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A Red Rock Overview

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About A Red Rock Overview:

Welcome to Red Rock Canyon, home of some of the best sandstone climbing in the world. Whether you're here to boulder on the Monkey Bars boulder in Calico Basin, try your hand at The Gift in the Gallery, or test your mettle on Levitation 29 in Oak Creek Canyon, this climbing mecca has something for everyone. Not only is Red Rock itself a major climbing destination, but it is also a short drive from here to many other prime climbing destinations, making it an excellent stop if you're on a climbing road trip in the southwest. Three hours to the south, in California is Joshua Tree. Just a short, two and a half hour drive to the north in Utah are the amazing sandstone cliffs of Zion.

This area is a guide of the canyons for those not familiar with Red Rock.

For those looking for Guidebook Info please scroll down to the bottom of the page for more information!

Please do not add any climbs to this section!

Areas of the park: Unlike many climbing areas, Red Rocks is divided by its canyons, not walls. Each canyon has several walls and formations, but since so much untouched rock still exists, it makes more sense for it to be organized by canyon, not formation. Below is a canyon list, along with a short description of the canyon and some of the notable climbs in it. Click on any of the canyon names to go directly to that canyon.

Illusion Crags: These are the short crags on the southern outcropping of the Red Rocks area, adjacent to SR160. Several excellent rarely climbed routes can be found here.

Windy Canyon:The southern-most canyon in the park, home to a very long approach and a huge, thousand foot, south wall. Classics include Jubilant Song and Hot Fudge Thursday.

Mud Springs Canyon:Possibly the least explored canyon, many recommend doing the approach once before actually doing the climb, due to its complex nature and length. Classic of the area is Chuckawalla.

Black Velvet Canyon: The most popular trad climbing area in Red Rocks is this canyon. With giant north facing walls and dozens of long multipitches, this canyon cannot be beat. Classics include Frogland, Epinephrine, and Prince of Darkness.

First Creek Canyon: This canyon is located on the south side of Mt. Wilson and has a long, yet relatively flat approach. Classics include Lotta Balls and Black Magic.

Mount Wilson: This is the only mountain in the park that has major climbs that are not in a canyon, and for that, it gets its own section. Classics include Resoultion Arete, Inti Wantana, and Lady Wilson's Cleavage.

Oak Creek Canyon: Another mecca of long routes, this one is for the winter time. Massive south facing walls, moderate grades, and a somewhat short approach make this canyon very popular. Classics include Solar Slab, Black Orpheus, and Levitation 29.

Juniper Canyon: Located between Oak Creek and Pine Creek, it doesnt have its own pull out, but is easily accessed from either. North and East facing walls characterize this canyon. Classics include Black Dagger, Crimson Chrysalis, and Cloud Tower

Pine Creek Canyon: Oak Creeks little brother, but home to plenty of outstanding climbing as well. This place is good for both south and north facing areas. Classics include Cat in the Hat, Dark Shadows, and Straight Shooter.

Icebox Canyon: Another gem in the desert, Icebox is home to not only some amazing long routes and the Buffalo Wall, but it also has secrets as yet undeveloped. Tons of FA's to be had here. Classics include Sensous Mortician, Magenellic Cloud, and Frigid Air Buttress.

Willow Springs: While it does not boast the walls of many of the other canyons, it does make up for it in outstanding, shady trad crags. Classics include Ragged Edges, Nadia's Nine, and the Graduate.

White Rock Springs: This is sort of the Manure Pile Buttress of Red Rocks. Tons of long, easy multipitch routes with a few tough ones thrown in and a short approach make this place extremely popular. Classics include Tunnelvision, Group Therapy, and Healy's Haunted House.

Sandstone Quarry: The last of the sport climbing areas, Sandstone is also where the white rock begins and the red rock ends. Classics include the Trophy, Running Man, and Stratocaster.

Second Pullout: The highest concentration of sport routes in Red Rocks can be found here. All west facing for good morning climbing. Classics include The Great Red Book, Rebel Without a Pause, and The Gift.

