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Hiking is not what a lot of people think when they talk about Las Vegas nonetheless what they don’t identify is that it has the finest sight of the fascinating marquee bright lights, the neon signs within the gleaming hotel facilities and casinos. Within an hour of the city, you will discover unanticipated and astonishing sceneries. So, why don’t you trade in the whiskey bottle of your choice for a little bottle of clean water, clad on some Keen Targhee Boots and then go up the mountains to fill your lungs with plenty of fresh air? Some of the places I can recommend you visit include:
Fire Wave Located at the Fire State Valley Park. It is one of many hiking destination in Las Vegas. The hike is 1.1-miles to-and-back, which takes you inside the beautiful area, with surging, ridged sandstone, and flamboyant stone hills. The trail starts over lenient sand and bends around an enormous orange fin, it finally shows the surfs of the marbled and rolling stone before it. Subsequently, there isn’t gloominess on the hike, it's best to get an early start and avoid the hottest part of the day if hiking when it's hot.
Calico Tank Located at Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area This is the most common hike in the Red Rock Canyon. Calico Tank is short although semi-challenging place to hike up the canyon to the natural tank of water. The return trip is very striking as you go back as the scenes stretch past the entrance to the valley, out the desert towards the highlands located at a distance.
White Domes Located at the Fire State Valley Park This is the greatest exclusive feature located on the Domes, but the hikes scenery is highly remarkable. The trail begins out on the sand but swiftly inclines over a sequence of stairs made of stones deep into the small place enclosed by boulders, enormous rock fin with rolling stones within the hills. The hike arrives into a narrow-slot valley with zigzagging ramparts composed of provisional gloominess. On the rump of the wide valley, the track opens into the desert landscape which has spectacular views over the red rock edges and distant high mountains.
Ice Box Canyon Located at the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area This hike offers different striking views than any other hikes located in Red Rock. It is a box canyon which ends at a huge waterfall that flows after a rain or snowmelt. The floor has trees, lush, shrubs and sheer walls going up the valley from the floor of Ice Box Canyon.
Calico Hills Located at the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area You can view the sea of sandstone of Calico Hills from the city of Las Vegas. Hikers can see the main ridge along the hiking trail which runs along the base of Calico Hills. The hike can be accessed from different parts of the Calico Hills parking area, which is located along the Scenic Loop. Contingent on where you choose to start or finish, it can be two-mile or six-mile hike.
When hiking, and especially in high mountain environments, specific equipment is needed. The clothes and equipment will depend on the time of the year and the area. For example, the Sierra are very diverse throughout the different seasons and will go from the harshest winter conditions to mild in the summer. That is why this article will try to give advice on how to choose hiking equipment.
This will have a checklist that can help you when preparing for your backpack or hike. Some of the items below can be quite expensive, but if you do not have enough money you can learn about fast loans online. For more info: read more.
Hiking Boots and Shoes:
A good mountaineering boot will be the most important piece of equipment we will need for a route that takes several days. We must take into account that the journey travels through high mountains and analyze the route to make informed choices.
There are a thousand and one options, depending on the season and the weather conditions that we will find. We recommend layering or, as is commonly known, that of 'the onion'; that will allow us to have the versatility to remove and put garments on depending on the external conditions and the level of activity.
I recommend wearing thin clothes that you can take off and put on depending on the weather conditions. Your outer most layer should be a waterproof layer if hiking in raining environments. This is known as the system of the three layers.
Mountain Clothes for Hiking in Summer:
- Breathable t-shirt (avoid cotton or similar fabrics that keep humidity).
- Breathable underwear.
- Quick drying pants
- Lightweight waterproof jacket (optional, depending on the activity)
- Hat or cap for sun protection
- Mountain clothes for hiking in winter
- Breathable long-sleeved thermal shirt
- Thermal underwear (in many cases it will be the clothes to sleep, so it must be warm and comfortable).
- Cap, thermal brief
- Trekking pants (in case of foreseeing extreme environmental conditions or we are going to carry out the activity in snow conditions, it should be a rain pants).
- Waterproof mountain jacket.
- Thick and spare socks
The above can be variable depending on the situation. How many days are we going to be on the route? The backpack can vary from 40 liters to 80 liters. Keep in mind; with a light backpack you enjoy yourself more.
