Skip to main content
  1. Sports
  2. Recreation
  3. Outdoor Rec & Adventure

Hiking in Henderson: A new Thanksgiving tradition

See also

Turkey, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, football, and postprandial narcolepsy: the quintessential American family Thanksgiving. This holiday weekend in southern Nevada it seems BLM officials are seeing an addition to the tradition, family bonding time during a hike.

More Photos

Information concerning the expected high volume of visitors was released by Red Rock Canyon officials earlier this week, posting the likely Red Rock 'rush hour' as between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. The BLM issued the notice informing visitors of possible closures during this time in order to prevent traffic jams from occurring on the one-way 13 mile scenic loop. Normally open from 6 a.m. til 5 p.m., visitors can call ahead at (702)515-5350 to check if the scenic byway has been temporarily closed.

Any casual visitor to Red Rock has seen the mad scramble for parking alongside the breathtaking sandstone formations. If you are hoping to embark on creating some holiday family memories with an awe-inspiring natural backdrop consider preplanning your visit. Besides the necessary water, first aid kit, snacks and of course the camera, contemplate what kind of outdoor experience the family desires and can handle, there are ways to accommodate both the young, old and energetic all at Red Rock.

Despite all the attention paid to the fiery red and marbled sandstone, there is an entire other half of the Red Rock loop that provides adventure, dazzling colors and formations, and great photo-opps. The aptly named Rainbow Mountains run along the western border with a brilliant red streak across the majestic pinnacles. Multiple trails lead expectant holiday visitors from parking lots into the canyons between the peaks and bring them face to face with the monoliths.

For families with little feet pattering alongside during the hike, Lost Creek Canyon and Discovery Trail off the Willow Springs parking area offers a manageable but adventurous route of 0.7 mile complete with hidden waterfall. For those looking for more duration to their endeavor consider Oak Creek Canyon or Bridge Mountain for the serious outdoor adventurers. Situated between the short, easy trail and the longer trails is the Goldie-Locks of hiking trails: Ice Box Canyon. An amiable 2 miles with some boulder hopping for those that require more energy expenditures this trail leads to a semiannual waterfall.

If the sandstone is an absolute must there are three parking areas along the way. The first two provide steep trails that lead into the marbled walls, but no real hiking as these footpaths lead to climbing routes - remember be safe and do not attempt climbing on the rock without proper safety equipment.

The best bet for a family walkabout is the third parking lot at the Sandstone Quarry. Multiple trailheads start here, including Turtlehead Peak and Calico Tanks. The gently sloped beginnings of the massive petrified sand dune offer easy access for a picture of the family scrambling on red rocks.

Have a safe Thanksgiving weekend and happy hiking.



  • Stephen A. Smith apologizes
    Stephen A. Smith: Ray Rice rant was 'most egregious error of my career'
    Domestic Violence
  • Maria Kirilenko slideshow
    Feast your eyes on the former fiance of Alex Ovechkin: The newly-single Maria Kirilenko
    20 Photos
  • New York Yankees fan returns lost Red Sox World Series ring to owner
    MLB News
  • Peyton Manning dancing
    Peyton Manning shows off his formidable dancing skills at training camp
    NFL News
  • Bagwell becoming porn star
    Buff Bagwell has the stuff, but his Vivid dreams have not come true just yet
    Fight Sports
  • Grave defiler identified
    Die-hard Browns fan identified in Art Modell’s grave defiling video
    Crimes & Court