Red Rock Canyon, just 15 miles west of Las Vegas, presents awe-inspiring views most wouldn’t expect to see near a major metropolitan city. In contrast to the bright lights and hype of the Strip, Red Rock offers desert beauty, towering red cliffs and abundant wildlife. The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area receives 1.2 million visitors a year.
The mountains in the Red Rock area were formed by a number of geological forces including fractured faults where the earth’s crust collided over millions of years and fossilized sand dunes. Some cliffs reach up an astounding 3,000 feet. One of the more scenic parts of Red Rock Canyon is the Keystone Thrust Fault. Here, millions of years ago, two of the earth’s plates collided with such force that part of one plate was shoved up and over the other. This created a magnificent contrast between grey limestone and red sandstone. This amazing conservation area is also home to about 200 different mammals which include burros, rabbits, coyotes, bighorn sheep, red tailed hawks, golden eagles, hummingbirds and even a few wild horses, bobcats and mountain lions. The 13-mile scenic loop drive exposes visitors to the geological history and splendor of the canyon. There are chances for photo opportunities at various locations including Calico Hills’ colorful sandstone, limestone Indian roasting pits, Indian “handprints” and pictographs at Willow Springs.
For more details, visit: redrockcanyonlv.org