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Las Vegas Hikes

Ice Box Canyon Trail

  • 2.5 miles - Moderate Effort
  • 1-2 Hours (Total)
  • Expect to See Some Other Hikers
  • 570 Total Feet of Climbing
  • Max Elevation of 4,680 feet
  • Leashed Dogs Allowed

The Ice Box Canyon Trail is a favorite local hike. It's popular but less busy than Red Rock Canyon Park's big-name hikes. The scenery is stunning, with weathered limestone walls providing shade from the sun, making the hike usually much cooler than the surrounding landscape. Once inside Ice Box Canyon, there's some light scrambling as you navigate your way up to the point where the canyon walls make it impossible to continue safely. It's a fun adventure and feels different from Red Rock Canyon's other hikes.

In this Guide:
  • Video and Turn By Turn Directions
  • How to Get to the Trailhead
  • What to Watch Out For & Insider Tips

Where is Ice Box Canyon?

Red Rock Canyon Map Ice Box Canyon
Ice Box Canyon is located off the Scenic Drive through Red Rock Canyon Park, about 30-45 minutes from central Las Vegas.

Ice Box Canyon is one of the numerous hikes in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, which the Bureau of Land Management runs. The hike is reached by driving around the (one-way) Scenic Drive. You must get a timed entry for Red Rock Canyon at some points in the year, so check the Recreation.gov website before you go. You don't have to pay an entry fee if you have a National Parks Pass.

Red Rock Canyon is Nevada's first National Conservation Area.

The Ice Box Canyon hike trailhead is about 8 miles past the Red Rock Canyon visitor center, just off the scenic drive. Use this trailhead address: Ice Box Canyon Trailhead, Ice Box Canyon, Las Vegas, NV 89161

Scenic Drive Map Ice Box Canyon
The trailhead is on the second half of the Scenic Drive.
Ice House Canyon Parking
There's parking on both sides of the road, and the trail is on the right side.
Ice Box Canyon Toilet
There's a primitive toilet but no other facilities.

Gear For the Hike

You will have to do some easy scrambling on this hike, so light hiking gear or fitness clothes are a good bet. And I'd wear some good trail runners if you have them.

Gear That I Love Right Now

Nothing is sponsored or promoted, just the actual gear that I use.

Gear Inreach Mini 2
Garmin InReach Mini 2If you are out of cellphone range the Mini 2 will reliably allow you to hit SOS via satellite. You can also send non-emergency texts to just say that you're late, let friends and family follow along, and check the weather. You can see my review here.
Gear Topo Pursuit
Topo Pursuit 2The wide toe box means no blisters, an aggressive tread is great on the trail, it dries very quickly, and it has lots of cushion for long days. It combines everything I love about every other shoe into one.
Gear Epix Pro Up Ahead
Garmin Epix ProThese watches are pricey, but I use them 24/7 for sleep tracking, workouts, heart rate, and tracking my hike. It has preloaded hiking maps that help me navigate the trails and is a backup to my smartphone navigation. The Epix Pro has a great battery life, a screen similar to an Apple Watch Ultra, and works in harsh conditions when just using the buttons. See my review here.
Hikelite 26 Gear
Osprey Hikelite 26This updated version of the Hikelite 26 offers incredible value for the money. It's got a wide trampoline back, so your back doesn't get sweaty. It's under 2lbs, has deep side pockets, and is a great balance of what you need without what you don't.

Check out the complete list here. ( Updated June 2024)

Ice Box Canyon Trail Maps

Ice Box Canyon Trail Sign
You'll have trail markers like this on the first half of the hike, but once you're in the canyon, there are none. Just follow the streambed upstream.
Click Here To View

Use This Map:
View in CalTopo | PDF Map | GPX File

3D Map

Ice Box Canyon 3d Map
The hike is.a simple out-and-back. The first half of the hike follows a well-established trail. The second half is a scramble up the canyon.

Hike Brief

Ice Box Canyon Hike Snow
It's not too common, but you occasionally get snow in Ice Box Canyon. And if it's freezing, the streambed can have icy surfaces.

Ice Box Canyon Hike Directions

Ice Box Canyon Hike Directions 1
The hike starts by the Ice Box Canyon trailhead sign.
Ice Box Canyon Hike Directions 2
Head down the easy to follow trail across the flat area.
Ice Box Canyon Hike Directions 3
When you get to the wash crossing, make a quick right.
Ice Box Canyon Hike Directions 4
And look for the trail to continue across the wash.
Ice Box Canyon Hike Directions 5
There's some minor uphill but overall this first part of the hike feels flat. Also notice the trail marker that points you in the correct direction.
Ice Box Canyon Hike Directions 7
The walls of the box canyon are truly stunning as you get closer.

Ice Box Canyon Hike Weathering

The coloration on the rocks is staining from minerals that are dissolved during erosion.

Ice Box Canyon Hike Directions 8
Look down in the canyon to your left, which is always pretty lush.
Ice Box Canyon Hike Directions 9
As you approach the mouth of the canyon, the rocky trail splits. Take the upper trail to the right.
Ice Box Canyon Hike Directions 10
Hike along the rocky upper trail.
Ice Box Canyon Hike Directions 12
And then do a short descent to the stream bed.
Ice Box Canyon Hike Directions 13
At the bottom, make the right and start the second part of the hike, which follows the stream bed.
Ice Box Canyon Hike Directions 15
There's no real trail from here on out. You just follow the wash upstream.
Ice Box Canyon Hike Directions 16
When you encounter big boulders blocking the path, look for a way around, which could be a trail on either side. In general most of the bypass trails are on the left hand side of the stream bed. You shouldn't have to climb up any high boulders.
Ice Box Canyon Hike Directions 17
When you get towards the end and encounter the biggest set of boulders yet, climb up the rocks to the left.
Ice Box Canyon Hike Directions 18
After climbing up you'll be on a rock shelf along the cliff. Follow that.
Ice Box Canyon Hike Directions 19
And here you are, at the massive falls!
Ice Box Canyon Cris Hazzard
When you're done at the end, just turn around and hike back the way you came.

Need More Info?

  • Have a question about the guide or want to see what other people are saying/asking? View the Youtube comments for this video. Leave a comment and I will do my best to respond.
  • When planning, always check the park website and social media to make sure the trails are open. Similarly, check the weather and road conditions.

This Guide Was Written by Cris Hazzard

Cris Hazzard 4 Mile Trail Yosemite
Hi, I'm Cris Hazzard, aka Hiking Guy, a professional outdoors guide, hiking expert, and author based in Southern California. I created this website to share all the great hikes I do with everyone else out there. This site is different because it gives detailed directions that even the beginning hiker can follow. I also share what hiking gear works and doesn't so you don't waste money. I don't do sponsored or promoted content; I share only the gear recommendations, hikes, and tips that I would with my family and friends. If you like the website and YouTube channel, please support these free guides (I couldn't do it without folks like you!). You can stay up to date with my new guides by following me on YouTube, Instagram, or by subscribing to my monthly newsletter.