How many acres are in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (RRCNCA)?

200,069.571795 acres or 312.61 square miles.

How high are the peaks?

Mt. Wilson 7,070 feet (highest point on the escarpment), Bridge Mt. 6,761 feet, Rainbow Mt. 6,843 feet, La Madra Mt. 8,154 feet

What is the elevation at the Visitor Center? What’s the highest point on the loop?

Visitor Center-3,720 feet or Highest point-4,771 feet

When was the scenic drive constructed?

The first part of the loop to Willow Spring was paved in 1971 the remainder was completed in 1974.

When did Red Rock first start collecting fees?

The first year fees were collected was in 1997.

What were the opening dates of the new Visitor Center and outdoor exhibit plaza?

The new visitor center was opened in phases with the visitor arrival structure opening in October 2009 and the outdoor exhibit area opening in April 2010. The first visitor center was opened in May 1982. Who were the architect and builder of the new visitor center? The construction company that built the visitor center was Straub. The architect was Line and Space, LLC (Lee Wallach). The interpretive designer was Hilferty and Associates and I Zone, and the exhibits were installed by H.B.Stubbs. Is the building LEED certified? The building has received a certification rating of Gold.

What is LEED?

It stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a green building rating system developed by the US Green Building Council to provide a nationally recognized answer to the question , “What is a green building?”

What is the capacity of the solar panels?

The Photo-voltaic system is a 60 Kilowatt system. It provides a maximum of 20% of the power needs of the buildings and outdoor exhibit areas.

What source is used for the heating and cooling of the building?

The mechanical system/HVAC system uses a natural ventilation system. Energy recovery units use the air from outside instead of AC when outdoor conditions are favorable.

What is the large tank between the visitor center and the admin building?

It is a water holding tank for the visitor center comp/Pox. The photo-voltaic panel on the tank is used to heat water in the admin building.

What are some of the energy saving features of the visitor center?

Lower electrical use components: Transpired Solar Wall, Sun heats the metal. Heat is used to heat bathrooms in winter months, Reduces requirement for energy use during winter months, Cooling is achieved by use of exhaust fan, Outdoor lighting utilizes solar cells and timers (lights come on when sun goes down and turn off automatically after 2 hours), Large overhangs shade the building reducing the need for AC, and Bulk of exhibits are exterior exhibits Eliminates the need for interior square footage and the energy required to heat and cool them. Daylight spaces, use of windows require less electricity to light interior spaces, walls are white to reflect light, Indoor lighting utilizes occupancy sensors (lights turn off automatically when no movement). Water saving features: Low water use fixtures in lavatories, Waterless urinals, Dual flushometer toilets (Up uses 1 gal/on and Down uses 1.6 gallon use), Spring actuated lavatory faucets. Water harvesting: 3 water tanks collect rain runoff from the roof of the visitor center, 15,000 gallon capacity (estimate of 2 inches of rain per year), slot in new VC overhang allows rainwater to be captured and used for landscaping along entry pathway.

Where can I get food and gas?

Restaurants, gas, and a grocery store are on Highway 159 5 miles east of the visitor center.

Where can we have a picnic?

There are picnic tables, grills (when fire restrictions are not in effect), and pit toilets at Willow Spring, Dedication Overlook (no grills) and Red Spring, Red Spring has a reserved picnic site for $40.00 (with permit). Picnic tables and flush toilets are available at the visitor center or Spring Mountain Ranch. Spring Mt. Ranch is a state park and a day-use fee is charged.

Where can we camp?

The campground is off highway 159 on Moen kopi Road it is called Red Rock Campground. It has 71 campsites with water, pit-toilets, and fire rings. Reservations are taken for group sites only with a fee of $40.00 per night, individual sites available on a first-come first-served basis for $15.00 per night. There are camp host on site.

Who needs permits?

Groups of 15 people or more may need to get a special use permit to utilize picnic or other developed areas. Commercial use of any sort requires a commercial use permit. Contact an Outdoor Recreation Planner for more information.


Is the water safe to drink?

Drinking the spring or creek water is not recommended , The water is not tested and could contain parasites. Only the visitor center water and campground water is safe to drink.

Does it snow here?

During the winter months there is usually snow on the escarpment. Sometimes there will be snow at the Visitor Center, but it melts quickly. Temporary closures on the Scenic Drive may occur due to ice & snow.

