Las Vegas is famous for its dazzling nightlife, world-class shows, and endless gambling opportunities. But that’s not all Sin City has to offer. Get a breath of fresh air and go for a group hike at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area!
Choose National Charter Bus Las Vegas for your group expedition to explore a natural wonder. Call 702-780-0497 and reserve a motorcoach to shuttle your group out west to hike the beautiful red rocks.
As modern and crowded as Las Vegas can be, the city is nestled in the US’s expansive (yet often forgotten) desertscape. Red Rock Canyon is located around 15 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip and 20 miles from Downtown Las Vegas.
Nevada State Route 159 (SR 159) is the most convenient way in and out of the conservation area. You can hop on SR 159 right in the heart of Downtown Vegas and ride that all the way west until you hit the Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center. Your knowledgeable charter bus driver can pick your group up at your hotel and shuttle everyone to an exciting day at the canyons. Choose a full-sized motorcoach for your large family reunion or a minibus for your group of friends.
If you’re in need of an alternative route use the following address:
GPS Address: 1000 Scenic Loop Drive, Las Vegas, NV
The visitor center is open every day from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. The Red Rock Canyon Scenic Drive, which offers access to most of the area’s overlooks and trailheads, has varying hours depending on the season. Red Rock Canyon does occasionally close due to inclement weather and being over capacity with visitors.
The Scenic Drive hours are as follows:
Nov – Feb – 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM
March – 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Apr – Sep – 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Oct – 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM
One-day passes to enter Red Rock Canyon pricing:
Car/Truck - $15 per vehicle
Bicycle/Pedestrian - $5 per person
Commercial Tour Vehicle (charter bus or minibus) - $15 per vehicle + $5 per person
Privately-organized groups of 15 or more passengers should contact the Bureau of Land Management to obtain a Special Recreation permit before their trip.
As a National Conservation Area, Red Rock accepts America the Beautiful Passes, which permit access to recreation sites managed by several federal agencies. With this pass, you can also visit other popular sites like Grand Canyon National Park and Joshua Tree National Park.
Avid hikers, rock climbers, and overall nature enthusiasts would easily get their money’s worth with a Red Rock Annual Pass or an America the Beautiful Pass.
Red Rock Annual Pass - $30 per person
America the Beautiful Pass - $80 per person
America the Beautiful Annual Senior Pass (Age 62 and older) - $20 per person
Active duty military and permanently disabled visitors qualify for free Annual and Lifetime Passes with prior registration.
Red Rock Canyon is beautiful all times of the year, but when is the best time to visit?
The short answer is: anytime but summer.
Yes, summer is a popular time for traveling and is when big groups often plan vacations. But let’s make it very clear, visiting Red Rock Canyon in summer is not ideal. High temperatures in peak summer months exceed 100°F nearly every day. It’s always important to pack plenty of water while hiking, but if you do decide to visit in summer, please take extra.
Early spring, fall, and early winter are among the best times to visit. Fall and winter are best for groups who can handle a mild chill in the air, while spring is best for groups who'd prefer to break more of a sweat.
If you’re planning to camp overnight, keep in mind the desert does indeed freeze in the winter evenings. So a day hike may be ideal in winter, but camping would be better suited for the spring and fall months. There’s plenty of space on a charter bus for all your camping gear but be sure to reserve a nearby hotel room for your driver, as only personal vehicles and RVs are allowed on campgrounds.
Weekends are generally busier than weekdays, and most months see peak daily visitation between 10 AM and 2 PM. If your group is trying to avoid big crowds and long lines, aim to arrive when the park opens at 6 AM or in the late afternoon.
Parking at Red Rock Canyon is plentiful but can easily become crowded during busy days. The visitor center has 2 parking lots, while there are several additional lots positioned at trailheads and overlooks.
One of the best ways to avoid parking hassles for your large group is by reserving a personal charter bus to shuttle everyone to Red Rock. Planning a trip with several smaller rental vehicles can become difficult when parking during busy season, while pre-organized tour services stick to strict schedules.
Organizing everyone into a private motorcoach will help ease parking lot congestion and traffic along the Red Rock Canyon Scenic Drive. When you choose National Charter Bus for your transportation in Red Rock Canyon, you’ll be able to take as much time as you want to explore each overlook and trail.
There’s something for everyone at Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area. Outdoor enthusiasts who want exercise have plenty of hiking trails and rock-climbing opportunities. Visitors who aren’t keen on getting down and dirty on the trails can stay comfortable in an air-conditioned charter bus while enjoying the sights.
Exploring the Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center should be the first stop on your trip. The modern center has informative exhibitions on the wildlife, history, and geology of the area. Along with the educational displays, you’ll find helpful staff who can make suggestions on hikes and give additional information about the Conservation Area. Don’t forget to grab a map if you’ll be hitting the trails!
