Las Vegas, NV: Oak Creek Loop

This crowd-free, 4.2-mile hike in Red Rock Canyon features five-star views of the Sandstone Bluffs. You may even spot a flock of the area's resident bighorn sheep.
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This crowd-free, 4.2-mile hike in Red Rock Canyon features five-star views of the Sandstone Bluffs. You may even spot a flock of the area's resident bighorn sheep.

You’ll encounter Joshua trees, bighorn sheep, and jackrabbits on the 4.2-mile Oak Creek Loop in Red Rock Canyon. From the trailhead, head west into the cactus-studded desert on an old Jeep trail (keep an eye out for wild burros along the way). At .8 mile, fork left to start the clockwise loop and begin a gradual climb for about a mile.
After 1.7 miles, bear left at the junction and descend into a canyon with lush vegetation and great views of the mountains. Less than half a mile later, fork right at the junction and enjoy a spectacular view of Rainbow Mountain to the northwest. Keep an eye out for climbers ascending popular routes like Crimson Chrysalis, Solar Slab, and Slab Gully.
At mile 2.3, the route crosses Oak Creek (look for colorful rocks and boulders around the creekbed), then re-crosses it 0.2 mile later. As the trail winds to the south, look northward for a view of Red Rock Canyon’s Calico Hills. Complete the loop at mile 3.4 and turn left for the brief stretch back to the trailhead.
-Mapped by Dave Miller

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 6.7

Waypoints

OCL001

Location: 36.089893, -115.449164

Pass through the marked trailhead gate and turn right onto the wide jeep trail. There is no water at the trailhead, but it is seasonally available in Oak Creek.

OCL002

Location: 36.08965, -115.451202

Continue straight at the intersection with an old Jeep trail.

OCL003

Location: 36.089823, -115.452104

At the entrance to the Oak Creek Trail system, follow the old Jeep trail into the desert. A variety of cactus and desert shrubs dot the landscape.

OCL004

Location: 36.094886, -115.459657

At mile 0.8, bear left at the Y-junction. Look for Mt. Wilson, Rainbow Mountain, and Bridge Mountain.

OCL005

Location: 36.096681, -115.473808

At mile 1.7, bear left at the junction and begin the descent into the canyon.

OCL006

Location: 36.099724, -115.477145

At mile 2, bear right at the junction. Watch for climbers scaling routes on Rainbow Mountain to the northwest.

OCL007

Location: 36.101761, -115.473497

Cross Oak Creek.

OCL008

Location: 36.102086, -115.470133

The trail re-crosses Oak Creek and begins heading southeast.

OCL009

Location: 36.100088, -115.468047

At mile 2.8, bear left at the junction. Continue east; look for Red Rock Canyon's Calico Hills to the north.

OCL010

Location: 36.097049, -115.460585

The wash trail turns into Jeep trail.

OCL011

Location: 36.095294, -115.459684

Cross the road, then turn left at the trail junction. Re-trace the 0.8-mile route back to the trailhead.

Buckhorn Cholla

Location: 36.089581, -115.450301

Joshua Tree and Cactus

Location: 36.093083, -115.457768

Rainbow Mountain

Location: 36.095337, -115.460343

Rainbow Mountain

Location: 36.097383, -115.475407

Rainbow Mountain

Location: 36.098458, -115.476362

Rainbow Mountain

Location: 36.098978, -115.462983

Desert Landscape

Location: 36.102164, -115.471882

Oak Creek

Location: 36.101783, -115.473406

Oak Creek

Location: 36.102103, -115.470015