Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to Common Questions

Please click below on any of our common questions to see the answers. If you have further questions, you can always call us at (702) 515-5350.


How do I get to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area?

Red Rock Canyon is located about 25 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip. From the Strip and Downtown Las Vegas, the Conservation Area can be approached from Charleston Boulevard, which will turn into SR 159. Or from the south, take Blue Diamond Rd/SR 160 west to the Junction with Route 159. Follow SR 159 until you see the entrance signs.

Is there public transportation to Red Rock Canyon?

Unfortunately there are no public transportation services that can take you from Las Vegas to Red Rock Canyon. Most visitors drive their own vehicles or rent a vehicle to enjoy Red Rock Canyon.

Alternatively, you can take a guided outfitting tour that will pick you up from your hotel, drive you around Red Rock Canyon, and bring you back to your hotel. To see a list of companies that provide this tour, look under “Guided Commercial Tours” on this link.

Taxis and ride-sharing companies can also take visitors to and from Red Rock Canyon. However, there is no cell phone service within Red Rock Canyon so you will want to schedule your pick-up time and location prior to being dropped off.

What does Red Rock Canyon have to offer a visitor?

Red Rock Canyon features a one-way 13-mile scenic drive, a Visitor Center which offers information and interpretation about recreation opportunities, wildlife, vegetation, geology, and cultural resources, a selection of outdoor picnic areas, a wide variety of hiking trails, and much more.

Inside our Visitor Center you can find a book and gift store operated by the Red Rock Canyon Interpretive Association, a non-profit organization with the mission of researching and sharing interpretive information about RRCNCA and assisting the BLM with endeavors related to interpretation.

When is the Conservation Area open?

The actual opening and closing times of the scenic drive change with the seasons. For actual opening and closing times please scroll to the bottom of this webpage or call 702-515-5350.  The Visitor Center/Book and Gift Store opens at 8:00am and closes at 4:30pm. The Visitor Center and Book and Gift Store are generally open except on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.  

What is a Conservation Area?

A Conservation Area is an area of federal public land set aside

“In order to conserve, protect and enhance [the area] for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations …..”

In 1990, special legislation supported by the Nevada congressional delegation, declared the Red Rock Canyon area of southern Nevada to be a National Conservation Area [NCA], the seventh to be designated nationally. As stated in its enabling legislation:

“In order to conserve, protect and enhance for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations the area in southern Nevada containing and surrounding the Red Rock Canyon and the unique and nationally important geologic, archeological, ecological, cultural, scenic, scientific, wildlife, riparian, wilderness, endangered species and recreation resources of the public lands therein contained, there is established the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.”

What does conserve, protect and enhance mean to me?

To conserve, protect and enhance includes the following guidelines:

Keep wildlife wild – Feeding any wildlife is prohibited. It is not in the best interest of any wild creature to wean them from their natural food supplies. ‘Too easy’ a lifestyle for our desert dwellers may cause overpopulation and turns them into dangerous creatures as they lose their fear of humans.

Leave no trace
During your visit, pick up trash around campgrounds and trails. Your actions will inspire other park visitors. Our dry desert climate cannot quickly decompose such things as orange peels, apple cores, egg shells, and other picnic remains. Loose paper blows into bushes and creates an unsightly mess. Plastic 6-pack rings may strangle creatures that encounter and investigate them. Dispose of your trash in a responsible manner and recycle what you can. Trash bags, donated by Friends of Red Rock Canyon, are available at the Fee Booth.

The Scenic Drive is one-way 13-mile, winding road, and has soft sand shoulders. Park in one of the many designated pullouts or parking lots.

Off-road driving
Vehicles, including bicycles, are prohibited off established roads. Why? Off-road driving and riding creates ruts upsetting delicate drainage patterns, compacting the soil, and leaving visual scars for years. Plants are crushed and uprooted, wildlife homes and shelters are destroyed, and food and water supplies are altered and obliterated.

While pets are allowed in the Conservation Area, their activities are quite restricted. They must be kept on a leash at all times, they must never be left unattended – not even in a vehicle. Do keep in mind that the temperature inside a vehicle can rise to unsafe levels. Please pick up after your pets and dispose of properly.

Potable [Drinking] Water
Water is available at the Visitor Center. There is a vending machine and a drinking fountain. Other, mostly seasonal, water sources within the park are not potable [fit for drinking] and are reserved for wildlife.

Take only pictures
Over 1.25 million people visit Red Rock Canyon each year. Removal, disturbance, destruction, or disfigurement of anything in the conservation area is unlawful. Please leave rocks, plants and wildlife for others to enjoy.

Vehicle laws
The scenic drive is narrow, winding and is sometimes congested. Speed limits vary from 15-35 mph and are posted for your safety and well-being. State and federal laws apply within the Conservation Area.

Who or what is the Red Rock Canyon Interpretive Association?

The Red Rock Canyon Interpretive Association is a not-for-profit organization that operates under a Cooperating Agreement with the BLM. The Mission Statement explains RRCIA very well.

The primary purpose of the Red Rock Canyon Interpretive Association is to enhance the recreational, educational and interpretive programs of the Bureau of Land Management, and other governmental agencies, by providing materials and services, which promote an understanding and appreciation of the natural history, cultural history and sciences of Southern Nevada.

BLM [Bureau of Land Management] Mission Statement

It is the mission of the Bureau of Land Management to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Is there camping in the area?

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area offers camping at the Red Rock Canyon Campground [formerly 13-Mile Campground] from September through May (closed June, July and August). The campground is located approximately 2 miles east of the Visitor Center on State Route 159. Barbecue grills, picnic tables, trash collection, water tank and pit toilets are available. Accommodations are first come/first served and there is a campground host on site.