First Pullout: The first pullout has some sport areas and is a good place to go if you're learning as it is home to the Panty Wall. Classics include Ultraman and Clutch Cargo.

Calico Basin: This is the area just east of the main Red Rock Canyon area. It is accessed through a road before the loop road and is free. Classics include Valentine's Day, The Fox, and Yin and Yang.

Nevada Bouldering: We've created a new region for the bouldering that is both in Red Rock and also around Nevada. Click the link above to find out more!

Entrance fee is $5.00, Annual Pass is $20. Golden Eagle Passes are accepted as well.

National Parks Passes are not accepted without the Golden Eagle upgrade

Park Hours are 6:00am- 5:00pm in the Winter, 6:00pm in the Fall and Spring, and 8:00pm in the Summer.

To apply for a Free late exit permit or bivy permit, please call (702) 515-5050. Late Exit permits are only available for loop road multipitch routes, Bivy permits are only available for Mt. Wilson, Eagle Wall, Rainbow Wall, and Buffalo Wall.

Camping: Currently, camping in Red Rocks is limited to the 13 Mile Campground just east of the park entrance. Although not entirely scenic, its relatively cheap and close to the park. Note that camping is not allowed in any of the canyons, including those outside the loop road. Bivi permits are available for climbing in the loop road. Also note that much of the so-called 'bandit camping' areas are disappearing rapidly with the onset of civilization in the Red Rock Area, so plan accordingly.

Specific Info: Camping is $10/night per site, each site has a 2 car limit. Group sites are $25/night. Group sites can be reserved by calling (702)515-5350, individuals are first come, first serve. There is a strictly enforced 14 day limit.

Hygeine: Showers are available at two nearby facilities- Red Rock Climbing Center and the Veterans Memorial Leisure Services Center (101 N Pavilion Center Dr- head north on this from Charleston, less than a mile).

There are several guidebooks available for the area, each with its strengths and weaknesses. Below you'll find a general overview of the current books available.

Red Rocks, A Climber's Guide by Jerry Handren. The latest and greatest guidebook for the area. Pros: Gorgeous to look at- full color. Incredible detail and includes a vast amount of new routes done in the last 5 years. Cons: Lack of 'R' system, some typos, and the price is a little steep. However, this book is by far the best ever published for RR!

Red Rock Canyon: A Climbing Guide by Roxanna Brock and Jared McMillan. Published in the early summer of 2005, this monster of a book has drastically increased the number of routes available to the general climbing demographic. Pros on this one include excellent overviews of climbing areas and a big jump in route count. Cons include size, price, and some major flaws in both the correct history of the area and many of the established grades on classic routes.

Rock Climbing Red Rocks by Todd Swain The "Swain" guide has become the old school guide for the area. Pros: 1500 routes, adequate topos and route descriptions. Cons: Info on adventure routes is lacking, approach and descent times are a joke, and sometimes topo/gear info is wrong, even on trade routes.

Red Rock Supertopo by Greg Barnes: The Supertopo is, as usual, a vastly superior guidebook for the major routes of the area. Pros: Interesting history, great topos, rack info. Cons: Limited number of routes, expensive.

The Red Rocks of Southern Nevada by Joanne Urioste The Urioste guide is the original guide to Red Rocks and is sometimes the only guide with any information about obscure, yet classic routes. Pros: Lots of obscure routes, good pictures, for the adventurer. Cons: Out of date, only has multipitch trad routes for the most part.

The Red Rocks of Southern Nevada Supplement by Joanne Urioste In 2003, Joanne released this nifty little addition to her old guide. With updated route information and a bunch of new adventure routes, this is a must have for anyone looking for some fresh, out of the way stuff. Pros: Great topos/pictures, new routes. Cons: Expensive, only a dozen or so routes.

A Red Rock Odyssey by Larry D'Angelo and Bill Thiry Although not exactly a guidebook, this book is a must have for anyone who is interested in the rich history of this amazing area. The book includes classic routes of historical interest that were put up by the pioneers of Red Rock climbing. Each climb includes an in-depth history, topo, pictures, and a trip report from the present day.

