Trail Running in Red Rocks Nevada

White Rock Trailhead

Just minutes outside of Las Vegas, you'll find this spectacular desert scenery that has remained relatively unknown. There is an extensive trail network and makes for a great winter destination for a multitude of sports - running, hiking, biking.

Red Rocks's Nevada (officially Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area) has long been one of our favorite climbing destinations. Where else can you find five star moderate 10-pitch rock climbs a short hike from the trailhead? We usually take two trips a year to this sandstone wonderland. But it wasn't until a couple years ago that we started to realize the fantastic trail running potential beneath The Escarpment.

The 6.5-mile White Rock Loop is a favorite warm up or light run at the apex of the Scenic Loop Drive. Start at the White Rock Trailhead and run counterclockwise over a small pass down into the Willow Springs area before closing the circuit in front of the White Rocks Hills back to the trailhead. Another must do is the appropriately named 12-mile Grand Circle. From the Visitor Center, the trail runs up along the base of the Calico Hills to Sandstone Quarry, cuts out across the desert to White Rock Spring, the highpoint on the loop trail, then follows the White Rock Loop trail down towards Willow Springs, finally turning off and heading back down along Red Rock Wash to the Visitor Center.

All of the trails are well signed and easy to navigate with the free map that comes with entrance to the park. Running the slickrock of Calico Hills is also a blast. Those looking for more of a challenge can head across Blue Diamond Road to the Cowboy Trails where a technical 15.5-miler awaits in the hills just Southeast of the entrance state and campground. More mellow singletrack can be found down by Blue Diamond where moderate 10, 7 and 5 mile loops abound. Stop in at one of the local running or bike shops to get a map and more info. We now find ourselves looking forward to running in Red Rocks as much as climbing.

Pack List

  • Trail Running Shoes
  • Hydration Pack
  • Smartphone GPS
  • Sun Glasses & Hat
  • Energy Gel
  • Free Map
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RT Distance 6.5 Miles
Activities Photography, Running, Fitness
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Autumn, Winter
Trail Type Loop
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Picnic Area
Scenic

Reviews

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Business Traveler

I travel for business and this was the perfect workout to blow off some steam and get out into nature. Be sure to hydrate and start early if you can. I start as the sun was coming up and I shared the trail with a few couples who invited me to run with them. It was amazing.


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