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Visited: January 17, 2016
Description: Trails through a shady canyon with rocks to boulder and seasonal waterfalls
Length: 2.6 miles roundtrip (the sign at the trailhead will say one way but it’s a liar)
Elevation: ~400 feet
Duration: ~2-3 hours
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult. Only difficult if you climb up to the top of the falls
Best time to go: Summer actually isn’t a bad time but anytime should be fine
Bring: Water, sunscreen, camera, hat
Fun fact: Star Wars series and several movies were filmed here.
There’s a reason why this place is called Ice Box Canyon… It gets COLD up in this place! So summer days should be a great time for this hike.
We had limited time in Red Rock Canyon and decided to do just one hike. It was pretty difficult trying to figure what the best hike was because we didn’t find a lot of information about the trails in Red Rock. After some quick research, we settled on Ice Box Canyon and were not disappointed.
When you hit the trailhead, the sign says Ice Box Canyon is 2.5 miles one way but it’s actually roundtrip so don’t be fooled!
The beginning of the trail is pretty open and flat. You’ll be hiking about a mile with no shade so go early if you’re hiking during summer to avoid the heat.
Once you get closer to the mountain base, enjoy the shade, take a glance back toward the parking lot and catch those stunning red Calico rocks from afar.
As you continue hiking, the trail begins to narrow down. You’ll eventually hit a “tunnel” of trees and as the trail slopes downhill, you’re already halfway there!
Make sure you go toward the right when you’ve reached the bottom of the hill. Now this is where the fun part starts and you get to do some bouldering.
You might need to improvise to get around the boulders but if something gets too hard, try going a different route. There WILL be a way!
The canyon walls should be closing in as you get closer. After traversing on a wide ledge you’ll reach the upper and lower falls of Icebox Canyon. We were surprised to see a waterfall actually there. After all, Las Vegas is a desert so it’s hard to imagine a natural waterfall actually existing here.
We spotted people hanging out at the top of the falls. To get up there you’ll have to “scale” the left side of the canyon. It can be a bit steep so be extremely careful if you attempt this yourself. Hikesnobs are always up for the challenge, so we carefully climbed up the steep face of the lower falls.
Once you make it to the top of the falls, you can stare down at all the peasants below 😛 There is another small section that you can climb to reach the second tier of the top fall. Be careful with your belongings here, we saw a lot of sunglasses and even an iPhone in this body of water.
Red Rocks Canyon is such a great destination if you’re within the Las Vegas area. If you are looking for some peace of mind away from the busy Vegas strip, look no further. Even the one way 13 mile scenic loop drive is worth the trip. If you have some time for a hike, Icebox Canyon is a great hike.
- Hold on tight to your belongings! We saw a few sunglasses and an iPhone in the water under the waterfall. Sucks for them…
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