CALICO BASIn, NV
Trail Rating: Easy
Distance: Approximately 1 mile
Notes: Immediately west of Las Vegas, Nevada is Red Rock Canyon. It's a haven for locals and tourists alike. As you drive west on Charleston Boulevard, towards Red Rock Canyon, you'll pass an air strip for amateur model airplane enthusiasts, the next turnoff on your right will take you to Calico Basin/Red Springs. It's a residential area with horse property, but at the end of the road is a parking lot with restrooms and a covered picnic area. You can also park on the street, if the lot is full. Parking is free.
Calico Basin/Red Springs is great for all ages and abilities. To the south of the parking lot is a hill with a couple of hiking trails to the top. It's steep and a challenging hike, but it's short. Take some water and pace yourself and when you get to the top, you'll have a birds eye view of Red Rock Canyon as well as the Las Vegas Valley. It's well worth the hike.
Immediately to the west of the Calico Basin/Red Springs parking lot is a boardwalk that winds through a marshy grassland. You'll often see individual and groups doing yoga off to the side of the boardwalk, up against the red rocks. There are informational signs along the boardwalk, with plenty of places for your young kids to safely explore the land.
To the north of the Calico Basin/Red Springs parking lot is a long, relatively flat hiking trail. It is a well-formed trail for the first half mile, then disappears for a bit, and reforms again for the last half mile of the trail. Along the way, you'll see experienced rock climbers bouldering the red rocks. When the trail starts to disappear, it's because you're walking through huge red rock boulders. Some quite flat, others a bit wobbly, and even more are huge and towering. There are slot canyons and caves throughout the red rock that are fun to explore as well. If you keep walking north, you'll eventually see the trail start to appear again as the land changes back to a more sandy wash-way. It'll take you to the back of Calico Basin/Red Springs where there's water and grassy land surrounded by red rock canyon walls. It truly is a sight to see and fun to explore in the morning daylight. This hike is great for any age. Even young toddlers can manage this hike with little difficulty. It does get quite warm in the summer time and cool in the winter, so always be prepared with appropriate layers of clothing and plenty of water. Don't forget your camera!
Trail conditions are always changing, so be careful out there and TREAD LIGHTLY. Leave no trace. Pack in. Pack out.