Kraft Mountain Loop | Calico Basin | Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Nevada

Kraft Mountain Loop circles the base of Kraft Mountain located in the Calico Basin, Nevada (last turn-off before Red Rock Park). During this 3.5 mile loop you will experience navigating colorful Jurassic era frozen sand dune formations, incredible vistas of the surrounding area and some class 2-3 scrambling up and down sandstone ledges in a desert wash. It’s highly recommended that you undertake this adventure on a Fall, Winter or Spring day to avoid excessive Summer temperatures that can exceed 115 degrees. And, do not attempt this under wet conditions (rain, snow) because the sandstone you will need to traverse and climb can become as slick as ice! Route description: **3.5 Miles, 3,710 – 4,299ft Elevation ** Click image or title above for more…

Kraft Mountain – Gateway Canyon Loop | Calico Basin | Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Nevada

Kraft Mountain - Gateway Canyon Loop | Calico Basin | Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Nevada

On this day I intentionally set out to head up Gateway Canyon thinking it might be a short cut to Damsel Peak. Wrong! Between figuring out the best way to navigate 10-15 class 3 and class 3 barriers, I ate up so much time that I decided to just make a large loop out of Gateway Canyon, continuing all the way to Brownstone Basin at the base of Damsel Peak, and then taking Brownstone Basin down to a cross-over point back to Kraft Mountain. Many hikers have mistakenly taken this route thinking they are on the Kraft Mountain Loop. I made this very mistake on my first attempt to do the Kraft Mountain Loop! In fact, during today’s adventure, I redirected 2 groups of appreciative hikers back to the Kraft Mountain Loop. Here’s how that error happens… Route details: Approx . (12 mi.) | 3,700-5,400ft Elevation; **Some Trail, Mostly Wilderness** Click image or title above for more…

Damsel Peak Southern Approach Route from Calico Basin, Nevada

Damsel Peak Southern Approach | Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area | Nevada

The Southern approach to the summit of Damsel Peak (aka Pincushion Mt) in Nevada begins at the trailhead parking area in Calico Basin, navigates to the South side of Damsel Peak, traverses to the North side, descends into Brownstone Basin then navigates back to the starting point in Calico Basin. Incredible views from the summit of Damsel Peak include almost all of the Las Vegas Valley, Brownstone and Calico Basins, Turtlehead Peak, the Calico Hills, Mt. Wilson, Rainbow Mountain, Juniper Peak, North Peak and Bridge Mountain and finally the huge expanse of the Keystone Thrust cliffs with La Madre Mountain as the high point. To the North one can see Gass Peak, the Sheep Range and Fossil Ridge. Route details: Approx 15 mi RT; **No Trails, Some Class 3 Climbing** Click image or title above for more…

Damsel Peak Northern Approach | Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Nevada

Damsel Peak Northern Approach | Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area | Nevada

From the top of Damsel Peak outside of Las Vegas, Nevada one can see almost all of the Las Vegas Valley in the same way that Damsel Peak is visible from just about anywhere in Las Vegas Valley. In addition, there is an awesome view of the entire Calico Basin, Turtlehead Peak, the Calico Hills, Mt. Wilson, Rainbow Mountain, Juniper Peak, North Peak and Bridge Mountain and finally the huge expanse of the Keystone Thrust cliffs with La Madre Mountain as the high point. To the North one can see Gass Peak, the Sheep Range and Fossil Ridge. Route details: 16 mi Start Sandstone Quarry Red Rock | 4370 > 6977ft; **Wilderness, No Trail** Click image or title above for more…

Grand Loop | Calico Basin | Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Nevada

The Calico Hills form a boarder between lower Red Rock Canyon and lower Calico Basin in Nevada. The Grand Loop follows a 5-mile trail around the circumference of the Calico Hills. The Calico Hills are composed of ancient sand dunes that have been frozen into an artistic display of fantastic shapes, colors and designs. From a distance the Calico Hills are dwarfed by the larger surrounding formations. However looks are very deceiving as the closer you get these formations become huge with 30-40ft sheer drop-offs. Route description: 5mi Loop Circles Calico Hills; *Fairly Good Trail, Sketchy in Places – Some Steep Rocky Stretches* Click image or title above for more…

Grand Staircase | Calico Basin | Red Rock National Conservation Area, Nevada

The Calico Hills form a boarder between lower Red Rock Canyon and lower Calico Basin in Nevada. These ancient sand dunes have been frozen into an artistic display of fantastic shapes, colors and designs. The most popular route up the Calico Hills is called The Grand Staircase. As you stand in the parking area in the Red Springs Desert Oasis in the Calico Basin and look closely at the Calico Hills towering above you’ll see a natural diagonal route that begins in the mid section and angles up to the right and to the summit of the hills. This is the Grand Staircase. Route Details: Approx. (2 mi. RT); **Wilderness, Sketchy Path, Class 3 Rock Climbing** Click image or title above for more…

Calico Basin Nevada Overview

Calico Basin sits just East of Red Rock Park in Nevada. There are numerous Jurassic Era Aztec colorful red and white rock hills in and around the basin which makes it a great place to explore, hike, run and climb. Red Springs Desert Oasis in the lower basic is a nice picnic area with a mile-long interpretive board walk. Further up past a small residential community there is a trailhead parking area for hikers and runners exploring the hills and canyon washes of the basin, which are fairly wild and untouched. Follow adventure thumbnail images on this page to view individual adventures in Calico Basin. Click image or title above for more…