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5 Best Places to Hike with Your Dog in Las Vegas

Las Vegas is known for its partying, gambling, glitzy hotels, famous shows, and 5 star restaurants.  But drive just minutes from the strip and all the lights and you will find yourself surrounded in the natural beauty of the Mojave Desert.  Las Vegas is also very dog-friendly.  So, if you brought your lucky pooch along and are looking to explore another side of Las Vegas, check out our list below of the 5 Best Places to Hike with Your Dog in Las Vegas.  Not so into hiking?  These parks also have some great picnic areas that offer amazing views of the natural surroundings.  

1.  Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Our top dog-friendly hike: First Creek Canyon Trail

Red Rock Canyon is, by far, our favorite place in Las Vegas.  The rock climbing and hiking is out of this world and the scenic drive is lovely if you want to stay in the comfort of your air-conditioned car.  You will often see people running or biking the scenic route, but there are plenty of mountain biking and trail running options, too, if that's more your style.  We are still in awe that a place this majestic is located just on the edge of the city.

Often in the desert, hiking trails can all start to look the same which becomes boring real quick.  This is certainly not the case for Red Rock Canyon.  Head to Calico Basin for candy-cane like swirls, Sandstone Quarry to walk in sandy washes, and Ice Box Canyon to scramble over rocks while making your way through a cool, narrow canyon to a hidden waterfall. 

While there are oodles of amazing hikes in Red Rock Canyon, we think First Creek Canyon Trail is perfect for hiking with dogs.  This trail actually starts outside of the scenic route which means you don't have to pay an entrance fee.  The reason we love this hike for dogs is because it is a flat and fairly easy hike with a nice landscape and some cool pools for playing around in.  You can hike as far back into the canyon as you want, but the hiking does get more advanced at that point.  Hike this trail in the spring for maximum waterflow and look for the small waterfall about a mile in.

Check out our page on Red Rock Canyon for park and trail information.
dogs hiking at red rock canyon, las vegas Abby and Emma hiking First Creek Trail at Red Rock Canyon. wild burro at red rock canyon A wild burro keeping a close eye on us.
Atomic Bear Paracord Bracelet (2 Pack) -…By The Atomic Bear… $9.99$14.99 OlarHike Hydration Backpack Pack with 2L…By OlarHike $24.99 LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for Hiking,…By LifeStraw (Jul 19, 2018) $17.47 Ads by Amazon  2.  Mt. Charleston
Our top dog-friendly hike: Mary Jane Falls

Mt Charleston has it all! Yellow and red aspens in the fall, snowboarding and skiing in the winter, waterfalls in the spring, and it's the best place near Las Vegas to rock climb, hike, and camp in the summer (summer temperatures here are about 20-30 degrees lower than the valley). It's roughly an hour drive to get to Mt Charleston from Las Vegas, but it's well worth it. As soon as you open your car door, your senses are flooded with crisp cool air that smells of ponderosa pine trees. The views don't disappoint either.

There is no shortage of hiking here. One of our favorite hikes is the short but strenuous trail to Mary Jane Falls. This 1.72 mile trek (one-way) is filled with switchbacks that gain over 1,100 feet in elevation. It's worth the effort for the magnificent views at the end of the trail and, of course, the waterfall. Hike this trail in the spring when Mary Jane Falls is at it's best from the snowmelt. The trails on Mt Charleston generally contain a lot of sharp rocks that can be rough on a little pup's feet. Dog booties are recommended for sensitive paws.

Check out our page on Mt Charleston for park and trail information.
dog hiking at mt charleston, nevada Relaxing under some young aspen trees at Mt Charleston dog hiking at mt charleston, nevada Abby hiking at Mt Charleston. dog hiking mt charleston, nevada Near the end of the Mary Jane Falls Trail
PoyPet No Pull Dog Harness, No Choke…By PoyPet $21.99 Good Dog Socks (Never Hike Alone)By Primitives by Kathy… $11.97 Weatherbeeta Parka 1200D Deluxe…By WeatherBeeta $41.44 Ads by Amazon  3.  Valley of Fire State Park
Our top dog-friendly hike:  White Domes Loop
Bonus hike: The Fire Wave

Valley of Fire State Park, also about an hour from downtown Las Vegas and also well worth the drive, is a must-do.  This impressive landscape is riddled with red Aztec sandstone and tan limestone.  Keep an eye out for petrified wood and petroglyphs that are found throughout the park.  If you follow the main road from west to east, it will spit you out fairly close to the north end of Lake Mead.

