Hike First Creek Canyon Trail
|In This Guide|
|Distance||2.1 miles (3.4 km)|
|Time||1 Hour (Total Time)|
|Total Climbing||220 feet (67m)|
|Highest Elevation||3,850 feet (1173m)|
|Dog Friendly||Off Leash Okay|
|Park||Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area|
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. I’d recommend:
- Trail running shoes or sturdy sneakers
- Fitness clothes (appropriate for the season)
- Some water, ideally in a hydration daypack
- A camera
There’s poor cell phone reception in the park, you you might want to take an emergency beacon if you have one.
If you want hiking gear recommendations, check out my full gear list. I only recommend and review gear that I actually use. No company pays me to push their product. Everything on my gear list is battle tested on the trails, and should work well for you too.
See The Gear I Use
Insider Tips For the Hike
- Keep your eyes open for the desert tortoise and wild burros, which are pretty tough to spot. Easier to spot are desert hares and ground squirrels. First Creek is a water source for many animals so you have a decent chance to spot something.
- The waterfall is often dry, but it’s still impressive.
- The pool at the bottom of the waterfall is a popular spot to see wildlife. It’s also a nice swimming hole.
- First Creek Canyon Trail is a popular dog walking hike with the locals. Keep your eyes open for dog poop, coyote poop, burro poop, well, let’s just say poop.
- Stay on the main (large) trail. There are some small burro trails that crisscross the main trail.
- You can continue past the waterfall if you want to lengthen the hike. The trail splits apart and reforms many times, with two options, one down by the creek, and one on the ridge above. You might see some rock climbers heading to the cliff walls farther down. The trail gets more primitive as you continue.
First Creek Canyon Trail Maps
I highly recommend bringing some form of paper map with you, and then using it in conjunction with a GPS device. You can see the navigation gear that I use here (I’m currently using the Fenix 5x and love it). Just download the GPX file below and load it onto your GPS.
Download the Hike GPX File
View a Printable PDF Hike Map
First Creek Canyon Trail Directions
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Turn By Turn Hike Directions
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.
You can help other hikers. If you do this hike and something has changed, snap a few photos and email me the details. I’ll update the guide so that others can do the hike safely.
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