Calico Tanks- Red Rock Canyon- Las Vegas NV

I do A LOT of research before I hike a trail. May not have mentioned this in any of my posts but I wear corrective knee braces for Osteoarthritis which has turned one knee in and one knee out. UGH…anyway…

My research is an evaluation of the trail. Can I hike it safely by myself WITH knee braces? Will animals and/or Velociraptors try to chase and eat me? Rock scrambling (class 1 or 2- no 3!)? Shade or no shade? Destination (like- is there something cool at the end)?

There is a LOT of information about this trail online but the difficulty is pretty much up in the air. I read everything from- “an easy out and back- my 6 year old did it easily” to ” Strenuous” to “Difficult in spots but otherwise an easy hike.” So basically- I had to assess the situation myself.

ASSESSMENT: If you have a crippling fear of heights (like moi), short legs and wear knee braces- this MAY not be the hike for you. Class 2 Rock Scramble.

Description: Taken from This scurry over jumbled sandstone leads to a hidden water pocket and a great view of Las Vegas. Calico Tanks is a great trip for families or those wanting a relatively short introduction to Red Rock Canyon, because this hike combines elements of the prehistory, history, geology, beauty, and fun that makes Red Rock famous.
The Low Down:

2.5 Miles roundtrip

Wear desert appropriate clothing (Layers in the winter, sun protection in the spring) I would suggest that you wear pants to avoid scratches and rock rash.

Hiking Boots or really good sneakers will work. Loose rocks galore!

Sun Block is a must no matter what time of year. Sunglasses and a hat are a good idea.

Cell Service? It’s in and out. I had WiFi too in some places!


Indulge in a snack when you get to your destination.

Only Kid that LISTEN WELL can do this trail.



The information on how they cut the sandstone in the Quarry was really interesting.

My Adventure:
I did this hike on an overcast day- which made it very pleasant. It was an easy walk until you arrived at BOULDER CITY (I mean real boulders, not the actual city). All I have to say about the rock scrambling is that it’s a good thing I’ve been working out my upper body for the past year or my fat-ass would still be stuck in the crevasse that I fell into when I slipped off the boulder. Luckily, no cuts or bruises just rock rash on my butt (sorry, no pics- this is a family website. Ha!)

Got about .70 miles in and turned around when I saw how steep it was and high I was about to go. No thanks…My footing was already questionable at that point. I sat for a bit and contemplated whether or not to push myself and continue but I surrendered to defeat (and my paralyzing fear of heights) and started back. On the Brightside- It was GORGEOUS!

Photos below:


My Cairn
My Cairn

Here I am just in case you forgot what I look like.  48 lbs  thinner since April 2015.
Here I am just in case you forgot what I look like. 48 lbs thinner since April 2015.


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