The 13-mile Scenic Drive is the shining star of Red Rock Canyon for many visitors. The one-way road takes guests through a few highlights of the conservation area, offering endless photo opportunities among the beautiful rock formations.
Red Rock Canyon’s Scenic Drive is open to personal vehicles, registered charter buses, bicycles, motorcycles, and pre-organized tour vehicles.
Since the drive is one way, be sure you decide where your group wants to stop beforehand. If you’re just visiting for the Scenic Drive and don’t want to make too many stops along the way, plan to spend around 45 minutes to an hour. Pause at the Red Rock Overlook right outside the Scenic Drive loop to get a broad, postcard-worthy view of the canyon.
Above Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
In total, Red Rock has 27 trails of varying difficulty across the conservation area. Of the 27 trails, 23 are directly accessible from the Scenic Drive and the other 5 can be accessed from SR 159 or adjoining roads.
Moenkopi Trail, Willow Spring Loop, Lost Creek Trail, and Red Springs Boardwalk, the only accessible trail, are the best options for beginners. These hikes are under 2 miles and are great for groups traveling with children or visitors who may have mobility concerns.
Looking to spice up your hike? The majority of trails at Red Rock are moderate difficulty, which entails a little more uphill legwork and rocky terrain. Among the most popular moderate hikes are Calico Tanks, Calico Hills, and Pine Creek Canyon.
Experienced hikers have 6 difficult trails to choose from, with the 5-mile Turtlehead Peak and 2.6-mile Ice Box Canyon being among the most frequented.
Groups interested in the canyon’s unique geological features should make it a priority to hike the Petroglyph Wall Trail and Keystone Thrust. Several trails like Willow Springs and First Creek Canyon may have seasonal waterfalls or water features like springs and small rivers.
Additional activities along select trails include rock climbing, off-road driving, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Check out the Visitor Center and Bureau of Land Management's website for more information regarding recreational activities beyond day hiking and the Scenic Drive.
Image Credit: Flickr
Camping at Red Rock Canyon is perfect for groups who want to enjoy nights out under the stars without light pollution. There is one developed campground located just a couple miles east of the visitor center.
Campsite reservations must be made at least 48 hours in advance on the Recreation.gov site. Large groups of more than 20 visitors will need to reserve more than one campsite.
Backcountry camping is permitted in the Red Rock Canyon, but is not for the faint of heart. Groups may only camp in the backcountry at elevations above 5,000 feet within Rainbow Mountain Wilderness and above 6,500 feet in La Madre Mountain Wilderness. Permits are required and can only be obtained by phone at 702-515-5050.
The Red Rock Visitor Center hosts a variety of public programs and special events throughout the year. Lay under the stars and marvel at meteor showers during annual Astronomy in the Park events, or give back with community service during Public Lands Day.
The roster of educational programs rotates, and visitors interested in attending should check the Red Rock Event Calendar to keep up on happenings at the canyon. Popular public programs include guided hikes and expert talks on the desert’s native wildlife and plants. Learn everything you’d want to know about desert tortoises, wild burros, varying species of cacti, and much more.
Red Rock Canyon isn’t just a wonderful place for private group trips. The conservation area offers many educational opportunities tailored for field trips and a stunning backdrop for wedding ceremonies.
You may be asking, what can top an extravagant wedding in Vegas? A wedding overlooking one of the state’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders, that’s what. Sure, upscale ballroom and casino parties are fun. But where else can you get married among ancient Aztec sandstone and red rock formations?
Weddings at Red Rock Canyon are allowed in three locations and require a special recreation permit at least 14 days in advance. Guest capacity is limited to 50 people to preserve the canyon and its resources.
Parking at Red Rock Overlook, the most popular ceremony location, is limited to only 25 spots. Reserve a wedding shuttle with National Charter Bus to avoid the unnecessary hassle of each guest bringing their own vehicle to the conservation area. Not only will your guests travel together to your ceremony, but they’ll have designated shuttle service to your reception venue.
Schools and community organizations can take advantage of special ranger-led programs as well as teacher-led options. There’s so much to learn on the canyon trails, but the warm conditions leave much to be desired, especially for children. Hiking along Red Spring or Lost Creek may be fun and games until it's time to get back on an uncomfortable, old school bus. Keep every kid comfortable on a climate-controlled charter bus after a long day at Red Rock Canyon!
Ready to embark on your outdoor expedition right outside Las Vegas? Coast in comfort along the Red Rock Canyon Scenic Drive in a private charter bus with a professional driver behind the wheel. All you have to do is pick up the phone and give us a call at 702-780-0497. We’ll answer any questions you have about charter bus rentals and get you a free, personalized quote for your trip.