La Madre Springs
- Physical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
- Technical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
The La Madre Springs Hike is a moderately difficult adventure in Red Rock Canyon that leads up a very well-graded trail to a quaint river with a gurgling spring. The views of the steep sided mountains and sandstone cliffs along the trail offer a truly awe-inspiring view into the natural beauty of the desert landscape.
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Route Description for La Madre Springs
To start the La Madre Springs Trail from the parking lot, follow the 4×4 road for approximately 1.6km. Here, you will cross over a dried up creek bed that can cause uncertainty as to where the trail goes; however, following the tire tracks (veering left) will keep you on the correct route. As you continue hiking along the trail, you will enter a small canyon, where you will most likely be able to spot rock climbers ascending the extremely steep cliffs on either side!
Reaching, a signposted junction, you will turn right and head towards the La Madre Springs. The trail will narrow slightly, but remains a double track trail all the way to the river. From here the route starts to gain elevation, but does so at such a moderate pace that you almost won’t even notice it. The trail has sporadic shade throughout, but should not be relied on to protect you fully from the sun, and on especially hot days this hike can be quite challenging due to the solar reflection off the mountainsides.
As you slowly climb, you will experience even more spectacular views of the mountains in front of you, and if you turn back you will be rewarded with gorgeous panoramas from where you came.
Finally, you will reach the beginning of the stream. For the last few hundred yards the trail will turn to a single track as it snakes beside the river. The path will bear left to follow along the river, and after a short distance will cross over it. Climbing up beside the stream, there will be several junctions with paths leading along the river, and others crossing it. Do your best to stay on the right side of the river when ascending, as this path tends to be a lot easier! Don’t overdo it though, as at times there is no path along this side and navigation can be tricky.
Finally, you will reach a small waterfall and the path forward will require some steep scrambling. This is where we recommend stopping, as there is ample shade here to take a break before returning the way you came!
Hiking trail highlights
La Madre Springs
Located near the Willow Springs Picnic Area in Red Rock Canyon, the La Madre Springs are an important water source for the various wildlife species in the area.
Sourced at the base of La Madre Mountain, the springs flow into a dam that was constructed during the 1960s. This creates a critically important habitat for animal and plant life, such as tree frogs and hummingbirds, that otherwise would not be able to survive in the harsh climate of the desert.
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Insider Hints for La Madre Springs
- If you have a high clearance 4x4 vehicle you can skip the first section of the hike and park where the trail bears off to the right.
- It is possible to connect this hike with White Rock Trail. Pick up a map at the visitor centre to get a better idea of how to do this!
Getting to the La Madre Springs Trailhead
From Las Vegas follow Route 157 West as it exits the city. After less than 10 minutes of driving from the city limits you will reach the turn off for Scenic Drive, and signs towards the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area Visitor Centre. Take this turn and pay your dues at the park entrance. Follow the one-way Scenic Drive for just less than 12.9 km until you reach the Willow Springs Picnic Area, at the apex of the loop. Turn off and park as far down the road as possible.
La Madre Springs Elevation Graph
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La Madre Springs Reviews
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