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Red Rock Canyon: Day Trips and Tours from Las Vegas

Lying just outside Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon is a world away from the glitzy city casinos and circus shows. This National Conservation Area features a 13-mile scenic drive which meanders past vivid red rock formations that have been sculptured by wind and time.

Taking a day trip to Red Rock Canyon from Las Vegas is easy, as most tours include return transport. Which one will you choose?

Here's all you need to know about Red Rock Canyon, one of the most exciting day trips from Las Vegas.

How to get to Red Rock Canyon from Las Vegas?

Red Rock Canyon is located about 25 miles west of Las Vegas. Leave behind the LINQ High Roller and Planet Hollywood and head into the wilderness for a dose of nature. The best way to reach the canyon is by car or guided tour.

From Las Vegas to Red Rock Canyon by car

It takes around 20 minutes to drive to Red Rock Canyon from Las Vegas. The route is straightforward and simple to navigate.

If you are traveling from the Las Vegas Strip or Downtown, take the SR 159 until you see entry signs for the National Conservation Area. Visitors coming from the south should use the SR 160 before continuing on the SR 159.

Guided tours to Red Rock Canyon from Las Vegas

The easiest way to visit Red Rock Canyon is on a guided tour, with pick-ups available from many Las Vegas hotels. Most trips last around half a day.

How much does the entrance ticket to Red Rock Canyon cost?

Day passes for entry into Red Rock Canyon and to journey along the scenic loop cost US$15 per car, US$10 for a motorcycle, and US$5 per pedestrian or cyclist.

Annual passes are available too, which can be cost-effective if you plan on visiting the canyon more than once. These start at US$30 per person, or US$20 for seniors. Disabled visitors from the US may be eligible for a free pass on the production of relevant documentation.

What is the typical itinerary of a day tour to Red Rock Canyon from Las Vegas?

Trips to Red Rock Canyon from Las Vegas last between 2.5 and 8 hours. Pick-ups and drop-offs are often included from Las Vegas Strip and Downtown hotels. Travel is usually by SUV, or motor coach for larger groups.

The journey to the canyon takes around 20 minutes, traveling through beautiful Nevada desert landscapes along the way. On arrival at the canyon, you will either continue in your vehicle and drive around the scenic loop or begin your outdoor adventure activity.

Some Red Rock Canyon day trips also stop at the Seven Magic Mountains and Joshua Tree Forest on the way back to Las Vegas.

What kind of tours are available to go to Red Rock Canyon?

There are several guided day tours to Red Rock Canyon from Las Vegas. They generally include hotel transfers to make your day super smooth.

Guided tour to Red Rock Canyon from Las Vegas

First-timers love taking guided day trips to Red Rock Canyon to get up close to the world-famous geological features.

This is an easy and comfortable journey in a small-group setting, with off-road 4x4 options available for extra thrills.

Activity tours to Red Rock Canyon from Las Vegas

Up the action with an active day tour to Red Rock Canyon and see the landscape from a new angle. Harness your inner wrangler on a horseback adventure, or pedal alongside towering cliffs on a bike trip.

Explore the hiking trails, or let your hair down on a fun scooter excursion. Alternatively, whiz around the scenic loop in an open-air scooter car.

For the ultimate buzz, take a helicopter flight over Red Rock Canyon for a bird’s-eye view.

Day trip to Red Rock Canyon plus Seven Magic Mountains from Las Vegas

Enjoy two of the best sights near Las Vegas on a thrilling combination tour. This small-group trip is packed with photo opportunities, including the Red Rock Canyon and the Mojave Desert. Finish the day with a stop at the Seven Magic Mountains art installation.

Day trip to Red Rock Canyon plus Hoover Dam and Valley of Fire from Las Vegas

Red Rock Canyon tours can also be combined with a visit to Hoover Dam and the colorful Valley of Fire for the ultimate day out from Las Vegas.

Private tour to Red Rock Canyon from Las Vegas

Private day tours to Red Rock Canyon offer a more exclusive experience. Excursions are by luxury vehicle or mountain bike, with hiking and panoramic viewpoints all part of the adventure.

How much does a tour to Red Rock Canyon from Las Vegas cost?

Red Rock Canyon day tours from Las Vegas vary in price depending on the type of excursion, group size, and trip length. Some trips include visits to other attractions, making this a great way to save money.

Small-group day trips to Red Rock Canyon start at US$90 per person, while private excursions begin at US$160.

For activity tours, expect to pay around US$150 for a scooter tour and US$25o for a scooter car tour. Horseback riding adventures are US$190 and hiking tours cost US$130. Bike trips can be enjoyed for about US$110, while helicopter tours are US$150 for 20 minutes.

The combination trip including Seven Magic Mountains is $109. If you want to visit the Hoover Dam and the Valley of Fire on your Red Rock Canyon day tour, it will cost about US$155 per person.

What will you see and do in Red Rock Canyon?

Red Rock Canyon is one of the most spectacular geological landscapes in Nevada, with rock formations, sandstone mountains, and imposing cliffs to discover.

Here are the main sights you will see during a Red Rock Canyon excursion.

Keystone Thrust

Also known as Wilson Cliffs, this mighty rock wall rises for 3,000 feet and can be seen from miles around. The famous geological fault was formed 65 million years ago and stretches all the way to Canada. Seeing the sun shining on this vast escarpment is a highlight of any Red Rock Canyon tour.

Mount Wilson

This is the highest peak in the Spring Mountains, rising to a whopping 7,068 feet. Views of this imposing mountain are particularly impressive from the canyon, so keep your camera handy. Popular with climbers, Mount Wilson has several challenging hiking trails across its flanks.

Ancient Indian petroglyphs

Hidden deep in the canyon along an easy hiking trail is a cliff face covered in ancient rock art. Thought to be around 800 years old, these intriguing petroglyphs give an insight into the lives of those who lived here centuries ago.

Western ghost town

Bonnie Springs Ranch is home to a spooky western ghost town, where spirits are said to roam the streets at night. Visitors can explore the old houses and tiptoe along creaking wooden sidewalks, watching out for gunfights and ghouls.

Desert wildlife

The canyon may be arid, but do not be surprised if you encounter wild mustangs, bighorn sheep, and frisky burros during your jaunt. Coyotes and hawks are often spotted too.

When is Red Rock Canyon open over the year?

The scenic drive through Red Rock Canyon is open all year round, with different closing times depending on the season. These can be found below.

What are the opening times?

The Red Rock Canyon opening times are as follows:

  • November – February: 6 AM – 5 PM
  • March: 6 AM – 7 PM
  • April – September: 6 AM – 8 PM
  • October: 6 AM – 7 PM

The visitor center is open between 8 AM and 4.30 PM.

When is the best time to visit Red Rock Canyon?

Red Rock Canyon day trips from Las Vegas can be enjoyed all year round. Climate patterns are like those in the Grand Canyon, with winter and spring being popular seasons to visit thanks to the milder weather.

Temperatures soar during summer, so tours should be taken during early mornings or evenings to avoid the heat.

Travel tips

  • Book your Red Rock Canyon day trip from Las Vegas in advance to secure the best online deals.
  • Pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats to combat the heat, as well as plenty of drinking water.
  • Wear loose clothing to keep cool on the excursion, and opt for sturdy footwear if you intend to go hiking or horseback riding.
  • Be aware that there is no cell phone service down in the canyon.
  • Make sure your camera batteries are charged – you are going to need them!

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