Red Rock Canyon, NV: White Rock Loop

This moderate, 6.2-mile hiking (or running) trail in Red Rock Canyon winds around sandstone and limestone hills with postcard views.
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This moderate, 6.2-mile hiking (or running) trail in Red Rock Canyon winds around sandstone and limestone hills with postcard views.

Start this 6.2-mile loop early in the day to avoid the heat, and follow the old dirt road clockwise from the parking area at the end of Willow Springs (you’ll get the uphill out of the way in the first part of the hike). The old road narrows to singletrack as you approach a surprisingly dense hidden forest of ponderosa pine and junipers. You may spot bighorn sheep, lizards, and an array of birds.

The trail steadily gains elevation as it winds past geological features, sweeping views of La Madre Wilderness, and the crags and peaks of the White Rocks. The rocky, but always well-signed trail tops out around 5,400 feet before descending through sandstone hills to the White Rock parking area. Take in more amazing views of the red-striped Spring Mountains ahead of you before crossing the parking lot.

Continue southwest on the loop through fields of cholla cactus toward Lost Creek. The trail eventually parallels the road into Willow Springs. Stop to check out the ancient Paiute agave roasting pit and petroglyphs. The picnic tables next to the springs are perfect for a post-hike lunch.

-Mapped by Chelise Simmons

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 9.9

Waypoints

WRL001

Location: 36.161088, -115.498889

From trailhead walk northwest up worn dirt road.

WRL002

Location: 36.163333, -115.502524

Agave Roasting Pit

WRL003

Location: 36.165601, -115.507706

At Y-junction, bear right, heading north. Continue on dirt trail.

WRL004

Location: 36.171672, -115.505995

Turn right at 3-way junction. The path narrows and travels toward the base of the hills.

WRL005

Location: 36.183853, -115.491405

Crest the highest point on trail (5,434 feet).

WRL006

Location: 36.17531, -115.47803

Continue south on the White Rock Loop Trail, past an agave roasting pit, toward the White Rock parking lot.

WRL007

Location: 36.173331, -115.477746

From the White Rock parking area, follow signs and head west to continue on White Rock Loop on singletrack.

WRL008

Location: 36.173532, -115.478942

At junction with White Rock Springs, continue southwest on White Rock Loop.

WRL009

Location: 36.158184, -115.48834

At junction with Grand Circle Loop, continue southwest on White Rock Loop Trail.

WRL010

Location: 36.158168, -115.493601

Continue northwest at Lost Creek junction.

WRL011

Location: 36.160166, -115.497379

Pass another ancient agave roasting pit.

Wilson, Rainbow and Bridge Mountains

Location: 36.174418, -115.477912

Trailhead

Location: 36.161101, -115.498753

Rocky Gap Road Junction

Location: 36.165614, -115.507486

La Madre Springs Junction

Location: 36.171694, -115.505748

Views to the southwest

Location: 36.175591, -115.501413

Ponderosa Pine and Juniper Trees

Location: 36.180735, -115.498388

Vista

Location: 36.181636, -115.496478

Sandstone Rocks

Location: 36.183333, -115.490685

Keystone Thrust Trail Junction

Location: 36.175314, -115.477949

Trail Sign

Location: 36.173335, -115.477695

White Rock Springs Junction

Location: 36.173534, -115.478904

Grand Circle Junction

Location: 36.158199, -115.48826

Darkling Beetle

Location: 36.158182, -115.493528

Petroglyphs

Location: 36.160434, -115.498195