In Nevada/ Travel Destinations/ USA

Day Trip from Las Vegas: Red Rock Canyon


We went to Vegas and didn’t really like it. There, I said it. So instead of stuffing our faces with casino buffet food, we hit the road looking for adventure, and found a true gem: Red Rock Canyon State Park. Only 20 miles from the Strip, this small park doesn’t need to get intimidated by its gigantic National Park neighbours, as it has more than its fair share of epic desert landscapes and rock formations, with plenty of hikes and eye candy for an amateur photographer like me.



Vegas was hot. Spending August in Southern California wasn’t the smartest choice, but it was the only one we had. So when we started our drive back to LA on our last day, we seriously debated taking the detour to visit the park. Should we? Shouldn’t we? If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know that I would never let the opportunity to go off-route pass.  I can almost taste the adventure when my fingers touch the weathered pages of our paper map, this time taking us to the desert once again. I couldn’t wait.

The park was recommended to us by a Las Vegas couple we had met hiking a coastal path while in Oregon. They boasted about its landscape and promised us that it was worth trading a day in Sin City, and they were so right – the Red Rock Canyon Park blew us away.


Located within the Mojave Desert, Red Rock Canyon was incredible and truly surpassed our expectations. The rock formations had thousands of layers of bright orange and the Aztec sandstone cliffs on the horizon, lithified sand dunes that are millions of years old.

We didn’t go on any big hikes due to the heat, but the big boulders and many rocks make for the best natural playground you can think of. We did heaps of climbing, our four-year-old son enthralled by the enormous rocks around him. There weren’t many wildflowers around as we visited in the middle of Summer, but if you’re lucky enough to go to the park in Spring you can find out more about the many types of wildflowers in the park here.

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It was our last full day in the US. After six short months of travelling around this epic country, we were having to say our goodbyes. Red Rock couldn’t have been a better parting gift – and the sunset I snapped from the car on our way back to LA, well, see for yourself…

Red Rock CanyonRed Rock Canyon


Download Red Rock Canyon Park Guide
Hikes & Trails
Camping Information
Cost: $7 per car for one day / Included in our annual National Parks card

Driving directions from Las Vegas to Red Rock:

Red Rock Canyon Nature Preserve is just 30 minutes from central Las Vegas, making it the perfect small day trip from the city.

Where is Red Rock Canyon


Linking up with the lovely Coombe Mill


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  • Island Living 365

    WOW that landscape is just incredible!!! The rock formations and the pink hue, just wonderful. What an amazing adventure you had. I have always wanted to go to that part of the world and this post makes me want to pack my bags and get on the plane 🙂 #countrykids

  • Wow that really does look beautiful. I went to Vegas years ago & loved it but with 8 month old daughter we spent time enjoying the sunshine, pools & exploring #countrykids

  • Coombe Mill (Fiona)

    I am in awe as always it looks absolutely stunning and those rock formations are out of this world. I don’t blame you one bit for leaving the casino city behind and heading out here. Thank you for sharing a lovely insight into your day on #CountryKids.

  • Donna Wishart

    You know, your blog always reinforces how big the world really is and how small we really are. Amazing photos as always. We went to Vegas too – and we didn’t really like it either, it was just a bit… naff. And seedy. But we spent all our time doing things like this – we went to the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam and hired a convertible to explore. It was awesome! Huge congrats on your MADs finalist place – I love your photos x

  • Wow, stunning images. Just shows how immense and spectacular it is there. Bet you’ll be sad to say goodbye and head home, but your photos help with all those memories.

  • pinkanemone

    Awesome photos! Love Red Rock Canyon. Another amazing place to visit if you’re in Vegas is Valley of Fire State Park: