Hot Spot: Red Rock Canyon


Being in the Nevada desert is tricky for hikers. I used to go hiking with Syren in Pismo Beach, Shell Beach, and Avila Beach in California almost every weekend. It’s a little bit more challenging here in Vegas. While there’s plenty of trails and beautiful scenery, rocky terrain and heat get the best of canines. You know who would be better at discussing Red Rock Canyon? Duke and Syren! Let’s see what the pair of them have to say about hiking the canyon.

heading to Red Rock CanyonDuke: Where do we start?

Syren: I know! I thought we were going to the doctor!

Duke: That’s true. I thought we were too. I didn’t want to go, but Mom packed up the car with all these bags.

Syren: She had my work pack!

Duke: If that’s what you call it. We drove for a long time.

Elle: We headed west on Charleston Blvd and just followed the signs to Red Rock Canyon Visitors’ Center. It’s $7.00 per car to enter. There’s a visitor center as well as a scenic drive through the canyon, where all throughout are parking lots that lead to various trails.

Syren: So many people! Nice people but so many!

Elle: There was two or three buses full of out-of-state and out-of-country tourists.

Syren: Mommy put my work pack on me!

Duke: How come I don’t have one? Do I want one?

Syren: It was heavy! I like heavy. I like working. So many people!

1533750_10152270408400479_1840365191_nElle: Focus, Syren. What was in your pack that made it heavy?

Syren: I carry water and snacks and poopy bags and first aid kit and water and snacks. I like my snacks.

Duke: You carried a water bottle and our snacks. Dad carried our big jug of water.

Elle: Where did you guys go?

Duke: You (Elle, aka Mom) said we were taking one of the Calico trails. I didn’t like it. Too many rocks. They hurt my feet.

Syren: That’s ‘cuz you always lick them until they’re soft. I like hiking. I get to lead.

Elle: Yea, until you get to the inclines. Then, what do you do?

Syren: Cry until you or Daddy pick me up and help me up. I get to lead on hikes. I like leading.

Duke: You also got Mom stuck a few times.

Pride Rock?Syren: Well, Daddy picked you up and threw you off a cliff.

Elle: Syren…

Syren: That’s what it looked like.

Elle: Daddy and Duke did the Lion King scene on Pride Rock.

Syren: Threw him off the rock then.

Duke: He didn’t throw me. You almost pulled Mom into the pool!

Syren: I was hot!

Duke: The water was gross!

Syren: So? I was hot, and it looked cool. I didn’t jump in. It smelled funny.

1505509_10152270409015479_1091928310_nElle: Where did you guys turn everyone around and headed back to the car?

Duke: Wall of Rock.

Syren: What he said. *whimper*Too high! No thanks!

Duke: Wall… of… Rock… *snort* I wasn’t going up that. I know Dad wanted to, but *snort* no way. Dad and you were more than welcome to drop us off at the car and do it yourselves, but no sir. I wasn’t going up that.

Elle: We hiked 1 hour in and 1 hour out. How did your paws do, Duke?

Syren: He was licking them in the car.

dry river bedDuke: Mom asked me. They were okay. I’m not used to walking on rocks like Sy. I grew up in the city with sidewalks, but I liked hiking.

Syren: What did he mean by that? I grew up in a city too! That city had big open fields and sand and salty water and lots of free treats from people.

Duke: Just saying. I’m not used to walking in wilderness, but I’d like to go again.

Syren: Yeah! When’s the next hike?

10014686_10152270409405479_1445390489_nElle: We have to wait for the weather to cool down before head back out. Anything else you guys want to say about Red Rock Canyon?

Duke: Long drive, but worth the wait. The exercise is good. Bring LOTS of water!

Syren: Go early. It’s not too hot if you go early. Yes, bring LOTS of water!

Duke: Look up the trails before choosing one to do. Talk to the people at the visitor center for advice.

Syren: Water, snacks, wear good shoes!

Duke: There was a woman wearing flip flops, you remember that?

Syren: Yeah! She slipped climbing the wall of rock. Her group turned around ‘cuz her flippy flop broke. Bad shoes to wear.

Duke: Definitely wear the right human shoes. That’s it, Mom.

Syren: Race you to the ball?

If you got anything from their conversation, good for you. If not, well….


Red Rock Canyon is Nevada’s first National Conservation Area. I highly recommend planning out your visit there before going, and be sure to have the following items as part of your supplies:

  • AT LEAST 2 water bottles
  • Some snacks
  • A towel/bandana (bright colored preferred)
  • A small first aid kit (I had: band aids, ointment, gauze, tape, some wet wipes, toilet paper, and matches)
  • Sunscreen/sunblock
  • A cap/hat
  • A walking stick (I forgot I had a pair of hiking sticks in my car)
  • Phone (make sure it’s fully charged)
  • Small flashlight
  • Light jacket/long sleeve shirt
  • A backpack to carry everything in

10153688_10152270408600479_1765083116_nI always carry these items when I go on hikes. (Minus the sunblock, because half the time I don’t use it. I carry it now, because my husband is light-skinned.) You never know when/if you’ll need any of them, and it’s always beneficial to pack for the worse case scenario. Even in the desert, if you end up stranded somewhere, the above list will help you get through one night in the wilderness.

For more information on Red Rock Canyon, please visit their website.

* I’ll do more inserts in regards to Red Rock Canyon as hiking season here in Vegas is more suitable for dogs. (I prefer to hike with Syren than without, due to an incident that occurred back in Shell Beach/Avila Beach trail.)

Until next time, -Elle


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