Where is the waterfall?

Waterfalls at Red Rock Canyon are seasonal. The easiest waterfall to see and reach is at Lost Creek. Waterfalls can be seen, seasonally, in several other canyons of the area

Are there pools in the area?

There are natural pools or tinajas (ta-na-haas) in the Calico Hills and on top of the escarpment.

Where can we find running water/springs?

There are usually running streams, depending on the season and the climatic conditions, in Pine Creek, Ice Box, Oak Creek, Lost Creek, and First Creek. Springs can be found at La Madre, White Rock, and Willow Spring. We do not encourage swimming, wading, or bathing in water to keep it healthy for native wildlife.


Where can I drive my 4×4?

Unlicensed travel is prohibited within the RRCNCA. The Rocky Gap Road (Old Pahrump Road, Red Rock Summit Road) is open and in very bad shape 4×4 at your own risk. It is not maintained. Hiking, mountain bikes and horses are allowed on the road . The Cottonwood Valley Road from SR 160 to Goodspring (10 miles very rough) is also available.

How do we get to Mt. Charleston from here?

To reach Mt. Charleston from RRCNCA, take SR 159 to the 215 beltway, north to U.S. 95, north to SR 156 for Kyle Canyon (4 miles) or SR 157 for Lee Canyon (17 miles).

Where can I go hiking?

The Keystone Visitors Guide is available at the information ‘ip.sk. The “hiking guide” is in the back two pages of the Keystone.


Where can I go climbing?

Several climbing guides are available to view at the information desk. Climbing on or over cultural sites (petroglyphs, pictographs, etc.) is prohibited.

Where did the sheep in the classroom come from?

The sheep are road kills from the Lake Mead area.

Why are the rocks red?

Iron oxide (rust) colors the rocks. The black is “desert varnish” composed of manganese and other oxides.

What kind of animals are there and where can they be found?

Red Rock Canyon supports a diversity of animal life; it would be difficult to list them all. Desert Big Horn Sheep, mule deer, coyotes, snakes, lizards, foxes, ground squirrels, and birds are found in the area. Most of the animals at Red Rock Canyon are secretive and can only be seen with a lot of patience and luck. The best time to look for wildlife is early in the morning or at dusk. The best places are White Rock Spring, La Madre Spring, and Pine Creek Canyon. We also have wild horses and Burros.

Where can we see burros and wild horses?

You can sometimes see burros near the Bonnie Springs, Spring Mountain Ranch entrances and the town of Blue Diamond. These animals can be dangerous; many visitors are injured each year. Do not feed them! Wild horses might be seen at the extreme southern end of the conservation area.

What is Red Spring?

Red Spring is an unusual spring fed meadow in the desert. There are covered picnic tables, pit toilets, barbecue grills, and an accessible boardwalk.

What is Spring Mountain Ranch?

Spring Mountain Ranch is a Nevada State Park. It is a historical area, comprised of 520 acres, pastures and old buildings. Picnic tables, flush toilets and barbecue grills are available, A day use fee is charged at the park, Horseback riding is adjacent to the ranch.

What is Bonnie Springs/Old Nevada?

Bonnie Springs is a restaurant and lounge, Old Nevada is a replica of a western town with gift shops, restaurant and lounge. A petting zoo and motel are also at the complex. Click the link to be redirected to their website.

Cultural Resources:

What is the foundation in Pine Creek?

The Wilson homestead was 80 acres in Pine Creek in the early 20’s, The property was purchased by Mr. Hunt with the other owners following, The house was vandalized and destroyed in the late 50’s and the early 60’s.

Where can we see archaeological and rock art?

There were roasting pits at Willow Spring, They are large, circular piles of fire-broken limestone that Paiute Indians used for roasting game, agave, and other foods, Petroglyphs (Indian rock art pecked into the rock) can be seen on the rocks above the Red Spring meadow. Petroglyphs and pictographs (Indian rock art painted on the surface) can be seen on the rock face to the east of Willow Spring picnic area.

Where did the Petroglyphs in the exhibit come from?

In 1999 local Las Vegas residents turned in these panels which were illegally taken from the southern end of the conservation area. Since their exact location is unknown their archaeological usefulness has been compromised. Federal laws protect all prehistoric and historic cultural resources. Collecting or defacing of artifacts is not allowed.