I spent my first solo weekend in Las Vegas, frankly…as far away from Las Vegas as I could.
For some reason the fact the nothing closes, ever, nor do they ever turn off the lights has managed to slightly bother me. It could be the fact that living on Las Vegas Blvd., or should I say trying to sleep when living on Las Vegas Blvd. is near impossible. Or maybe it’s the sparkling McDonalds sign located outside my window, either way, by Saturday I was ready for a break.
Luckily, not too far from town is Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, a series of large red sandstone cliffs and peaks, some as high as 8,000 feet are a welcomed recluse from the bustle of Las Vegas. Upon entering the park ($7), there are a series of scenic overlooks and hikes located along the 13-mile one-way loop. I pulled off a number of times to take a few photos and briefly mull around with the hundreds of other visitors to the park.
I settled on hiking a 2.5 mile trail named Ice Box Canyon, which was an interesting hike that began with about a 1-mile jaunt through the desert, which wasn’t all that pleasant considering my extreme phobia of snakes. No worries, no serpents on this journey. Following the fairly easy stroll through the desert, the hike became increasingly more difficult and required a bit of
bouldering. A ominous white marker indicated I had entered “wilderness” and it soon became clear what that meant. Portions of the trail were cutoff by large boulders, which had to be scaled, while other parts required walking along a fallen pine tree. Throughout the hike, you are bordered by sheer cliffs on both sides making for great views.
The reward for your efforts? Nestled at the end of the trail is a cascading waterfall and clear pool of water, which seems a bit out of place considering the landscape.
After briefly soaking it it, I headed back to my car. In total, the hike took about two and a half to three hours.
There are plenty of additional hikes that I plan on returning to Red Rock Canyon in the near future to explore a few more trails.