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Exploration Peak

Find a walk to remember among these nine great hikes in your own backyard

Nature right next door

Desert Companion

Exploration Peak

Mountain’s Edge

This urban trail has a little something for everyone.

This urban trail has everything: a park with an open, grassy field next to a hill of primitive rock and dirt. In between are restrooms, play areas, winding sidewalks and covered picnic tables. Although the hillside trail is less than half a mile long, it quickly ascends 600 feet, making it a heart-pounder. And because of the natural surface and loop that winds up to the peak and back down — and around and up again, for the hardier among us — it makes a great training circuit for trail-runners. Those more into flat surfaces can hang out at the park, which has its own circular, paved walking path. The entire spot is very dog- and kid-friendly, too.  (1.2 miles, 30 minutes)

 
Treasure hunt

The top of Exploration Peak is a selfista’s dream, with 360-degree views of the Las Vegas Strip, Red Rock, Sloan Canyon and Lake Mead. A flat, circular structure ringed with a wide bench provides the perfect place to set up a tripod and strike a pose.

 

Getting there

9600 S. Buffalo Drive, at the entryway to Mountain’s Edge. Numerous bike and walking paths lead to the top. Heidi Kyser

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Arden Peak

Anthem

Tune in to broadcast views.

The views from atop Black Mountain are hard to beat, which is part of the reason the trail is so popular. But Black Mountain has a little brother next door who sold his soul to TV and radio: Arden Peak. Arden has nearly identical views of Las Vegas and Henderson, and gets only a fraction of the visitation, meaning trekkers can snatch some ever-fleeting solitude with their grandeur. And it’s a mile shorter to boot! Tip: Stay clear of the broadcast towers to avoid growing any extra limbs. (5.5 miles, 3 hours)

 
Treasure hunt

Hike this trail in the early morning to spot coyotes returning from the hunt on nearby golf courses to their dens hidden in the desert.

 
Getting there

Anthem East Trailhead, Shadow Canyon Drive near Lewiston Place. Follow the main Anthem East Trail (well marked on Google Maps) and turn right onto the “Service Road” to Arden Peak. Alan Gegax

 

Lake Las Vegas Overlook

Lake Las Vegas

Get some alone time (and taste the rainbow).

Keep the views all to yourself along this beautifully built and almost completely unused trail that climbs to a pair of peaks between Lake Las Vegas and Henderson. The trail is well-defined but poorly marked, which is part of the reason it’s managed to stay something of a local’s secret. The peaks have great views of Las Vegas and Lake Mead, and to the north, the panorama opens up with a shocking palette of colors in the aptly named Rainbow Gardens. Bring a book, relax, and soak in the views. You won’t be interrupted. (4 miles, 2 hours)


Treasure hunt

About halfway up the hillside, a trail drops to the right (north) and heads for a huge alcove created by an almost-always-dry waterfall. It makes an excellent detour, and leads to an alternate route back to the park.

 
Getting there

Take Lake Las Vegas Parkway to Terrazza Park. The trail starts west along Las Vegas Wash, crosses a bridge, then goes north into the hills. AG

 

Lone Mountain

Northeast Las Vegas

Put the “out” in your evening workout.

The perfect length for an after-work jaunt, with unobstructed views of the Vegas Valley, Lone Mountain is almost literally a backyard hike for residents of the northwest. The trail starts at Lone Mountain Park and meanders around the mountain to the west side. Then the trail gets steep. Really steep. In less than half a mile, hikers ascend 600 feet to the limestone peak with panoramic views of the Las Vegas Valley. Don’t worry, there is rest for the weary on Lone Mountain in the form of benches about halfway up. Sit for a spell before making the final push to the summit. (2 miles, 1.5 hours)

 
Treasure hunt

The limestone rocks that compose Lone Mountain are rich in fossils. Keep an eye out for fossilized corals, shells, and plants. As an added bonus, spotting a fossil is a great excuse to stop and catch your breath.

 

Getting there

Lone Mountain Park, 9825 W. Lone Mountain Road, Las Vegas AG

 

Calico Hills Trail

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Get up close and personal with our iconic landscape.

This is the prettiest place in Southern Nevada, if not on Earth — which, along with the abundance of scramble-friendly Aztec sandstone, makes it uber-popular, particularly among tourists and rock climbers. You may have to fight crowds along the most heavily trafficked sections of the trail, but the rest of the route makes it worth the wait. You can’t get any closer than this to the rare beauty of Nevada’s red-white-and-pink-striped landscape. Although this is a moderate, well-marked trail, it’s all-natural — no paving or grading here. So, make sure to take proper hiking shoes and plenty of water, and be prepared to sit for a spell as you roll up and down the path along the base of the mountain. (2-6 miles, 30 minutes-3 hours)

 
Treasure hunt

If you’re there to give rock climbing, bouldering or scrambling a try, watch where you put your fingers and toes. Scorpions, snakes and other beasties are known to slumber in the sandstone’s crevices. Also note that after a rain, climbing is prohibited until two days later, as moisture makes the rock breakable.