Red Rocks Sport Climbing by Jared McMillan and Red Rocks Bouldering This pair of books was recently released locally by the boys at Desert Rock Sports. These guides are nice because they include some new areas, and in the boulderers case, include the only paper topos out there for Red Rocks. Pros: Sport/Bouldering Specific. Cons: Reviews have been mixed on quality.

Gear Shops

Desert Rock Sports: Under new management, this long time locals shop is located a few doors west of its old location- but still in the same shopping center. It sports probably the best gear selection, but has trimmed down the rest of its stock for a more streamlined appearance.

Sports Chalet: Two locations in town. The closest to Red Rocks is also on Charleston, just before you reach Desert Rock Sports on the south side of the street. The other location is on the east side of town I-93/95 and Sunset Road, in the same plaza as Best Buy.

Dicks: Although it does not carry any gear, it does sport a 70' indoor wall that may amuse you slightly. Be careful though, bad belayers run rampant there....

REI: The newest store in town, located on the I-215 and Green Valley Parkway (Henderson) in the Green Valley Ranch's The District.

Climbing Gyms

Red Rock Climbing Center: Formerly Powerhouse Climbing Gym, it has been completely revamped and is supposedly quite the excellent gym these days. Same building, better scene. Located on Charleston and Cimmarron, about 10 minutes east on Charleston from Red Rocks.

Nevada Climbing Centers: The beginners and intermediate climbers gym. This gym has a large lead cave as well as 30+ TR stations and a large bouldering area (possibly still under construction). This gym is much larger than Powerhouse and beginners may feel more at ease here. This gym is located on the east side of town near Sunset and Eastern.

Nearest town or city: Las Vegas
Directions: Red Rock Canyon is located approximately 10 minutes west of I-215 on Charleston Ave (SR 159) in Las Vegas, NV.

The loop road is a 13 mile one way loop road that starts with the sport climbing and curves around to the multipitch trad. Approaches are long, so bring lots of water and be prepared.

The Calico Basin turnoff is approximately 2 miles before the loop road entrance.

Latitude, Longitude: 36.13240, -115.42350
Access Issues:
Camping: Pay
When to Climb: Summer
Quantity of Climbs: Lifetime

Topo Images

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Most Recent Photos (See all 126 photos)

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Forum Discussions (See all 63 posts )

  Subject Author Replies Last Post
No Replies gear at Solar Slab in Red Rocks? gaiawonder 0 Nov 21 2006, 7:37 PM
With Replies a Red Rocks climb for young beginner phylp 4 Mar 29 2006, 3:24 PM
With Replies Las Vegas Climbers Liasion Council Open Meeting! vegastradguy 1 Jan 17 2006, 3:01 PM
No Replies The Fourth HERA Climb for Life Las Vegas! j_ung 0 Jan 11 2006, 2:57 PM
With Replies Anyone going to Red Rocks 1/20/06? ubotch 4 Jan 11 2006, 9:01 PM
With Replies Theft at Red Rocks ubotch 9 Jan 06 2006, 7:39 PM
With Replies Brock/McMillen Guidebook for Red Rocks or Supertopo? *thriller* 20 Dec 21 2005, 4:56 PM
With Replies Red Rocks: Sunny Winter Routes lucander 3 Nov 16 2005, 2:23 PM
With Replies Where to climb near Las Vegas burseypoo 2 Oct 16 2005, 12:59 AM
With Replies Red Rocks Multi Pitch Sport whiskeybullets 10 Sep 22 2005, 11:45 PM
With Replies Red Rocks Guide Book... lugor 5 Oct 26 2010, 7:18 AM
With Replies Red Rock need a little general beta... joshy8200 11 Sep 01 2005, 4:50 AM
With Replies Suncoast Hotel in Vegas - Opinions ckirkwood9 13 Nov 15 2005, 12:00 AM
With Replies Red Rocks: Screwed if it rains? runningclimber 12 May 09 2005, 2:03 AM
With Replies Sleeping in a parking lot in Las Vegas aikibujin 23 Apr 11 2005, 10:55 PM