Red Rock Canyon, NV: Calico Tanks

Tired of the bright lights & slot machines of the Vegas Strip? Head out to Red Rock Canyon for a rewarding hike that will take your breath away (in more ways than one).
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Tired of the bright lights & slot machines of the Vegas Strip? Head out to Red Rock Canyon for a rewarding hike that will take your breath away (in more ways than one).

The hike out to the Calico Tanks is a pleasant & moderately strenuous trail up to a natural water catchment (or Tinaja), on to spectacular views all nestled behind the Calico Hills not visible from the Scenic Loop. Follow the trail as it leads you from the parking lot on gravel then to sand, then across the red rocks, to many sets of steps leading to the Tinaja where you can end this hike peacefully listening to the birds and watching the reflection of the surrounding rocks in the still water below you. For a second kicker to this hike, scramble up a very short way behind the tanks for breathtaking views of the valley below and even the Las Vegas Strip. Follow the trail back down having made sure to pay attention to where the stairs lead back down into the rocks.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 3.8

Waypoints

CTH001

Location: 36.162393, -115.450229

From Sandstone Quarry parking lot head Nth on gravel trail

CTH002

Location: 36.164976, -115.450775

Head NE @ jnctn w/ Turtlehead Peak trail

CTH003

Location: 36.165686, -115.450374

Spur NW to view ancient Agave Roasting Pit then continue on trail

CTH004

Location: 36.164936, -115.444991

Ascend stairs cut into rocks to head SE. Take note @ where you come out!

CTH005

Location: 36.164604, -115.444313

Set of steps leads E

CTH006

Location: 36.164603, -115.443986

3rd set of steps E

CTH007

Location: 36.162751, -115.441283

Steps SE

CTH008

Location: 36.161003, -115.438247

Calico Tanks. Scramble SE for views.

CTH009

Location: 36.160685, -115.437706

Spectacular views & end point. Return on same path to trailhead.

CTH010

Location: 36.162432, -115.450253

End of trail.

Trailhead

Location: 36.162426, -115.449936

Aztec Sanstone

Location: 36.165804, -115.446332

Agave Roasting Pit

Location: 36.165908, -115.450559

Stone Stairs Cut Into Rocks

Location: 36.165016, -115.444819

More Steps

Location: 36.16473, -115.443842

Desert Agave

Location: 36.16182, -115.439647

Sandstone

Location: 36.16273, -115.441096

The Calico Tank

Location: 36.161101, -115.438124

View from Tanks

Location: 36.161248, -115.438403

Calico Hills

Location: 36.160772, -115.437448

View of Strip & Calico Hills

Location: 36.160599, -115.437813

View of Tanks

Location: 36.160833, -115.437834

Stair Access for Return Trip

Location: 36.164878, -115.444765