7 Best Easy Hikes Near Las Vegas

Escape the Strip: 7 Best Easy Hikes Near Las Vegas

Las Vegas is renowned for its vibrant nightlife, world-class entertainment, and dazzling casinos. However, beyond the glittering lights of the Strip lies a natural paradise waiting to be explored. If you’re seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, lace up your hiking boots and venture out of the city. Here are some of the best easy hikes near Las Vegas, offering a perfect blend of tranquility and adventure.

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Best Easy Hikes Near Las Vegas

Calico Tanks Trail

Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area

| Distance: 4 kms (2.5 miles) | Difficulty: Easy – Moderate | Dog Friendly: Yes, on leash |
| Out & Back | Elevation: 140 metres (459 feet) | Recommended by Melanie, The World Travel Girl |

The Calico Tanks trail stands out as one of the most popular hikes in the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area. The trailhead, which is also shared with the nearby Turtlehead Peak, draws significant attention, making it a sought-after starting point. 

This renowned hike offers unparalleled scenery, featuring breathtaking red, orange, and yellow sandstone formations against towering mountains. Culminating at the picturesque Calico Tank, a natural watering hole, hikers are rewarded with panoramic views of Las Vegas. The trail serves as a refreshing departure from the bustling Las Vegas Strip, providing a serene and rejuvenating outdoor experience.

Securing a parking spot on weekends demands an early morning arrival, preferably before sunrise. Parking can also be challenging at this trailhead during the week, so make sure you plan your visit accordingly.

Calico Tanks Trail - Red Rock Canyon

Mouse’s Tank Trail (Petroglyph Canyon)

Valley of Fire State Park

| Distance: 1.2 kms (0.7 miles) | Difficulty: Easy | Dog Friendly: Yes, on leash |
| Out & Back | Elevation: minimal | Recommended by Melanie, The World Travel Girl |

This hike was named after a notorious outlaw who once used the area as a hideout. This short and easy hike takes you past ancient and beautiful petroglyphs through the canyon, towering sandstone formations, and the famous Mouse’s Tank—a natural water basin that retains rainwater for months after a storm. 

It’s essential to refrain from touching the petroglyphs to prevent inadvertent damage, as these historical markings are irreplaceable and delicate. This easy hike near Vegas is a perfect introduction to the park’s surreal beauty, especially if you are a beginner hiker.

Petroglyph Canyon via Mouse's Tank Trail

Big Dig Trail

Ice Age Fossils State Park

Ice Age Fossils State Park is a 315-acre park opened in January 2024 on a portion of the upper Las Vegas wash in North Las Vegas. The State Park was once a habitat for several species of now-extinct mammals, including Columbian mammoths, American lions, camels, dire wolves, and ground sloths. 

In this state park you will find many easy hikes in Las Vegas including the 0.3-mile Megafauna Trail, the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Wash Trail, and the 1.2-mile Big Dig Trail. All trails are accessible from the visitor center and showcase the history and geography of this area.

The Big Dig Trail is a great beginner trail for the whole family. The trailhead is accessible by a 0.5-mile connector trail from the Megafauna Trail. You can learn about past discoveries while hiking through trenches created by the Tule Springs Expedition. 

The park is open Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00am – 4:30pm and the entrance fee is $3 per person. Kids under 12 are free. There is a limit on the number of people who can be in the park at any given time. If the park reaches capacity, they will close the entry gates temporarily to allow for visitors to leave before reopening the gates.

Ice Age Fossils State Park

Fire Wave Trail

Valley of Fire State Park

The Fire Wave Trail is truly an unforgettable hike in the southwest, and is one of the best things to do in Valley of Fire State Park. The trail takes you down into the red rocks that the state park is known for, and then into an area that starts to become filled with colorful, striated rocks. The Fire Wave is the crown jewel of these incredible rock formations – deep, distinct bands of red, pink, white, and cream swirl around a cone-shaped rock. 

The trail itself is very easy and is only 1.5 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of 230 feet. However, instead of doing an out-and-back, you could also continue on and do the Seven Wonders Loop, which takes you through more of Valley of Fire and is only 2.3 miles round trip. 

Note that the Fire Wave is often closed during the summer due to intense and dangerous heat conditions, so visiting during fall, winter, or spring is highly advised. Valley of Fire is about 45 miles (and 45 minutes) away from Las Vegas, and easy to get there by car.

