Kid Friendly Hikes at Red Rock Canyon
Red Rock Canyon is a great place for families to visit because it offers plenty of kid-friendly hikes and other activities. There are many kid friendly hiking trails where children can play and explore nature. You’ll also find lots of photo ops along the way. After all, hiking is a favorite pastime for kids.
Children will love exploring the park’s natural artifacts and learning about its history. At the Visitor’s Center, kids can learn more about the geology of the park as well as the ancient people who used to reside there. They can also browse books and souvenirs at the gift shop.
If you’re planning to bring your kids along, don’t forget to pack snacks and drinks. Many of the trails require some walking with very little shade, so be sure to come prepared with sunscreen, wear proper clothing and bring plenty of water. Also be sure to check the official Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area website for park hours and admission fee.
Here are our top picks for kid friendly hikes at Red Rock Canyon
Visitor Center Trails
The Red Rock Canyon Visitor center is an informative hub for visitors. Inside there are interactive displays but right outside the Visitors Center you will find short trails that will highlight native plants from throughout the canyon, and a live Desert tortoise habitat.
You’ll find plenty of information here to help you plan your visit to the park. You can also chat with the friendly staff members about hiking recommendations, participate in a ranger led activity, and pick up something to remember your trip.
While these may not be the most adventurous hikes, they might be the perfect trails if you have really young children.
Lost Creek – Childrens Discovery Trail
The Lost Creek – Children’s Discovery Trail is a great hike for families. Kids enjoy seeing the petroglyph wall, a hidden seasonal waterfall (December-April) and learning about the ancient history of the area. Parents will appreciate the fact that this is a relatively easy hike without any steep inclines or technical challenges.
Located at the Willow Spring picnic area, the .6 mile trail starts off with a boardwalk leading down to the dry creek bed. It’s a quick hike and doesn’t require any climbing experience. Along the trail you will find informational signs that highlight the geology and ecology of the area. It’s a great introduction to hiking for people of all ages.
Lost Creek (also known as Children’s Discovery Trail) and Petroglyph Wall are two of the easiest hikes in Red Rock Canyon. They follow separate paths but are next to one another in the Willow Spring parking area.
Petroglyph Wall Trail
Located right next to the Lost Creek – Children’s Discovery Trail, you will find another archaeological site left behind from the ancient inhabitants at the Petroglyph Wall Trail. Petroglyphs are carvings made by humans using rocks. They date back to approximately 800 years ago. Their meaning is open to interpretation, but they do provide insight into the culture of the time.
The trailhead is also at the Willow Springs Picnic Area, which makes it ideal for lunch, either before or after the trail.
Calico Hills Trail
There are many trails throughout Red Rock National Conservation Area that provide hikers with a variety of experiences. One of the most popular hiking trails is the Calico Hills Trail. Kids will enjoy scrambling over the huge sandstone boulders and exploring the many side trails.
This trail provides visitors with a chance to get up-close and personal with the red and orange sandstone of the calico hills trail. Straight out of an old Western movie, the color of these huge sandstone hills and boulders stands out against the brown tones of the surrounding desert and blue sky above.
The trail begins at the first parking area after the visitor center and ends at the third parking area at the far edge of the calico hills, providing visitors with a chance to view a wide variety amazing scenery.
Visitors who want to take advantage of the trail can either hike the entire trail or select a specific part of the trail. The trail is approximately six miles long and requires moderate effort.
There are three main parking areas where people start hikes. These include Calico I, Calico II and the Sandstone Quarry Parking Areas. Each of these parking areas provides visitors with a different experience.
Red Springs Boardwalk Trail
The Red Springs Boardwalk Trail is a great kid friendly hike if you are near Red Rock Canyon but you don’t want to pay to enter the scenic drive. The Red Springs Boardwalk trails are actually on the backside of the Calico Hills Basin so you will still get to experience the beauty of the Red Rock National Conservation Area.
Here you’ll find lots of interesting plants, wildlife along the way, and the views are amazing. There is also a picnic area to enjoy a nice meal with the family.
Once you have finished exploring the Red Springs Boardwalk Trail, there are additional trails that split off for further exploration if you choose.
First Creek Waterfall
Also located outside of the Scenic Drive, First Creek Canyon is a beautiful place to explore for those looking for a kid friendly Red Rock hike. It’s a short 2 mile hike that takes you past a small waterfall and along a creek bed.
The trail is relatively easy to navigate so it is perfect for pets and children and there are plenty of places to stop and enjoy the views of the picturesque Spring Mountains. Along the way you may catch glimpses of wildlife along the trail including bighorn sheep, coyotes, and wild bureaus.
In conclusion, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area offers plenty of opportunities for families to explore the outdoors together. From hiking trails to scenic overlooks, there’s something here for everyone. So whether you want to spend the day exploring nature or spending quality time with your children, Red Rock Canyon has got you covered.
And since we know that sometimes it’s hard to get away from the city, we’ve compiled a list of kid friendly hikes near Las Vegas that offer beautiful views and lots of adventure. Check them out below!