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)
DifficultyEasy
Total Ascent (?)390 feet (119m)
Highest Elevation3,850 feet (1173m)
Fees & PermitsFree
Dog FriendlyOff Leash Okay
Park ContactRed Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Park Phone702-515-5350

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.

Here’s the gear that I personally use, have tested, and recommend for this hike*.

La Sportiva Spire

La Sportiva Spire GTX

Good for light and more hardcore hikes. Feels like a sneaker but protects like a hiking boot.

Women’s Reviews

Men’s Reviews

Rei Flash 22

REI Flash 22 Pack

This is a super-light and comfortable backpack that can hold everything you need on a hike, including a hydration bladder. It also works great as a general backpack or carry-on.

See Colors & Prices

Joby On Triee

Joby Smartphone Tripod

Make your photos stand out by using this lightweight, do-anything tripod. The Joby attaches your smartphone to trees, rocks, whatever you can find on the trail. Folds down compactly too.

See the Joby Options

Don’t waster your money on hiking gear that’s no good, I’ve done that for you already! Full HikingGuy Gear List

* No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an REI link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.

Also → Big Sale at REI On Now:

REI SALE

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

Here’s what I use to navigate my hikes. I recommend a combination of paper and electronic options with backups.

Gaiagps

Gaia GPS

Gaia GPS is a planning and navigation tool that you can use on your phone, tablet, and the web. I use it on my phone when I need to interact with the map and know where my position is on it. I use it at home on the computer to plan routes. You can overlay maps such as public lands to find out free places to camp. It’s a powerful tool.

HikingGuy Discount on Gaia GPS

Fenix Nav

Garmin Fenix Watch

This thing does everything: maps, GPX tracks, compass, barometer, altitude, heart rate, blood oxygen, fitness tracking, sleep tracking, and the list goes on. I keep a GPX route on the watch so I can quickly glance down and make sure I’m in the right place.

Fenix Prices & Reviews

My In-Depth Review

Topo Map

Topo Maps & Guide Books

Don’t be caught out if your batteries die. Take a topo map with you on the trail. Some people also print my guides out for use on the hike.

I also highly recommend taking a map and compass navigation course. It’s a few hours, it’s fun, and it could save your life.

Map and Compass Navigation Basics Classes

Don’t just rely on a cell phone, especially if you are hiking in the backcountry.

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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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.