Is anyone familiar with backpacking near Las Vegas?

7:53 a.m. on August 19, 2008 (EDT)
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I just moved to Las Vegas and I would like to do some overnight backpacking. As i'm new to backpacking, I'm having some trouble finding resources online as far as rules for camping off trails. If anyone is familiar with the surrounding areas, namely Mt. Charleston or Red Rock canyon, please feel free to help me out :)

10:09 p.m. on August 19, 2008 (EDT)
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There are a couple of books on backpacking in Nevada wilderness areas. Unfortunately, since I am in process of moving into temporary quarters to rebuild my house, I don't have the exact names. But they are available in REI (I think there is one in Lust Wages?). The titles are something like Hikes in Nevada Wilderness Areas or Backpacking Nevada.

You are also close to some good areas in NW Arizona and SW Utah, as well as some not far away in California. When winter sets in, look into some of the backpacks in Death Valley (not in summer, though, until you get used to desert hiking). Telescope Peak, on the border of Death Valley NP is ok in summer, sometimes having patches of snow year around.

11:05 p.m. on August 19, 2008 (EDT)
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Thanks for the info. The only books i could really find at barnes and nobles were mostly about short 1 - 2 mile hikes. I ended up buying Afoot & Afield: Las Vegas and Southern Nevada. Another was called Backpacking nevada, but not very much about the immediate area. It only had two trails mentioned and the rest were in northen NV.

I'm really looking for information regarding the overnight aspect. Is it acceptable (legal) to just pitch a tent wherever you want for the night? Theres no visitor center at Mt. Charelston so i don't know who to ask. The reservation line for the campgrounds didn't know and couldn't even tell me if fires were allowed.

My ideal trip would be a good 5 mile or more hike one way. Hang out and enjoy the surroundings. Setup a tent and possibly a fire to cook some dinner. Hit the sac then wake up and either get on some more trails or head back home.

2:34 p.m. on August 21, 2008 (EDT)
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I'd actually check with the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) about overnighting as there's no "park service" around. I can't remember if there is an REI in Vegas, but there are a few sporadic outfitters in Summerlin & Green Valley-Henderson.

there are some good trails around Lake Mead on the Arizona side, but you may as well continue on the road to Kingman and hit the Ditch... (that's what AZ/NV locals call the Grand Canyon)

good luck

9:32 p.m. on September 28, 2008 (EDT)
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I trail ran red rock canyon. But don't recall seeing a camping sign. But it's definately worth a first time visit even if you are not overnight camping.

5:19 a.m. on November 22, 2008 (EST)
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The best backpacking in my opinion is to go up to zion in southern utah. That being said there are several trails heading up around Mt. Charleston. The only one that I have camped at is the Mt. Charleston trail. There is a fee entry on the way onto the trail head and they can give you more info. It is a good 8 miles of swithbacks before you get to reasonable camping grounds. I have backpacked up the 4X4 trail at the red rock canyon too. That also required me to pay on the way into the camping area and checking in. Finally there are several trailheads just on the otherside of the dam on the Arizona side. I hiked into the kingman wash/devil's paint pot access about 10 years back. there were a bunch of burro trails and you just blaze a trail and can sleep on any beach (lots of water too which is a ++++)

12:51 p.m. on December 20, 2008 (EST)
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Las Vegas provides an outdoor paradise in every direction. Within an hour in any direction, you will find backpacking opportunities. My personal favorites are the rocky areas around Mesquite, the Red Rock area, and the great climbing in the Colorado River canyon.

I am planning to climb Mount Wilson in the Red Rock area the day after Christmas if you are interested.

-- Roger Roots,

(401) 290-8260

10:45 a.m. on February 2, 2009 (EST)
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I don't know much about the hiking around Vegas or Nevada for that matter, but i can highly reccommend the backpacking in southern Utah. I spent 10 days backpacking a small section of the Grand Staircase National Monument and was completely blown away by the beauty of the area. My two hiking companions and i never saw another person the entire trip. I would suggest a good book on Utahs hiking trails by David Day ( 2nd edition) as a starting place, and would also reccommend an excellent guide based in Escalante : Aaron Johnson at, the slide show is worth a visit to the site. Good luck !

7:49 a.m. on March 17, 2009 (EDT)
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Although we havent backpacked in Red Rock Canyon we have climbed rock faces and the hikes to the rock faces are beautiful and sometimes quite challenging.





9:16 p.m. on April 2, 2009 (EDT)
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I know you can't camp in Red Rock Canyon BELOW 5000ft. So if you climb a peak you can camp, or if you hike the Rocky Gap Road, way back you could camp.

Lovell Canyon is AMAZING and is just on the backside of Red Rock Canyon. You take Blue Diamond (hwy 160) all the way through the mountain pass on your way to Pahrump. Once you get to the summit and pass the small mountain town... on your way downhill there is LOVELL Canyon Rd on your Right. Pay attention, but it's recognizable. 'Nice' paved road, better than nothing.... Random spots... Lovell canyon trail goes a LONG way, and I THINK you could hike it all they way up the backside of Griffith Peak (mt. charlestons smaller neighbor) and up to Mt. Charleston!! Not sure though...


Lake Mead is an unlimited playground. Especially if you have a 4x4. It's open land..


You can supposidely Camp Anywhere In NV that doesn't have a posted No Camping Sign and or isn't private land...

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