What are the sleeping accommodations? Or you sleeping in hotels, shelters, or on the ground? Hotels are easy to plan for. Commonly the blankets are available in most shelters, so that one sheet sack will be enough to spend the night (mandatory). If we are going to make camp along the route, a good waterproof sleeping rated for the temperature is a must.
Navigating the Route
Unless a person is knowledgeable about the route, they will have to be informed at all times of where they are going, and for this a GPS, map or compass are recommended. Nowadays, every smartphone can be used as a mountain GPS using applications such as OrusMaps, which work both online and offline. We hope this recommendations help you have a fun and safe hike.
This is Rob Shaw's story of what he discovered as he became a Double 53er: (A double 53er is a hiker who has climbed all 52 Peaks twice!) When I became a 53er for the first time, the goals I set for myself had been reached. But there was something more to it than that. I wanted to stay in shape and keep healthy so by continuing to hike, it would help me achieve that. I became a leader and got involved with others reaching their goals of becoming a 53er. In the process, I reached Double 53er status. When you go to the peaks a second time, several things may happen. You may take another route and you most certainly will be with different hikers. You learn more about your surroundings because you are a better hiker now and things are a lot easier this time around. You may find yourself lending a hand or spotting a fellow hiker, where as, that was you on the other end when you were going to a peak the first time. You will also be more familiar with the peaks around you since you have been to all of them.
In the process, I have been to almost every peak several times on different routes. I have hiked with about every person in the club and gotten to know them well. There have been over 140 hikers become 53ers since I joined. I have led most every person here to a peak or hiked with them at some time. You will make so many new friends and enjoy the journey with them. You will be asked questions and will probably have the answers because you have been there before.
Becoming a Double 53er could only be a benefit to yourself and others you hike with. We are a rare breed as the numbers dictate. Only seven have passed this gate. Who's going to be number 8? Will it be you?
Rob's Bio: I moved to Vegas in 1986 and have worked in the same field for over 26 years. I have enjoyed the outdoor life since I was a child, hiking and camping since I can remember. For over twenty years I drove thru Redrock and thought, nice place and only got out of the car and walked around Calico Hills. I was sure that if I went any further I would get lost. I eventually did do some of the hikes that were simple trails. Fast forward to Spring 2012. After landing in the E.R. and spending the night , thinking I had a heart attack, my doctor told me I didn't but if I didn't change my lifestyle, I would eventually have one. After exercising at a gym and getting into backpacking I felt better but knew that I wanted more.Then I saw a news report about this hiking club and joined HLV. Outside of quitting smoking, this was by far the best thing I have ever done to stay healthy. Rob is a leader for the 52 Peak Club and regularly leads hikes.
There are several reasons to become a Double 53er: 1. You will stay in shape. Doing all the peaks again will keep you in shape. 2. To date only six hikers have the status of a Double 53er. Its an elite status to earn. Hikers who are double 53ers. 3. Having a goal is good. You will hike with a purpose. Many hikers once they become a 53er don't hike as much; no goal anymore. 4. Meet new people. The 52 Peak Club always has new people joining and hiking. Who knows who you might meet??? 5. If you had a big fear factor, it will be greatly reduced. 6. Do you know most of the peaks have several routes to them? If you do a different route, it's a new hike for you. Listed below are peaks and the number of routes:
Bridge Mtn - 4 routes Mt. Wilson - 4 routes Pine Creek Peak - 2 routes Rainbow Peak - 3 routes White Pinnacle Peak - 3 routes Black Velvet Peak - 2 routes Bridge Vista - 2 routes Bridge Point - 2 routes Mescalito - 3 routes Global Peak - 3 routes Oak Peak - 2 routes Lost Creek Peak - 4 routes Goodman Peak - 2 routes Hidden Peak - 2 routes Terrace Canyon Peak - 2 routes Windy Peak - 3 routes North Peak - 3 routes Juniper Peak - 2 routes Crabby Appleton Peak - 2 routes White Rock Hills Peak - 4 routes Gray Cap Peak - 2 routes White Rock Springs Peak - 2 routes Turtlehead Jr. - 4 routes Calico Tank Peak - 3 routes Kraft Mtn - 5 routes
Lake Mead Peaks: Frenchman - 2 route Fortification Hill - 2 routes
That's 66% (34 peaks) of the peaks have at least two routes to them. To qualify as another route the route must be at least 50% different than other routes (to the same peak). Most routes are at least 80% different and a lot are 100% different. Example: Windy Peak from the backside vs. East Face Route to Windy Peak route. The only part of those routes that are the same is standing at the summit.
