The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in Clark County, Nevada, is an area handled by the Bureau of Land Management as part of its National Landscape Conservation System, and protected as a National Conservation Area. It is about 15 miles (24 km) west of Las Vegas, and is easily seen from the Las Vegas Strip. More than 2 million individuals visit the area each year.
The conservation area showcases a set of large red rock formations: a set of sandstone peaks and walls called the Keystone Thrust. The walls depend on 3,000 feet (910 m) high, making them a popular hiking and rock climbing destination. The highest point is La Madre Mountain, at 8,154 feet (2,485 m).
A one-way loop road, 13 miles (21 km) long, supplies vehicle access to many of the features in the location. A number of side roads and parking lot allow access to many of the area trails. A visitor center is at the start of the loop road.
The loop road is also popular for bicycle touring; it starts with a moderate climb, then is primarily downhill or flat.
Red Rock Canyon is a side-canyon available just by an unmaintained primitive road from the beautiful loop which mainly only off-road or high clearance vehicles can access. State Route 159 cuts through an unnamed however often-visited valley; it is commonly, but incorrectly, referred to as Red Rock Canyon. The Wilson Cliffs, or Keystone Thrust, a massive wall of rock, can be seen to the west from SR 159.
Toward the southern end of the National Conservation Area are Spring Mountain Ranch State Park; Bonnie Springs Ranch, which includes a replica of a western ghost town; and the village of Blue Diamond.
The very first people were brought in to the Red Rock area due to its resources of water, plant, and animal life that could not be easily discovered in the surrounding desert. Hunters and gatherers such as the historic Southern Paiute and the much older Archaic, or Desert Culture Native Americans, have actually successively occupied this area.
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