U.S. Bureau of Land Management – Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon was designated as Nevada’s first National Conservation Area.  Red Rock Canyon is located 17 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip on Charleston Boulevard/State Route 159.  The area is visited by more than two million people each year.

In marked contrast to a town geared to entertainment and gaming, Red Rock offers enticements of a different nature including a 13-mile scenic drive, miles of hiking trails, rock climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking, road biking, picnic areas, nature observing and visitor center with indoor and outdoor exhibits as well as a book store.

In 1990, special legislation supported by the Nevada congressional delegation, changed the status of the Red Rock Recreation Lands to a National Conservation Area, the seventh to be designated nationally.

This legislation provides the funding to protect and improve the area. Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is enjoyed by the local population as well as visitors from the United States and many foreign countries. Two million visitors each year enjoy the spectacular desert landscape, climbing and hiking opportunities, and interpretive programs sponsored by the BLM.

The BLM is the largest administrator of public lands in the West. It adheres to the policy of multiple use, thereby providing recreational opportunities, protection for cultural sites, and the management of natural resources, including wildlife.

Visitor Center

A favorite stop at Red Rock is the visitor center. Not only it is a one-stop shop for getting tips on how to make the most of your visits, it’s a great place to learn more about Red Rock and the Mojave Desert and pick up a few souvenirs.

Outdoor Display PhotoThe LEED gold-certified visitor center is designed to encourage stewardship for public land by providing an outdoor experience that instills a sense of personal responsibility.

The majority of the innovative interpretive exhibits are outside with four themed elements:  earth, air, fire and water. If you are eager to see desert tortoises or learn more about Red Rock’s geology, head toward the Earth exhibit. Looking for a dust devil? Head to the air exhibit to create one yourself. Many people think this area is roasting hot in the summer; come to fire exhibit to learn about agave roasting pits. The water exhibit will remind you of how precious this resource is in the desert.

The indoor portion of the visitor center includes a reception desk staffed by helpful employees and volunteers who can answer your questions, a million dollar view of the Calico Hills, touch screen exhibits, classroom and gift shop.

When the original visitor center – which is now the administrative building – opened in 1982, about 20,000 people visited Red Rock each year. Now more than a million people a year visit the area. To address this issue, the Secretary of the Interior approved funds under the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act to build a new visitor center to provide enhanced visitor services to the increasing number of people who visit the National Conservation Area each year.

For Kids

Color Nevada Wild – A coloring book published by the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

Junior Ranger Red Rock Canyon – Program and activity book to learn about Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and become a Junior Ranger. (Please be patient during download, the file size is large.)

Junior Ranger Geology and Fossils – Activity book focusing on geology and fossils.

Junior Ranger Wild Horses and Burros – Activity book on how they became living symbols of the American West.

For Parents and Teachers

Below is a brief explanation of each link in the education pages. If you have any suggestions or ideas that you would like to submit, please feel free. We are always looking for lesson plans or materials to add to the site. The best address to send these materials to is ksorom@blm.gov

Educational Programs – This link provides information on classroom programs, field trips, or workshops made available by Red Rock Canyon and how to get information on them.

Teacher Resources – This link provides teachers with information and resources about Red Rock Canyon the surrounding area and general teaching aids.

Hands on the Land – This link will direct you to a national network of field classrooms and agency resources to connect students, teachers, families, and volunteers with public lands and waterways.

Volunteers

Volunteering is an American tradition that has made immeasurable contributions to communities, organizations, and individuals throughout the country.

Your contribution of time and energy will help us to protect the magnificent natural and cultural areas entrusted to us, and you’ll go home with a sense of pride at having participated in something worthwhile.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is a part of your public land to help take care of and cherish.

Individuals, families, and organized groups are welcome to volunteer. Many opportunities are available for persons who are beginners to the highly skilled professional as well as opportunities for short term and long term commitments. Volunteering at Red Rock Canyon can be challenging and rewarding.

What are the benefits?

  • You get to meet new people with the same interests.
  • You get to learn about the desert environment so close to the city that we live.
  • Free training on subjects such as geology, plant, animals, and native peoples.
  • Best of all you get to play outside.
  • BLM volunteers have the same benefits as federal government employees for compensation for work-related injuries and tort claims protection. Although volunteers contribute their services without pay, they may deduct out-of-pocket expenses on income tax returns within the limits set by tax laws. Deductions can include car mileage, meals and lodging expenses incurred as a result of volunteer work.

The only areas which prohibit volunteers are law enforcement, fire suppression, and participating on special use flights.