 
Getting there

Take Charleston Boulevard/State Route 159 west to Red Rock and turn right onto either Calico Basin Road or Scenic Loop Drive. The trail’s opposite ends, Calico Basin and Sandstone Quarry, are found respectively at the parking lot at the west end of Calico Basin Road and the second parking lot on the right side of Scenic Loop Drive. HK

 

Stonehengerson

Henderson

Embrace the mystery with a hike back in TIME Time time time …

Hike back to the Neolithic within a stone’s throw of Henderson. In the unassuming foothills of the River Mountains can be found an ever-growing number of “henges” people have built along the canyon walls and ridgelines. Lava rock monuments dot the hillsides, varying widely in size and intricacy. Who really put up these henges? It’s a mystery that will be left to future archaeologists, who will undoubtedly ascribe profound meaning and celestial alignments to the handiwork of creative Hendersonians. (3 miles, 2 hours)

 
Treasure hunt

The whole hike is a treasure hunt, but as an added bonus, keep an eye out for the bighorn sheep that frequent this area and make their beds on the shaded hillsides.

 
Getting there

Parallel park on Foothills Drive near Stirrup Drive, take the trail due east across the River Mountain Trail, cross under the power line towers and head into the canyon. AG

 

Seven Hills Trail

Anthem

A sneaker-friendly brisk walk — strollers and pooches welcome.

Like a chain connecting three stones on a necklace, the Seven Hills Trail links Allegro, Vivaldi and Sonata Parks into a gem of an outing. This urban path is paved in concrete, so it’s not ideal for running, but its wide berth and smooth surface make it popular among casual bicyclists, dog-walkers and stroller-pushers. It winds between the west-most housing developments of Anthem and the adjacent undeveloped land around the executive airport, alternating urban and wild-ish views, green spaces and xeriscaping. Truly tailored to the city hiker, Seven Hills Trail includes parking lots, restrooms, covered picnic tables and abundant pet waste bag dispenser/disposal stations. (3 miles, 1 hour)

 
Treasure hunt

Get a brisk start for the little dips and climbs between Allegro and Vivaldi, which, if taken at a decent clip, can really get the heart racing.

 
Getting there

Go south on Seven Hills Drive off St. Rose Parkway to Allegro Park, just south of Sunridge Heights Parkway, between Wolff Elementary School and Robert Realty (it’s a little hard to see the entrance from the street, but it’s there behind the office building). The trail heads south from Allegro to Vivaldi and then Sonata Parks. HK

 

Sloan Radio Tower

Southern Highlands

A free 'room' with a priceless view.

Rooms at the M Resort with views of the city come at a hefty price. Look down on those suckers for the low, low price of FREE with a cross-country hike to Sloan Radio Tower. The hike mainly follows old service roads across the desert. Hiking south, the Southern Highlands Golf Club will fade away to the left, while surprisingly active train tracks creep in on the right. The eponymous broadcast towers are visible throughout the hike. As the trail edges ever nearer the tracks, look for — and climb — the road that zigzags its way to the top of the mountain. (6 miles, 3 hours)

 
Treasure hunt

Trains! Occasional runs of lengthy freight trains provide a nice distraction during the hike, and make the hike really fun for kids who rarely see trains in action any more.

 
Getting there

Find a legal parking spot on Starr Hills Avenue near Dahlia Grove Street, then walk south on the dirt road, passing the detention basin, to get on the trail. AG

 

Bluffs Trail

Lake Mead wash

A perfect vista over man-made wetlands. Rock on!

This narrow, well-marked path winds leisurely around the edge of the Las Vegas Wash inlet to Lake Mead. From the path beginning at the Lake Mead campground, the plants and animals of this popular birding spot are plenty, so bring those fancy binoculars. The faint roar of water from the valley below is so soothing you won’t even remember the $5 park access fee.  (0.9 miles, 1 hour)

 
Treasure hunt

Rockhounds, rejoice. You’ll come across countless textbook geological formations and an amazing array of stones. 

 
Getting there

Take Lake Mead Parkway to the national recreation area to campground site 724. Brent Holmes

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Exploration Peak

Exploration Peak

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Arden Peak

Arden Peak

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Calico Hills

Calico Hills

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Seven Hills

Seven Hills

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Stonehengerson

Stonehengerson

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Lone Mountain

Lone Mountain

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Lake Las Vegas Overlook

Lake Las Vegas Overlook

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Sloan Radio Tower

Sloan Radio Tower

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Bluffs Trail

Bluffs Trail

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