noticed people either above us or below us on certain parts of the trail.
kiddos climbing
It is always nice to look back and see where we came from. The rocks surrounding us looked really cool.
Hiking the Calico Tanks Trail
Just before climbing up to the view point, there are basins where water can be after the rains but on this trip it was empty. After 1.2 miles of hiking, scrambling, and climbing we made it to the end with awesome views. You are able to see the Las Vegas strip. The terrain is so beautiful. It is a popular hike so there were lots of people around. We had to wait a bit to be able to take this pic without others around.
Viewpoint with Las Vegas Strip in background
Here's a family selfie on the way back.
It was fun going down, you just had to be careful in parts because the sand on the rock can make it slippery.
Hiking Calico Tanks trail
There are some neat cairns along the trail, especially this spot which seems to be a shrine of cairns. The boys even added a couple more to the group.
Shrine of cairns
We made it back just in time as it was starting to get dark.
hiking back to the trail head on Calico Tanks Trail
Overall it is an awesome hike. Short so it is perfect for kids but also fun due to the rock scrambling and climbing involved. Plus the views at the end of the strip are amazing! Definitely a hike I would recommend to anyone. I'm so glad we got this in on our short trip to Vegas. It's a perfect outdoor adventure if you want to escape from the Strip.

Happy hiking!

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