Calico Tanks Trail

2.8 Miles


Dogs (leashed)

The Calico Tanks Trail at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in Las Vegas, Nevada is a moderate 2.8-mile out-and-back hike featuring beautiful vistas and the Calico Tanks.

Trail Name:  Calico Tanks Trail.

Trailhead Location:  Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, NV.

Allowed activities: Hiking, birding.

Forbidden activities: No camping, no overnight parking, no target shooting.

Hours: Parking areas close depending on the season. Any vehicle left in a parking areas after closing or overnight may be fined if they do not have a permit. Seasons defined as:

Winter = Nov. 1 to Feb 28/29 6:00am to 5:00pm

Spring = 3/1 -3/31    6:00am to 7:00pm

Summer = 4/1 to 9/30 6:00am to 8:00pm

Fall = 10/1 – 10/31 6:00am to7:00pm

Warning: Carry plenty of water when hiking in the desert. Temperatures change quickly, winds can be gusting. Thunderstorms with lightening and flash flooding are possible in summer. Wear a hat, dress in layers, wear sunscreen.

Parking: To access the Calico Tanks trail, park at the Sandstone Quarry parking area. There is plenty of parking at this trailhead.

Fees: There is a daily fee to use the park and trails off of the Scenic drive loop. Daily passes are: $15.00 for cars and trucks, $10.00 for motorcycles, $5.00 for bicycles or walk in’s. Discounts passes are available for persons who are permanently disabled, active military and seniors. Proper documentation is required for the purchase of those special passes. For more information please follow the link below for details:


Pets: Dogs on a leash are allowed on the trails. Please carry out animal waste with you.

Accessibility: This trail has very many rock scrambles and uneven surfaces. Many of the sections are steep.

Sanitation: There are restrooms and trash bins at the Sandstone Quarry parking lot.

Trail information:  There is a kiosk with trail information at the Upper White Rock Trailhead. A copy of the trails can be downloaded or printed by following the link below:


Length and features:  This is a moderate 2.8 mile trail done as an out and back hike. The trail substrate starts out as a gravely crushed stone, and then the trail turns sandy. This part of the trail is rather easy and flat. Along the way, hikers will pass by an old abandoned Sandstone Quarry with an information placard explaining its history. Large quarried sandstone blocks have been left behind and make for fun backdrop for taking pictures. There are lots of interesting trees, plants and rock formations to see. The trail then becomes quite rocky. Footing can be tricky and care should be taken on the steps, ledges and steep slopes, especially if it has been raining.  In certain areas, Hikers may need to pull themselves up using hand holds, care should be taken when placing hands: avoiding any poisonous desert dwellers that may be resting in the crevices. At the end of the trail, at the tanks, there is a narrow ledge to traverse, not for the faint of heart. However, those who are more timid can go up and over this section of the trail and still get to the area where you can view the valley below.  There are no blaze trail markers and very few trail signs so the trail can be a bit confusing. This is a very popular trail, with many hikers on it at any given time, so it’s easy to look ahead or behind to find people on the trail and head toward them if you venture off of the path. The views are spectacular along the way. The sandstone rocks are interesting in shape, color and texture. Many plants were flowering during our hike and we saw several hummingbirds along the way. The views are amazing, especially at the tanks. The view of the valley below is incredible.

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Falling rocks or scrambles

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36.162319, -115.449939

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517 '

Total Change
675 '

681 '

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2.8 miles
Trail added
May 30, 2019
Updated on
August 16, 2019

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In Las Vegas, NV

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