The Cathedral Rock trail begins in Mazie Canyon with ponderosa and white fir, but soon nears aspen. In the summer, this is one of the most colorful areas when the wildflowers are blooming and the butterflies are fluttering. It is a major avalanche path in the winter. About halfway up the trail is a waterfall just off the trail with a short, old road leading to it. As the trail goes up out of the canyon toward the back of Cathedral Rock one gets a view of the avalanche chute below. The trail climbs a few short, steep switchbacks before reaching the summit, with a spectacular view of Kyle Canyon.
Calico Basin is a colorful desert area tucked between the gray limestone La Madre Mountains to the north, the red sandstone Calico Hills to the west, and a desert ridge to the south. Three springs with permanent water emerge from the base of the red and white sandstone cliffs: Red Spring, Calico Spring, and Ash Spring. Water also emerges from several seeps in the area, and water runs in washes to the north and south of the springs area during winter. The springs support trees, thickets, and an open meadow. Compared to the surrounding desert, Calico Basin is sheltered and moist, and it is easy to understand why native birds, and wildlife spend time here.
The Calico Basin Picnic Area is located in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, about 30 minutes from downtown. View a Google Map of this Location.
From town, drive out to Red Rocks. From Charleston Blvd at Highway I-215 (Table 1, Site 0516), drive west on Charleston Blvd for 3.8 miles (about 1.5 miles before the entrance to the Scenic Loop) to Calico Basin Road. Turn right onto Calico Basin Road and follow it past all of the other picnic areas and trails. The Kraft Mountain Loop parking area is at the end of the Calico Basin Road. Once you have parked, meet the group at the Kraft Mountain Loop trailhead.
The Calico Basin area has posted hours and a gate that is locked when the area is closed. Generally the hours coincide with sunrise to sunset.
Admission to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is charged per vehicle (annual passes accepted), but they do not collect fees at the Calico Basin Picnic Area.
This is a fun loop in the Cottonwood Valley Trail System. This trail starts and ends at the Late Night Trail Head on Hwy 160.
The Late Night Trail is located in the far southwest of the Las Vegas Valley at the Cottonwood Valley Trails parking area. Late Night Trails in Google Maps brings you right to the well marked Parking lot, a few miles west of the Route 159 intersection with Blue Diamond Road (Route 160).
Short but very strenuous (roughly two hours and 100 flights of stairs) hike utilizing switchbacks and stone steps (rip-rap) on a very well marked and heavily used trail. Keep your dogs leashed and under control since a lot of hikers seem to bring their dogs on this one. With a very steep trail, loose rock, and netting in place for erosion control, you definitely don’t want to cut across this trail. Older children can make this hike, but be sure they are used to climbing and high altitude. There is a nice size cave along the north cliff, to the left of the falls; with an easy to follow path leading to the mouth of the cave. From the base of the falls you can see Big Falls to the WSW, and Charleston Peak in the background (snow covered until mid/late Spring). This is a pretty trail with ponderosa pines, white fir, aspen, and mountain mahogany. Look for deer and fox in the aspens at sunrise and sunset, near the beginning/end of trail. Hike early to avoid the crowds at Mary Jane Falls.
I-15 N from Las Vegas to 95 N towards Reno, W on SR 157 (Mt. Charleston – Kyle Canyon) continue past the hotel, 2 miles W of USFS ranger station, to Echo Road. This is where the road curves sharply to the left to head up into old town and the lodge. Instead, continue to the right (almost straight) as it becomes Echo Road. Turn left at the fork (signed) onto the gravel road and park at the trail head. View a Google Map of this Location. There are RR at this parking area and it is also the trail head for Big Falls. Mary Jane Falls is a good trail for the visitor who wants an escape from the casinos and from the desert floor – – it is a short hike and the drive up and back is very scenic. Pack a lunch to enjoy at Mary Jane Falls, but don’t expect heavy water flow over the falls unless it is early spring. LOTS of people use this trail so please pack out any trash you see along the trail, there is a dumpster at the parking area to put it in. (Lat:36.26776 Lon:-115.66295)
Mary Jane Falls Trail Head
Mary Jane Falls Trail
Mary Jane Falls Wildlife
Mary Jane Falls
Designated by the US Department of the Interior as a National Recreation Trail on June 6, 2015, this pleasant 4.4-mile (round trip) trail follows an old railroad bed high above Lake Mead and runs through five 25-ft-diameter tunnels cut through volcanic ridges. With lots of bikers, joggers, and dogs, hiking here isn’t a wilderness experience, but it is a fun walk through historic tunnels in a scenic desert setting.
The “railroad tunnels” portion of the trail starts at the trailhead and runs east to just beyond the fifth tunnel, which runs, literally, underneath the Lakeview Scenic Overlook, but it does not actually connect to the Overlook. From a public toilet, the trail continues all the way to Hoover Dam, adding another 3.5 miles to the round-trip hike.
This hike is located near Highway 93 in Lake Mead National Recreation Area, about 1 hour southeast of downtown Las Vegas. From town, drive out to Lake Mead. Drive south on Highway 93, through Boulder City, to Lakeshore Road. Turn left (north) onto Lakeshore Road and drive north 0.4 miles (just past the Visitor Center) to the large Historic Railroad Trailhead, on the right. Park here; this is the trailhead. This trailhead is outside the fee area.
Additional Trail Information & Photos
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