Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, located twenty miles to the west of Las Vegas, Nevada is an area of inspiring terrain. Millions of years ago the canyon was formed along faults where sections of the Earth’s crust collided with each other. Sandstone cliffs in the area reach heights up to 3,000 feet.

The sandstone, originally formed by fossilization, gets it’s reddish color from iron oxide in the stone.

The 13-mile (21 kilometer) loop of asphalt road through the conservation area is more than worth a side trip when riding through the Las Vegas area, and a good excuse for a ride by motorcyclists living in the city. Isolated from the hum and hustle of the city, the area is quiet, teeming with desert wildlife, and frequently used for weddings.

From Las Vegas, it is easy to get to the canyon on a long loop formed by Route 160 from the south end of the city and Route 159 emanating from the city center.

The entrance to the conservation area  is located near Charlston Boulevard. Pay the entrance fee at the booth at the entrance. As of 2010, the fee was $5.00, good for the entire day, and you may make multiple trips around the loop, if you are so inclined. There is an abundance of parking areas along the loop, some with rudimentary rest rooms.