Springtime Hikes

It’s spring in Las Vegas… time to grab the leash!

By Paula Jacoby-Garrett

Springtime in Las Vegas is one of my favorite times of the year.  The desert comes alive again after a winter rest and explodes with life.  So grab the leash, its time for you and your four-legged friend to hit the trails and have some fun!

Weather can change quickly during this time of year so be prepared with extra layers and extra water in case the weather changes in either direction.  It is also the time when our desert wildlife comes alive so be prepared for more critters out on the trail with a watchful eye and a camera.

Here are some of our favorite spring hikes:

First Creek – Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
The parking area for this hike is located off Charleston Road between Red Rock Canyon scenic loop and the town of Blue Diamond.  Looking across the desert along the trail from the parking lot and you would have no idea that a waterfall and pool await you just down the trail.  This 2.2 mile hike is a favorite with both dogs and kids alike.  The main trail takes you from the parking lot into the canyon but if you want to find the waterfall and pool – take a right just past a mile into the hike and drop down into the small canyon.  The turn can be a bit obscure so check out http://www.birdandhike.com/Hike/Red_Rocks/First_Cr_Falls/_First_Creek.htm for more detailed information.  This website is my “go to” for great hike and natural history information in the area.  You can also contact the Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center at 702-515-5330.

White Dome Loop – Valley of Fire State Park

The southwest is known for narrow, rock-walled canyons called slot canyons.  The structure and mystery of walking through twists and turns makes these canyons my favorite.   This 1.1 mile is located at the end of the White Domes road in the Valley of Fire State Park.  The trail begins in the parking lot then heads down into a wash.  The remnant stone structure that the trail passes is an old western movie set from the 1960s.  Once you reach the wash bottom head right through a small but fun slot canyon.  Just outside the slot canyon, the trails heads to the right again and loops around, eventually back to the parking area.  For more information contact the Valley of Fire State Park at 702-397-2088.

Lone Mountain – Summerlin area of Las Vegas
Short hike, good workout, wonderful views….what more can you ask for?  Located right off the west side of Lone Mountain, this hike is a great one for days when you want to get out but don’t have a lot of time.  The trail begins off Vegas Vista Trail where it dead-ends to the north.  The trail leads from there up to a small saddle on the ridge then to the south to the summit.  Fantastic views and the elevation change make for a good workout as well.


Best Hikes With Dogs: Las Vegas & Beyond
By Kimberly Lewis &  Paula Jacoby-Garrett

Great guide with recommendations for more dog-friendly hiking trails within 3 hours of Las Vegas.  This resource also includes information about keeping your dog safe and hydrated, what to pack for your pooch, and other valuable tips to make hiking with your dog safe and enjoyable.