Best of Nevada hiking, USA

Hikes in Nevada

State in United States

Viva Las Vegas! Nevada, home to the world’s most iconic pleasure-town, is one of the most-visited places in the United States, and a fantastic travel destination (yes, even for hikers!). Nevada may be best known for the glittering lights of Las Vegas, but in fact, the real treasure of this western state is its nature. With arid deserts, craggy mountains, and stun/ning blue lakes, Nevada’s diverse landscapes may just surprise you. There’s so much to do here away from the casinos and bars, so jump in and start exploring!

Although many of us associate Nevada with lonely desert highways, the landscape here is surprisingly diverse and offers many opportunities for adventure travel. Red Rock Canyon, just a short drive from Las Vegas itself, is a spectacular place to go hiking, while the Valley of Fire State Park is one of the most amazing sights you can see across the whole state. You’ll also find strange and contorted spires of rock in Cathedral Gorge State Park – a fantastic photo opportunity and a sight you won’t forget in a hurry!

Closer to the border with California, Lake Tahoe is one of the most popular destinations in Nevada, with plenty of opportunities for canoeing, paddle-boarding, and sailing. You’ll also find some fantastic hikes in the Great Basin National Park, where the mountains, trees, and flowers provide a very different vista. Expect the unexpected – wherever you go, Nevada is sure to surprise you.

If you’re looking for a little travel inspiration, check out our guide to adventure holidays in Nevada! We’ve put together activity guides, suggestions for great hikes, and top tips for planning a trip to the Silver State.

10 Greatest Hikes in Nevada

Why not explore the diverse scenery of Nevada on a hiking adventure? With plenty of options to choose from, you can hike through the desert for some peace and tranquility on the Calico Loop Trail, or you can wander the snow capped mountains of Red Rock Canyon National Park.

  • Moenkopi Trail: Setting out from the Red Rock Canyon Visitors Centre, walk the outer ridge of the park to take in stunning vista views over the entire canyon.
  • Trail Canyon: With fast growing elevation, this hike is made easy by the gradual grade to take you to the tip top for breathtaking views of Spring Mountain and Mt. Charleston.
  • Fletcher Peak: One of the harder trails in Red Rock Canyon makes the trek worth with fantastic views of the Spring Mountains. Fletcher Peak makes for a perfect half-day outing.
  • La Madre Springs: This family-friendly hike follows a well-graded trail and offers an up close view of the surrounding sandstone cliffs.
  • Calico Hills Loop: This popular hike leads adventurers right to the heart of the Red Rock Canyon--Calico Hills. This short loop is perfect for families with little ones who want a more intimate peak at the stunning red hills.
  • Cathedral Rock Trail: Prepare for plenty of switchbacks on the Cathedral Rock trail, leading to a rocky promontory, which serves as the perfect lookout over the entire park.
  • White Rock Trail: Take the trail less travelled by on the White Rock hike, where you’ll find peace and tranquility in the middle of the desert. Traverse to the base of the mountains for a unique take on an iconic park.
  • Calico Tanks Trail: Kick of this hike from the iconic Sandstone Quarry. Push along until you reach a picturesque spring, which if you’re luck--you just may have all to yourself.
  • Mary Jane Falls Trail: Spot the picture perfect Mary Jane Falls, located within the Mount Charleston Valley, offering marvelous views of Charleston Peak.
  • Icebox Canyon: One of the most popular hikes in Nevada, follow the trail around a steep canyon ridge and between two stunning mountains. Hikers are rewarded with the microclimates of Icebox Canyon.

When is the Best Time to Hike in Nevada

The Red Rock is particularly known for its scorching hot summers, which doesn’t exactly make for the best hiking conditions. The spring/winter season is particularly delightful if you plan to spend much of your time outdoors in Nevada. We recommend October-April for pleasant weather conditions-- you should be able to hike all day, no problem.

Best Regions to Hike in Nevada

The Red Rock Canyon is without a doubt the best place to hike in Nevada. Famed for its stunning red hills mixed in with jutting canyon cliffs, the Red Rock Canyon is a can’t miss hiking destination. The bright orange colour is part of what makes the canyon so iconic, caused by iron oxide which has built up over centuries. Regardless of your skill level, the Red Rock Canyon offers a trail for everyone--even if you’re short on time. It’s also the perfect destination to come back to time and time again, as there is always more to see. For some incredible geology rock spotting, Cathedral Gorge State Park is home to spires of rock that seemingly grew out of the ground--you’ll want to grab a photo or two here, then hit the surrounding trails. And in Great Basin National Park, you’ll find part of the Snake Mountain range, offering some epic climbs and a varying landscape that makes for a memorable adventure.

