Hike First Creek Canyon Trail

Hike First Creek Canyon Trail

In This Guide
  • How to Find the Hidden Waterfall
  • Turn by Turn Hike Directions & Video
  • Parking Info & Directions
  • Other Fun Hikes in Red Rock Canyon
Distance2.1 miles (3.4 km)
Hike Time1 Hour (Total)
Difficulty (?)Easy
Total Ascent (?)390 feet (119m)
Highest Elevation3,850 feet (1173m)
Fees & PermitsFree
Dog FriendlyLeashed
Park WebsiteRed Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Park Phone702-515-5350
Stay In Touch - - -

The First Creek Canyon Trail hike brings you up along First Creek, through heavily vegetated Mojave Desert scrub, with striking cliffs as a backdrop, and offers a side trip to a hidden waterfall and plunge pool. I often recommend this hike for those looking for a pleasant hike that doesn’t involve too much effort. The First Creek Canyon Trail hike is in Red Rock Canyon park, but outside of the fee area and 13-mile loop drive, so it’s free and easy to get to.

How to Get To First Creek Canyon Trail

The trailhead address is: First Creek Trailhead, Las Vegas, NV, 89161, USA. It’s about a 35 minute drive from the Las Vegas strip.

Parking is free and the lot is large. Overflow parking is along the road.

There are no bathrooms at the trailhead or on the hike, but you can drive a few miles down the road to the Red Rock Visitor’s Center for bathrooms and refreshments.

What You Need For the Hike

This is a pretty easy hike, and you don’t really need any special hiking gear for it, fitness gear will do the trick. It can get hot in the summer, bring plenty of water either way.

There’s poor cell phone reception in the park, you you might want to take an emergency beacon if you have one.

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La Sportiva Spire

The La Sportiva Spire boots feel like comfortable sneakers but offer the protection of hiking boots. They’re great on everything from short hikes to longer hikes of 10+ miles. You don’t want to skimp on your feet.
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Opsrey Stratos 24

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Garmin Inreach Mini Beacon

If you’re not familiar with the Garmin InReach technology, it allows you to send and receive text messages where you don’t have cell phone signals. You can also get weather reports and trigger an SOS to emergency responders. Even if you don’t have an emergency, sending a quick message telling a loved one that you’re okay or are running late is well worth the cost. The Mini fits in your palm and weighs next to nothing. Read my review and see the lowest prices and reviews at REI.

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Insider Tips For the Hike

Burros Sign Red Rocks
It’s exciting to see burros, but be respectful and keep your distance. Photo by Stan Shebs.

First Creek Canyon Trail Maps

Click To View Map

Hike First Creek Canyon Trail Map Downloads

Download the Hike GPX File

View a Printable PDF Hike Map

Fenix 6 Pro

I’m a big fan of GPS watches to follow my GPX track (which I also use as a sleep, wellness, and fitness tracker) and my current watch is the Fenix 6 Pro Solar (full review here). I load my GPX tracks onto the watch to make sure I’m in the right place, and if not, the onboard topo maps allow me to navigate on the fly. It’s pricey but it has a great battery, accurate GPS, and tons of functionality. If you want something similar without the maps and big price tag, check out the Garmin Instinct which is a great buy and does a lot of the same things.

Hike First Creek Canyon Trail 3d map
The First Creek Canyon trail follows First Creek to the south. It’s pretty straightforward, although the trail often splits and reforms.

First Creek Canyon Trail Directions

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Video Directions

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Turn By Turn Hike Directions

First Creek Canyon Trailhead
The trailhead is easy to see from the road, and there is plenty of parking.
First Creek Canyon Trailhead
Go through the burro gate to start the hike.
First Creek Canyon trail
A coyote was nice enough to poop by this cairn. There was a lot of poop on the beginning of this hike.
First Creek Canyon trail
The trail is well marked, wide, and easy to follow. Enjoy the mountains and Mojave desert scrub as you hike.
First Creek Canyon trail
At about 0.5 miles in, you’ll hit a trail junction. Go straight through.
First Creek Canyon trail
Keep your eyes open for wildlife. I saw a lot of desert hares and lizards, but nothing more exotic this time.
First Creek Canyon trail
Okay, this is where you have to pay attention. At about 1 mile in, the trail forks. Hike to the right. You’ll also see the first tall(ish) tree on the hike in the distance. This is where you’re heading.
First Creek Canyon trail
When you get to that tree, make the hard right onto the smaller trail.
First Creek Canyon trail
Head toward the trees and canyon.
First Creek Canyon trail
The trail twists left, following canyon.
First Creek Canyon trail
Keep your eyes open to the right. You’ll see a steep path down to the plunge pool. If you want to check it out, make the side trip here. It can get slippery on the rocks down there, and in the winter there can be ice, so heads up. Otherwise continue.
First Creek Canyon trail
The canyon will be to your right. You’ll see tree tops sticking up above the canyon wall to your trail level.
First Creek Canyon trail
Head to the edge and you’ll see the falls. No water today.
First Creek Canyon trail
Continue on the cliff and you’ll see the pool below.

From here, you just head back the way you came. However, you can continue on the trail to make this a 3 mile round trip. The following pictures are from farther down the trail. Also note that as the trail continues, it splits and comes back together often. Unless you direction veers drastically away from the path of the creek, you’re probably fine.

First Creek Canyon trail
If you take a path along the creek, you might see some more water.
First Creek Canyon trail
The trail gets steeper as it climbs up toward the canyon. It’s still pretty easy to follow.
First Creek Canyon trail
The trail peters out as you get closer to the canyon. There are trails that continue, but they’re much more primitive.
First Creek Canyon trail
Once you’ve had your fill, just turn around and head back the way you came.

Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.

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