And, of course, the hike will be different due to different people and possibly a different leader and weather conditions. And you to will be different. Video of Bill Inglehart becoming the first Double 53er:
It might be helpful to explain what a 53er is and it has nothing to do with age! A 53er is a hiker who is a member of the 52 Peak Club that has climbed/hiked all 52 Peaks around Las Vegas. List of all 52 the peaks.
Kahsa was born and raised in Poland, and moved to the States in 1991. After living through the frigid winters in Chicago, her husband, daughter, and she packed up and moved to Las Vegas in 2000. She had always been called to the outdoors and used to spend the summers of her childhood in the scouts backpacking, kayaking, sailing, etc.
Kasha is 49 years old and became a 53er on Jan 21st, 2018.
In her words she join the 52 Peak Club because: "I used to casually hike with my family, but always desired to get to the mountains more frequently and on more advanced hikes. The 52 Peak Club offered me a great way to make friends, push my limits in a safe way, and have a great time! "
She felt the toughest peak in the 52 Peak Club was Holiday Peak and her favorite peak is White Pinnacle Peak, both are in Red Rock Canyon, which is 20 miles west of Las Vegas, NV.
She felt accomplished, but ready for new adventures after becoming a 53er.
Her advice for new members of the 52 Peak Club is: Always pack a delicious sandwich, so you have something to look forward to at the peak (besides the view)! Start with lower cards so you don’t overwhelm yourself from the start, build up confidence and experience before you attack the more difficult hikes. The leaders are great at what they do- knowledgeable, experienced, always thinking about safety- trust them! Above all else, believe in yourself- you can do it!
Most people who think about Las Vegas picture the world’s largest and most famous (or infamous) gambling and entertainment hub located in the Mojave desert in the US state of Nevada. Each year tens of millions of visitors from the US and beyond are drawn to ‘Sin City’ for its vast casino resorts and gambling action, live shows, fine restaurants, concerts, night clubs, sporting events, weddings, conventions, expos, all-you-can-eat buffets, bachelorette and bachelor parties, and just to have fun.
And yet, Las Vegas with these standout offers and more has yet another awesome attraction up its sleeve that is literally off the beaten track in the form of a broad selection of awe-inspiring and easily accessible hikes suitable for all level of hiking or outdoor fans. Although the most popular hiking destinations in the United States include the Appalachian Trail, the Grand Canyon National Park, the John Muir Trail, the Columbia River Gorge, the Arches National Park, the Great Smoky Mountains, the Pisgah National Forest and the Glacier National Park, a rising number of hikers are seeking out trails in the vicinity of Las Vegas to experience their vast and varied landscapes and awesome desert and mountainous scenery that is so prevalent in Southern Nevada.
Just a 30 minute drive from the Californian border, Las Vegas rises off the floor of the Mojave desert surrounded by mountain ranges on all sides. These include, but are not limited to, the Sheep Range to the north, the North McCullough Range and South McCullough Range to the south, Frenchman Mountain and Sunrise Mountain to the east, and Red Rock Cliffs, Mount Charleston, La Madre Mountains and Potosi Mountain to the west.
Despite its arid location, Las Vegas and surrounding areas are home to many species of plants and animals. With an average of 310 days of sunshine each year, and a hot to temperate climate, it’s no wonder the region is such a popular destination. As a base for hikers there’s no better city than Las Vegas because it has accommodation to suit any and all budgets. Plus there are plenty of Las Vegas-based companies that offer daily and longer hiking excursions for outdoor fans to choose from.
Here are some of the most popular hiking destinations and hikes to choose from in the Las Vegas area:
Red Rock Canyon Located approximately 24 km west of Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon is one of the most popular hiking destinations in South Nevada as it boasts 26 individual hikes for all level of hikers which are labelled easy, moderate or strenuous. Named after its characteristic and striking red rock (Aztec Sandstone which contains iron oxide or hematite), Red Rock Canyon can be seen from Las Vegas and is famous for its vast and natural beauty which acts as a drawcard for over two million visitors every year.