Other Activities in Nevada

Nevada is a wonderful, under the radar destination for outdoor enthusiasts. With plenty of hiking and backpacking trails to choose from, to world-class rock climbing, to epic mountain biking trails and yes, even winter sport-- like snowshoeing, snowboarding and skiing--Nevada has got it all! No matter the season, Nevada is truly one of the best kept secrets, where an unforgettable adventure awaits.

Nevada's Adventure Tours

If you’re looking for a high-adrenaline adventure tour, why not book with 10Adventures? With our wide-range of tours in Nevada, from self-guided excursions, to private, luxury tours--we’ve got you covered. Whether you want to hit the canyons for views of the big red rock, or fly down the slopes in Nevada’s backcountry, our 10Adventure tours have it all.

How to Plan a Trip to Nevada

If you need a little extra help planning your trip, check out our complete guide to Red Rocks and Mt. Charleston around Las Vegas. Inside, we cover the best spots for post hiking grub, to the most cozy hotels, to the best shopping hotspots if that’s your thing. All that’s left to do? Pack your bags and take flight.

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Hiking regions in Nevada

Best Hikes in Nevada

Open details for Fletcher Peak hike

Fletcher Peak hike

Moderate
11.3 km
688 m
4-5.5h

Fletcher Peak is not only one of the easiest mountains to climb in the park, but also the sixth highest point in all of Nevada. Here, you will experience spectacular views of the surrounding landscape, including the Spring Mountains. This is truly a beautiful half-day hike that is nothing short of fantastic!

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.8
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for La Madre Springs

La Madre Springs

Easy
6.6 km
246 m
2-2.5h

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.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
8.9
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for Trail Canyon Trail

Trail Canyon Trail

Easy
7.7 km
623 m
3-4.5h

Climbing up to a ridge with fantastic views of the Spring Mountain and Mt. Charleston, this hike is a true gem that will allow you to take in the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape. The well-graded trail makes the elevation gain feel easier, and the absolutely stunning alpine views from the top are definitely worth the effort.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.9
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for Moenkopi Trail

Moenkopi Trail

Very Easy
3.4 km
54 m
1h

Best appreciated in the early morning, the Moenkopi Trail is a gorgeous loop that ventures out from the Red Rock Canyon Visitor Centre and climbs up a ridge to yield stunning panoramic views of almost the entire park. Bring your camera, folks!

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.9
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for Calico Hills Trail

Calico Hills Trail

Very Easy
2.1 km
38 m
0.5h

A visit to the red rock of Calico Hills is the centrepiece of most peoples’ trip to Red Rock Canyon. Requiring only a small modicum of effort, this stunning route will take hikers along a short loop that grants a more intimate look at the steep and textured cliffs that feature a spectacular color palette ranging from creamy whites to deep reds.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.3
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for Cathedral Rock Trail

Cathedral Rock Trail

Easy
4.7 km
263 m
1.5-2h

This stunning, popular hike in the Spring Mountains leads up a handful of switchbacks to a rocky promontory, granting sunning panoramic views of the park. The wide, well graded trail is easy to follow.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.8
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for White Rock Trail

White Rock Trail

Easy
4.2 km
212 m
1.5-2h

Stunning panoramic views of the La Madre Mountains are the reward for this seldomly-travelled trail. As you ascend along a very level path above the plane of Red Rock Canyon to the base of the mountains, the whole park will fall open before your eyes.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.6
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for Calico Tanks Trail

Calico Tanks Trail

Moderate
3.7 km
105 m
1-1.5h

Calico Tanks is a classic hike leaving from the scenic Sandstone Quarry. Though hard to follow at times, this trail leads through a narrow canyon to a picturesque water tank. If you leave early you will have this stunning secluded spring all to yourself, allowing you to bask in its gorgeous natural presence in peace.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.7
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Open details for Mary Jane Falls Trail

Mary Jane Falls Trail

Easy
5.2 km
278 m
1.5-2.5h

The popular Mary Jane Falls trail leads slowly up to a small waterfall in the heart of the Mount Charleston Valley. From this vantage point you will have fantastic views up the face of Charleston Peak, all from the secluded amphitheater that has formed around the falls.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.6
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for Icebox Canyon

Icebox Canyon

Easy
4.0 km
112 m
1-1.5h

This extremely popular hike ascends a steep-sided canyon carved into a slot between two incredibly steep mountains. After crossing part of the desert, you will hike up a very rocky creek basin to access the microclimates of Icebox Canyon.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.7
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.

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    Open details for Planning a trip to Red Rocks and Mt. Charleston around Las Vegas

    Planning a trip to Red Rocks and Mt. Charleston around Las Vegas

    By Lynn W
    August 29th, 2017
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