Fire Wave Trail - Valley of Fire

Aliante Loop Temporary Trail – Tule Springs

Upper Las Vegas Valley

Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument, just a half-hour drive away from the Strip, and has some easy hikes in Las Vegas, offering visitors an escape from the neon lights and bustling crowds to a serene desert landscape. The entire monument spans over 22,650 acres of stunning geological formations that are perfect for exploring without needing to drive far out of the city.

One of the best easy hikes near Las Vegas and the closest one to the city, is the Aliante Loop Temporary Trail. Visitors can get year-round scenic views of Mojave Desert scrub habitat and the Las Vegas Range while learning about the flora and fauna of the area on a self-guided tour.

The hike is very easy, making it perfect for families with little ones, or those just looking for a quick walk or trail run without venturing too far from Las Vegas. I live just a few miles from the monument, and it makes for a great change of pace from running on sidewalks past people’s houses without me needing to drive for longer than my run would last.

Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument

First Creek Canyon Trail (to the Grotto)

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

This delightful journey runs for one through a desert valley leading to a charming waterfall surrounded by cottonwood trees, willows, and various shade-providing foliage. With the exception of the final stretch, the trail is meticulously maintained, ensuring a pleasant hike. 

Prior to reaching the entrance of the canyon, make sure you veer off to the right (by a group of trees) and go about 100 feet to discover the concealed waterfall. Upon reaching the falls, the path veers onto a designated use-trail along the wash’s edge, offering access to the falls. It’s worth noting that like many falls in the region, these may occasionally run dry.

If you keep following the trail you will eventually reach the grotto. Make sure you are wearing good shoes as there are some rocks to climb over at the end of the trail.

First Creek Canyon Trail (to Grotto)

Weeping Rock

Zion National Park

There are a lot of hiking trails and outdoor activities near Las Vegas.  Zion National Park has many hiking trails and is only a 2-hour drive from Las Vegas.  Weeping Rock Trail is one of the easiest hikes to do at Zion National Park.  Once you arrive at Zion National Park Visitor’s Center, you will need to take the park shuttle to stop number 7 for the Weeping Rock Trailhead to begin your 10-minute hike.

Weeping Rock trail is mostly paved, with a few areas of broken pavement.  The trail is short and manageable for most abilities, but it is a steady uphill walk the whole way, ending with some stairs to the ‘viewing area.’  Because of its steep incline and broken pavement, it is not accessible for strollers or wheelchairs.

At the end of the hike, the Weeping Rock is a large, beautiful alcove with water running over it.  The amount of water will depend on the weather and the amount of rain that day.  The area is always slippery, wet, and mossy because of all the dripping water.  Even though the trail was always crowded, I loved the solitude and peaceful quiet that seemed to be in the alcove. 

Weeping Rock Trail, Zion

Tips for Hiking in Las Vegas Area

  • Download the AllTrails app so you can research the trails and have all the information
  • Check the status of the Park at National Park Service for any closures or alerts
  • Protect Yourself from the Sun. Consider hiking early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the hottest part of the day. Use sunscreen and protect your skin
  • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated
  • Choose trails that match your skill level and fitness level. Start with shorter, easier hikes if you’re a beginner and gradually work your way up to more difficult trails as you gain experience.
  • Nevada is home to a variety of wildlife, including snakes, scorpions, and other potentially dangerous animals. Be aware of your surroundings and watch where you step, especially in rocky or brushy areas.
  • Carry a basic first aid kit with you and familiarize yourself with basic first aid procedures in case of an emergency
  • Practice Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact on the environment and preserve Nevada’s natural beauty for future generations. Pack out all trash, stay on designated trails, and avoid disturbing wildlife or vegetation.

Additional Information

These easy hikes near Las Vegas provide an opportunity to reconnect with nature and rejuvenate your spirit and can easily be done in a day trip from Las Vegas. If you are looking for ideas of where to stay, we have recommended places to stay in Vegas to suit different budgets.  

If you place to spend a weekend in Vegas or more, you could consider doing a bus tour to the Grand Canyon, though it doesn’t include time to venture off and do any hiking on your own whilere on this day trip.

While Las Vegas may be synonymous with glitz and glamour, its surrounding natural wonders offer a refreshing contrast—a chance to slow down, breathe in the fresh air, and connect with nature. Take advantage of the city’s diverse offerings and make the most of your desert getaway. Venture beyond the neon lights and embark on one of the best easy hikes near Las Vegas.

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