Firewood is for sale by the campground hosts and is available between when fire restrictions aren’t in effect. Collecting of downed vegetation of any kind is not allowed in the Conservation Area. For camping fees and regulations please follow this link: Camping Info

Is biking allowed in Red Rock Canyon?

Bicycles are allowed on the one-way Scenic Drive, paved spur roads and designated mountain bike trails. Bikes are not allowed on designated hiking trails. Motor vehicle regulations for bicycles apply while in the Conservation Area. The Cottonwood Valley Area has a system of trails designated for mountain bike and equestrian use. Motorized vehicles are limited to designated roads.

Where can I drive an off-highway vehicle at Red Rock Canyon?

Off-highway driving in the National Conservation Area is limited to designated roads. Drivers traveling off designated roads are subject to fines. Roads open for off-highway recreation are multi-use: please be aware of other recreational user groups. Follow “Tread Lightly” motorized vehicle guidelines. Opportunities for off-highway vehicle touring are as follows:

Rocky Gap Road
An extremely rough, four-wheel drive road open to use by licensed and street legal vehicles. Expect narrow road conditions with numerous washouts. Not recommended for passenger cars or other low clearance vehicles. Preparation and caution are recommended. This route not patrolled or maintained.

Cottonwood Valley
An undeveloped area that features several unpaved routes. Be prepared for washouts and sandy areas. Watch for mountain bikers and equestrians.

Are pets allowed at Red Rock Canyon?

Pets are allowed in the Conservation Area and along trails. They must be kept on a leash at all times and they must never be left unattended – not even in a vehicle. Do keep in mind that the temperature inside a vehicle can rise to unsafe levels. Please pick up after your pet and dispose of waste properly.

Do you offer any guided vehicle tours, hiking, bicycling, rock climbing, or horseback rides?

Southern Nevada Conservancy and the Bureau of Land Management do offer guided education programs. To see a list of our scheduled programs, click here.

Additionally, there our commercial outfitting guides that offer guided vehicle tours, hikes, bicycle tours, scooter tours, horse back rides, and rock climbing tours. To see a list of these companies and to get more information, click here.

Can my group come out to Red Rock Canyon?

Groups larger than 15 people or vehicles must apply for a Special Recreation Permit. Applications for these permits must be submitted at least 180 days before your group event. For more information or to apply for a Special Recreation Permit, please contact Kathy August, Bureau of Land Management Outdoor Recreation Planner, at 702-515-5361 or

Can I get married at Red Rock Canyon?

Yes, the Bureau of Land Management has a permitting system that allows people to hold their wedding ceremonies at Red Rock Canyon. Weddings are allowed at the Red Spring Picnic Area and the Red Rock Overlook. To obtain a permit or learn more about the wedding registration process, click here and look under “reservations”.

Is flying a drone allowed at Red Rock Canyon?

Yes, visitors can fly drones for recreational purposes at Red Rock Canyon. Please do not disturb wildlife or visitors while flying your drone.

Visitors are prohibited from launching and landing drones and other unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in Red Rock Canyon’s Wilderness Areas (La Madre Wilderness Area & Rainbow Wilderness Area).

The Las Vegas Soaring Club also has flying space nearby. To find out more information, please visit

Do you offer field trips for my students at Red Rock Canyon?

Yes! Information about field trips (along with teacher and parent resources) can be accessed by visiting the Bureau of Land Management’s website and clicking “For Teachers & Parents.” If you have any questions or special requests, please contact Ranger Kate Sorom at 702-515-5353 or

How can I volunteer at Red Rock Canyon?

To view volunteering opportunities at Red Rock Canyon NCA, visit Volunteer.Gov and search “Red Rock Canyon”. If you have any questions, please contact Ranger Cal Howell at 702-515-5386 or

Additionally, Friends of Red Rock Canyon has volunteer opportunities. Contact information is listed below.

Phone: (702) 515-5360

Do you have a lost and found collection?

Yes, we do. Please call 702-515-5350 to see if your item has been turned into our lost & found.

Can I take pictures at Red Rock Canyon?

Red Rock Canyon’s scenic vistas are inspiring to both amateur and professional photographers. Most visitors take snapshots of their visit. This type of photography is considered casual or personal use and does not require a film permit.

Still photography requires a film permit when one or more of the following situations apply:

  • Use of models or props which are not part of a site’s natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities are involved. Family or wedding portraits taken by professional photographers would be considered use of “models” as would products placed at the site. Props include reflectors, bounce cards, sound booms, or similar equipment.
  • If such photography takes place at locations where members of the public are generally not allowed.
  • If it occurs where additional administrative costs are likely.

Commercial still photography (photographs of scenery or wildlife) for magazine articles, advertisements, books, calendars, postcards, etc., does not require a film permit if none of the above criteria apply. This includes photographs that may have products or models superimposed on them later.

Photography permits need to be acquired in advance. Please call (702) 515-5000 to start the photography permit application and to find out permit costs.

Contact RRCIA

General Information
Phone: +1 (702) 515-5350

Programs & Guided Hikes
Phone: +1 (702) 515-5367

Elements Gift and Book Store
Phone: +1 (702) 515-5379

Hours of Visitor's Center/Store
Monday – Sunday
8:00am to 4:30pm

The RRCIA Mission

The mission of the Red Rock Canyon Interpretive Association is to enhance the recreational, educational and interpretive programs of the Bureau of Land Management by providing materials and services to the public which promote an understanding, and appreciation of, the natural history, cultural history and sciences of Southern Nevada and specifically, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.
Support our Mission!

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