On my last trip to Las Vegas I decided I had to get away from the strip and all the casinos. The weather was beautiful and cool that weekend so I decided to take my rents to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area about thirty minutes outside of Vegas.
This was my second time to Red Rock, but I remember the first time being a Kentucky dog, I was expecting to just see a lot of rocks and sand. Instead, I was surprised to find out there was so much vegetation to mark (oh, I mean to see). You have to be careful though and not mark the wrong thing though … those cactus have sharp pointy things!
There is a ten-mile scenic drive through the canyon and it costs $7 a car. The area opens at 6 am every day and closes anywhere from 5 to 8 pm based on the time of the year. There are places to stop along the drive to get out, take photos, and hike if you want. There is a place called the Willow Spring picnic area where you can bring your lunch and enjoy the view while you eat. Also, there is another place where you can stop on top of a big hill so you can see the whole canyon down below.
There are hiking trails throughout the canyon for casual hikes all the way up to the serious backwoods all-day type hikes. Taking a hike would have been fun, but since I had to catch my flight home that evening I decided to just stop and take photos and explore close to the parking lots. I will warn you though, the terrain is rough and the boulders are very big for a dog with shorter legs like myself. I had to have the rents carry me in some places.
There are many animals living in Red Rock canyon. For example, I saw a burro! Yes, a real live burro just walking down the road. I got all excited and wanted to get out of the car, but Mom said no way Preston, so I just barked at him instead. I have to say he wasn’t very impressed with my speaking and he just ignored me as he slowly walked past our car.
If you decide to take your pup to Red Rock Canyon, remember that Vegas is in a desert and there are extreme temperatures during certain times of the year. In the summer, it can get to over 120 degrees and there isn’t any place to find shade. Make sure to pack lots and lots of water and give us frequent water breaks during your visit. Also, never leave us in a car while you explore the canyon. We can come along with you as long as we are on a leash.
Red Rock Canyon also has a visitor center (air conditioned!), a gift shop, and bathrooms for the humans. Below are some photos from my afternoon visit to the canyon. I suggest that the next time you go to Vegas, and you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the strip, take a drive out to Red Rock and enjoy nature with your dog!
For more information: Red Rock Canyon National Conservation.