First Creek Canyon Trail (Easy) For inexperienced or older hikers eager to get a feel of Red Rock Canyon, the First Creek Canyon trail hike is the way to go which only takes around 30 minutes to reach by car from Las Vegas. At just 2.1 miles (3.4 km) long (there and back), it’s an easy hike and as such can be completed by most hikers young or old in 1 hour as it has a modest incline of only around 220 feet (67m).
Easy to walk and without any major obstacles, this beginner’s hiking trail is ideal for people who are not seeking anything too strenuous and simply want to take in the vivid scenery of Red Rock Canyon and Las Vegas beyond. Highlights of this nature hike includes following the First Creek (river) up to a ‘hidden’ waterfall as it is somewhat obscured from view with its own plunge pool.
Calico Tanks Trail (Moderate) Arguably the most popular hike at Red Rock Canyon is the Calico Tanks Trail, which is a 45 minute drive from Las Vegas. At 2.5 miles (4km) long it’s considered to be a moderate hike that requires about 2 hours to complete and, as such, is pretty well-suited for the whole family. Hikers are even welcome to bring their dogs on this trail provided they keep them on a leash.
The hike, which starts from the Sandstone Quarry Overlook, entails walking over loose sand as well as some scrambling over rocks, and passes some picture-worthy watering holes. With an elevation of 570 feet (174m), this trail affords hikers many spectacular views and photo opportunities of Las Vegas off in the distance, which is one of the reasons why it is so popular.
Turtlehead Peak Trail (Strenuous) One of the hardest but most rewarding of all the Red Rock Canyon hikes is the Turtlehead Peak Trail which is 36 minutes away from Las Vegas. Not for the feint-hearted, infirm or unfit, this trail requires 3 to 4 hours to complete as well as much sweat and determination. However, the hard work it takes is more than compensated by the breath-taking 360 degree views it delivers.
With a slew of wide angle views of the encompassing La Madre Mountains and the shimmering Las Vegas in the distance, this trail is considered by many accomplished Nevada hikers as the ‘crown jewel’ of Red Rock Canyon. At 5 miles (8.1km) long, this trail winds its way to an elevation of 2,000 feet (610m) and requires grit and determination to stay on this steep trail.
Historical Railroad Trail (Moderate) Over and above Las Vegas, numerous mountain ranges and desert terrain, the epic Hoover Dam and Lake Mead are a must see for visitors to southern Nevada. One of the best and most novel ways to behold their respective size and beauty is on the Historical Railroad Trail. Just a brief 32 minute drive from Las Vegas, hikers can enjoy one of the most historical former railway routes ever constructed the United States coupled with some awesome Nevada landscapes and rare feats of engineering.
Being a fairly level hike, the Historical Railroad Trail can be easily negotiated by young and old hikers alike as it is approximately 7 miles (11km) long. It is accessible from the Hoover Dam parking garage. Although the railway tracks have been removed, the route and its many tunnels remain perfectly intact for hikers to negotiate at their leisure. The railway line and tunnels were purpose built in the 1930s to transport building materials and equipment for the construction of the Hoover Dam.
Some of the materials and equipment needed was so big that tunnels were dug to a diameter of 25 feet, which is much wider than regular railway tunnels. When the Hoover Dam was completed in 1935 the railway ceased to be used as it had served its purpose. Today, however, hikers from Las Vegas and farther afield can walk the old railway route and its tunnels – some over 300 feet (91m) in length - that played such a crucial role in making one of America’s most important dams possible.
Apart from some great picture opportunities of the old route, Lake Mead and Hoover Dam, the trail is also renowned for its variety of wildlife. For instance, it’s not uncommon for hikers to come across owls, bighorn sheep, lizards and even the odd rattlesnake (which must always be given a wide berth) on the Historical Railroad Trail. Take note that as one of the most popular hikes in and around Las Vegas expect to encounter lots of fellow hikers, runners, bikers and people with their dogs.
