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Bouldering nearest to Vegas / Death Valley
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David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Bouldering nearest to Vegas / Death Valley on 01/17/2013 15:59:55 MST Print View

The annual father-daughter road trip will be in mid-March and we fly from Alaska into Vegas. After catching a Cirque du Soleil show, we'll tour the region with an emphasis on nice hikes (4-6 miles, round trip) and bouldering / top-roping of 5.4-5.8 range stuff. Phoebe is 8, loves to climb anything and everything, and has incredible strength-to-weight but not much reach.

My fall back is Joshua Tree - I know there is no end of bouldering and climbing there. But that's about 250 miles each way and (1) that's 10 hours we could have been hiking / climbing and (2) Vegas hotels are REALLY cheap, so day trips into closer venues would be great, if available.

Is there is something on the way to Death Valley? Anything in Red Rock Canyon? Or east towards Lake Mead?

Thanks, David

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Red Rock on 01/17/2013 16:10:54 MST Print View

Red rock has lots of areas for scrambling/bouldering with an 8 year old and its less than 30 minutes away.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Red Rock on 01/17/2013 17:21:04 MST Print View

Red Rock is likely one of the best climbing spots in the southwestern US. Also look into Calico Basin (right outside Red Rock) for low-key bouldering.

James Arriola
(Ravs4fun) - M

Locale: Desert Southwest
Bouldering nearest to Vegas / Death Valley on 01/17/2013 17:32:46 MST Print View

Red Rock is such a great place to climb and or bouldering. There is an entrance fee to drive in the Red Rock loop which I think is like $5 or 6 bucks. There are over 2000 known climbing routes in the Red Rock area. Calico Basin which is not in the Red Rock loop is one of the more popular bouldering areas. There are a few different books about rock climbing in the Red Rock area. One of the newest ones is Southern Nevada Bouldering from Snell Press.

Desert Rock Sports on West Charleston is probably your best bet for updated info. They have a small store but it's crammed with what ever gear you might have forgotten to bring.

I don't really know is there is any good climbing areas in the Lake Mead area besides the Muddy Mountain Wilderness area which involves a good hike in. Keyhole Canyon which is south of Las Vegas going towards Searchlight has always been popular also.

Valley of Fire State Park northeast of Las Vegas is great place for shorter day hikes. Rock climbing is limited to specific areas of the park only.

Zion Nat'l Park is about 3 hours away in Southern Utah and shouldn't be missed. You have some really nice day hikes in the area. In March it could be nice and sunny or snowing. There are so many nice areas of Southern Utah to think about also. From the Grand Staircase-Escalante national Monument to Bryce Canyon to even Capital Reef National Park. You could spend weeks in Southern Utah and still not see it all.

In the MT. Charleston area west of Las Vegas there are a number of climbing areas in the Limestone rock that dominates the Spring Mountains. Robbers Roost has some nice bouldering areas but could be covered in snow that time of year also.

I hope you have a great time in Las Vegas. Let me know if you have any more questions. Thanks.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Bouldering nearest to Vegas / Death Valley on 01/19/2013 14:19:50 MST Print View

Thank you, Ben, Craig, and especially James - that's exactly what i needed to know. I've printed it all out for reference and found a few Red Rock climbing websites with additional info.

Tacky though it is, I just booked all our nights at Circus Circus ($22/night) and we'll drive out to Red Rock Canyon most days for bouldering. Maybe one day trip for a Hoover Dam tour and another (start early) day to Death Valley, depending on the temps that week.

My 12-year-old son and I like to do some serious miles (600+/day highway, 20-30/day on the trail). But my daughter likes to DO stuff - climb rocks, see animals, etc, so fewer highway miles works much better with her.


Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Other Stuff on 01/19/2013 15:48:29 MST Print View


I recommend the trip to Hoover Dam, especially if your kids have never been to a dam. The tour includes a short movie about the construction and you can go inside into the generator complex. You can also view the the ugly 100' bathtub ring around the lake... gives you both perspectives of damming rivers.

You might want to consider visiting the Alan Bible visitor center and then hiking to Hoover Dam along the Rail Road Trail. About 4 miles each way and mostly level walking. Interesting hike and you avoid the vehicle gridlock and security stop. The visitor center is currently closed for remodeling, so it may not be opened when you get there. But you can still park in the parking lot next to the trail. It appears the NPS might take longer to remodel the center than it took to build the freaking dam :(

Here is a trip report that included hiking along the railroad trail.

Lake Mead Walkabout

Nice people at the store on Charleston that James mentioned. Also if you need some last minute gear, there is a Sports Chalet just west on Charleston before Rampart Rd. Also if you make a right on Rampart, there is a REI about 1/2 mile from the intersection. Both are on the way to Red Rock.

Here are some pictures of Red Rock Canyon I took on a day hike a while ago.

Red Rock Canyon

I live in Palm Springs, which is adjacent to Joshua Tree. Although I hike a lot in JT, it is worth the drive for me to do several trips in southern Nevada every year.

An option to Death Valley is the Mojave National Preserve.

Edited by ngatel on 01/19/2013 15:50:03 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Bouldering nearest to Vegas / Death Valley on 01/20/2013 03:32:54 MST Print View

Vegas eh?
How about the side face of Ceasar's Palace?


George Davis
(nsiderbam) - M

Locale: mid-Atlantic
Re: Re: Bouldering nearest to Vegas / Death Valley on 01/20/2013 19:31:22 MST Print View

Kraft Boulders has some awesome bouldering. You'd need a guide book to figure out exactly how to get there, but it's no further than red rocks is from the city. Right now you also have the perfect weather to go bouldering! Make sure you check out Monkey Bar boulder, the Pearl, and the Cube (a 20-something foot tall highball with a couple cool problems).

If you're looking for some indoor climbing, check out the previously-mentioned gym or Nevada Climbing Centers right across from Del Sol HS near Patrick and Russel. I worked there for six or seven years and its a good gym -- there's new ownership and they're making some nice changes to it.