There are a mixture of long and short trails at Valley of Fire for you to enjoy depending on the activity level of you and your dog.  Since Emma is a bit older, we stuck to the shorter trails.  There are several short trails ranging from 0.3 miles to 2.5 miles.  They all have distinctive features and are highly recommended.  

White Domes Loop at the very end of White Domes Road is a beautiful hike that meanders through magical desert vistas, caves, and a slot canyon.  It is an easy hike at 1 mile but not lacking in awesome views.  We've done this hike at sunset before, and it was absolutely breathtaking.  There is even a historic movie site where a 1960s western was filmed.

The Fire Wave starts across from parking lot #3 off White Domes Road.  This is an easy hike about 1.5 miles roundtrip.  The red and tan layers of these rocks swirl around like the top of a soft-serve ice cream.  You can explore the rocks freely once you reach them as there is no longer a marked trail. 

Check out our page on Valley of Fire for park and trail information.
dog hiking slot canyon white domes loop Emma and Dad hiking into the slot canyon on White Domes Loop. dog-friendly hike fire wave Layered rocks at the Fire Wave
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Our top dog-friendly hike: Historic Railroad Trail

Lake Mead is a beautiful place to hike, boat, and camp with your dog. The contrast of the bright blue water against the red and tan rocks is breathtaking. Hiking is pleasant here in the spring, fall, and winter. Summer temperatures get well into the 100's, so if you come at this time, make sure that you and your pooches spend plenty of time in the cool water. Coyotes are also present in this park, so keep a close eye on your smaller pups. 

Hiking trails are few and far between in this area, but one of our favorites is the Historic Railroad Trail. The trailhead begins near the Visitors Center and the fairly flat trail meanders 3.76 miles (one-way) through 5 old railway tunnels and makes its way all the way to the Hoover Dam. The shady tunnels provide a nice respite from the blazing sun and soaring temps making this one of our favorite hikes for warmer days.

Check out our page on Lake Mead for park and trail information.
hiking historic railroad trail lake mead A view of Lake Mead from Historic Railroad Trail Standing Boat Elevated Folding Pet Bath Tub…By Red Seven… $99.99 Great Day LP500 Pet Platform…By Great Day $148.00 GOOTRADES Artificial Mini Resin Boats…By GOOTRADES $6.85 Ads by Amazon  5. Spring Mountain Ranch State Park
Our top dog-friendly hike: Sandstone Canyon Loop

Coming from the Strip, Spring Mountain Ranch State Park is just past Red Rock Canyon Scenic Route.  It is a smaller park, but a great place for a picnic with views of Red Rock in the background.  Spring Mountain Ranch State Park is a perfect place to spend a Saturday afternoon with the whole family. There is a large grassy field perfect for lawn games and lined with BBQs.  You can also take a tour of the ranch house.  They often host special events such as archery target shooting programs, full moon night hikes, and stargazing programs.  Check the website for event details.  

For a dog-friendly hike, we recommend walking around lovely Lake Harriet and hopping on the Sandstone Canyon Loop.  It is an easy 1.2 mile hike through some nice desert foliage.  Once you loop back around, head back to the main area by walking past the opposite shore of the lake.  When we did the hike, swimming in the lake was prohibited so keep a close eye on your pups.  There are also some pretty spiky cacti very close to the trail; we recommend wearing pants.

Check out our page on Spring Mountain Ranch State Park for park and trail information. dog looking at lake harriet, spring mountain ranch state park Abby looking out at Lake Harriet at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park. So next time you are in Las Vegas, skip the blackjack table and head to one of these parks to take advantage of some of that year-round sunshine; your fur-baby will thank you!

Shared by Richard Emanuele of Team Emanuele Real Estate at SVRE
702-506-4090 /
"When You Choose to Hire Team Emanuele, Expect Excellence"

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Phone: 702-506-4090
Dated: January 8th 2020
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About Richard: Richard Emanuele is a top Producing Real Estate agent who holds distinguished designations such as: ...

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