Mary Jane Falls Trail (Strenuous) Just 45 minutes due west of Las Vegas in Kyle Canyon is one of the most picturesque mountain hikes in Nevada known as the Mary Jane Falls Trail. Although the trail is named after a waterfall, hikers may not get to enjoy its majesty as it is seasonal. Taking on this trail - which is 2.5 miles (4km) up and down - in the Spring offers hikers the best chance of viewing the falls in all their glory. Regardless of the time of year, however, this hike is always worth doing for its elevation and spectacular views.
Due to the extreme change in elevation (hikers will climb 1,100 feet (335m) in 1.6 miles (2.57km)) this hike is considered to be more strenuous than moderate, particularly during the hotter months of the year. As such it may not be suitable for novice, too young or older hikers. The trailhead is located at the bottom of the deeply forested Kyle Canyon, and soon after hikers get underway they begin to climb out of the canyon and continue in an upward trajectory until they reach the falls.
Not far beyond the falls hikers can look forward to exploring a cave. The only area of concern with this respective trail is that it has many switchbacks which after particularly heavy rain and people talking shortcuts, can make following the trail difficult and at times treacherous. As such, all hikers are advised to proceed with caution, especially those who bring their children along.
There are three main pieces of equipment a beginner needs to buy if they want to safely take up rappelling (Abseiling).
1. Harness - there are many different types of harnesses on the market. For beginners a simple canyoneering type harness is adequate for basic rappels.
The harness attaches your body to the rope with the help of a carabiner and a device.
Virtually all harnesses go around the person's waist via a waistbelt and has two leg loops. The hareness is secured with a buckle that the thin part of the waistbelt is threaded through. You can get a basic harness for around $60.
2. Belay Device - there are many different types of belay devices on the market. All of them are safe. It's a matter of preference.
A belay device creates friction on the rope and helps control the rate of descent during a rappel.
More advanced devices allows a person to easily "tie off" during the descent to manage the rope or handle other problems. Normally, a beginner would never have to do this. Tieing off is stopping the rappel during the rappel (the person is free hanging and their hands are free) so they can attend to the rope etc. There are so many different type of rappel devices it would be difficult to cover all of them and new ones are coming on the market regularly. Three popular devices are: ATC - ATS - Pirana You can learn more about these in this video
You can get a rappel device for under $40.
3. Carabiners. There are many different types of carabiners on the market. It's highly recommended to have a locking or self locking carabiner. Carabiners, or biner for short, connects the harness to belay device via the belay loop and helps connect the rope.
Carabiners have multiple uses, such as being part of an anchor system.
You must get a rock climbing type of carabiner, not carabiners used to hook keys onto pants etc. Those carabiners are not strong enough for rappelling.
You can get a carabiner for under $30. Note: Some carabiners are too large to fit into the hole of rappel devices.
That's all you need for basic rappels. Of course, you can get more equipment for advance rappels. The number one rule is: Know how to use your equipment perfectly. Not hooking up your equipment correctly can lead to your death!
It might be helpful to explain what a 53er is and it has nothing to do with age! A 53er is a hiker who is a member of the 52 Peak Club that has climbed/hiked all 52 Peaks around Las Vegas. List of all 52 the peaks.
Ernesto is from Bisbee, Az, a small mining town. He had many jobs from miner, bouncer, bartender, truck driver, computer programmer to photographer/artist. He has been self-employed most of his life. He started long distance backpacking in 1996 and he has chipped away at the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), hiking from Tehachapi to Sierra City, north of Lake Tahoe. He hiked the John Muir Trail twice, 1996 and 2015. He is an avid photographer and he loves exploring new places with his camera.
At 64 years old he joined the 52 Peak Club to discover new places and meet new hikers. His favorite peaks are: Bridge Mountain, Mescalito and Lost Creek Peak. He feels Black Velvet Peak was his toughest peak, mainly because of the descent.
He felt elated when he became a 53er. No wonder. To become a 53er means you hiked 300+ miles and gained over 120,000 feet in elevation!
His advice for new hikers is: Test the rock, know your limitations and have fun. It is also good to get a different type of workout between hikes. For him, it was volleyball, weights and elliptical.
Ernesto currently lives in Las Vegas and owns Galleria Chavez, located at 7885 W. Sahara # 107, Las Vegas.