Icebox Canyon, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Icebox Canyon Waterfall

Icebox Canyon is a fantastic intermediate hike in the Red Rock Conservation Area which is located just outside of Las Vegas Nevada. Icebox Canyon is about 2.5 miles round-trip from the parking area, but will probably take most hikers 2-3 hours to complete it at a normal pace. This trail can be a little sporting and requires some climbing and moderate uphill hiking on a rocky trail. Sprained ankles are a real concern on this one. If you have young children, if you're brand new to hiking, or if you're unsure you can handle the physical exertion, you may want to avoid this hike.

What to bring:

Red Rock Canyon is actually part of the Mojave Desert. Summer temperatures can reach 120+ degrees. Ideally, you want to hike this trail when the temperature outside is mild. I can not stress how important it is to bring at least a gallon of water per person if you plan on hiking this trail in the summer like a lunatic. Second, do not forget sunscreen. If you hike for 2 hours on clear day in Las Vegas, you will almost definitely end up with a serious sunburn . Third, sunglasses are a must. The Nevada sun will melt your eyes from your skull. Finally, let someone know where you're headed and what time you plan on returning. Protip: Remember to put your cellphone in airplane mode while you hike so your battery doesn't die searching for a signal. You won't get cell service in this part of Red Rock.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
The Trail:

 From the parking area, the dirt trail heads uphill and winds through thick shrubs which provide a little bit of shade. The trail splits about a quarter mile in, with one path leading up through the middle of the canyon in the dry creek bed, while the other section climbs above the creek bed hugging the right side of the canyon. I recommend keeping to the higher trail on the right. Both trails meet back together again after another half mile. Once you're inside the main part of the canyon, the final section of the trail requires some rock scrambling. You won't be able to get lost because the cliffs are hundreds of feet high on both sides of you. Just keep heading upstream through the dry creek bed until you reach the end. If you're lucky, you'll see a small trickling waterfall when you reach the end. Some people climb the waterfall to see the small pool at the middle of the falls, but the rocks are extremely smooth and slippery. Many people have been injured attempting the final climb. The pool at the top of the waterfall is too small to swim in anyway. All warnings aside, this is one of the best hikes in the Las Vegas area. There are very few places in the Mojave Desert where you can hike in the shade and see a waterfall.


Red Rock Canyon is located about 20 minutes from the strip in Las Vegas. From Blue Diamond Road, turn right at Scenic Loop Drive. You will pay a 7$ entrance fee at the gate to get into the park. Ask for a map at the entrance. Follow Scenic Loop Drive for 8 miles until you reach the parking area for Icebox Canyon.

The address for Google maps is:
Ice Box Canyon, Las Vegas, NV 89161

Red Rock Canyon Trail Map


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