A few volunteer opportunity examples are:

  • Information Desk
  • Tortoise Habitat Monitor
  • Trail Monitor
  • Natural Resource Team
  • Landscape Team

If you have an interest in volunteering your time and expertise to Red Rock Canyon we would like to encourage you to fill out the Volunteer Application form and send it to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area; C/O Cal Howell, HCR 33 Box 5500, Las Vegas, NV 89161.

For more information about these or other volunteer opportunities please contact our volunteer coordinator at 702-515-5350.

Become a Friend of Red Rock Canyon.

While you always can volunteer directly with BLM, becoming a Friend means you hundreds of members and enjoy many benefits – from friendships to invitations to special events to even discounts at the gift shop at the visitor center.

Learn more about becoming a member. Click here.

Get your custom Red Rock Canyon license plates. Click here.

 

Bonnie Springs Ranch

Originally built in 1843 as a stopover for the wagon trains going to California along the Old Spanish Trail, Bonnie Springs Ranch lies in the heart Nevada’s iconic Red Rock Canyon. Only a half hour from the Las Vegas Strip, Bonnie Springs serves the desert community as a reprieve from the bustle of the city and recalls the West’s quieter, scenic past.

general-fremontIn 1846, General Fremont (en route to California) stopped at what is now Bonnie Springs Ranch to gear up for his trip through Death Valley and established the site’s significance. It was not until 1952, under the provision of Bonnie McGaugh and Al Levinson, that the ranch saw substantial renovation and resuscitation before opening to the public as a tourist attraction in 1958. Stables, a petting zoo, and a restaurant soon followed, and construction on Old Town, a reproduction of an 1880s mining community and the prime attraction at Bonnie Springs, opened in 1974 with the complement of a functioning saloon, shops, a wax museum, a wedding chapel, a replica schoolhouse, and daily performances/reenactments honoring the Old West. The ranch subsequently added a full-sized event arena, now the first site visitors see upon entering the property, that has hosted numerous rodeos and equestrian events. Today the grounds represent a delight for locals and tourists alike (as well as a few filmmakers).

Often called “an oasis in the desert” where you can stop for a cool drink of spring water, Bonnie Springs commits to servicing the Las Vegas area and remains the only opportunity for travelers seeking lodging, dining, and gambling in Red Rock Canyon. Our fine dinner house and quaint cocktail lounge ensure that all our guests stay comfortable, while our motel offers standard suites, larger rooms with full fireplaces, and themed rooms with Jacuzzi tubs.

We have a wide variety of animals, both native and non-native, for you to see in our zoo including our beautiful wolves and even Australian emus and wallabies. Access is included with admission to Old Town.

We also maintain on the grounds a large stable of horses for your riding pleasure and offer pony rides for the kids. Visitors can embark upon guided trail rides, group rides, and even horseback weddings for the adventurous.

As Red Rock Canyon’s “best kept secret”, Bonnie Springs Ranch remains an establishment and recreation area committed to serving visitors from all over the world (or just a car ride away). Additionally, the site serves as part of our western museum project to preserve the memory and aesthetics of a bygone era.

Restaurant

The World Famous Bonnie Springs Ranch Restaurant and Bar is known to be the best food and fun in the Red Rock Canyon area…and that is not just because it is the only restaurant and bar in Red Rock Canyon!

The Bonnie Springs Ranch Restaurant has been popular with locals and visitors alike since opening in 1964. The decor may be a bit quirky, but that is part of the charm that ties the ranch to Nevada’s Old West history. The food is fresh and delicious and our extensive menu offers simple traditional dishes to meet everyone’s dining tastes at every meal. From omelets and potato skins to Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches, hot pies, and our peerless burgers, the restaurant can accommodate any appetite. Our staff is awesome and everyone at our establishment cares about treating you and your family right.

Old Town

The prime attraction and visitor center at Bonnie Springs Ranch, the Old Town contains all the facilities and conveniences necessary to enjoy a stay near Red Rock Canyon.

The Wild West is still as wild as ever in Bonnie Springs Ranch’s Old Nevada Town, a replica of an authentic 1880s mining town. Bonnie Springs Ranch was founded in 1843 as a stop for wagon trains headed to California along the Old Spanish Trail and endures as a tourism and recreation center. The Old Town, opened in 1974, revisits the site’s history and closely follows the layout of traditional 19th century western towns to allow the visitor to  experience Nevada (and Red Rock Canyon) as it once was. The spirit of the era lives on in the live entertainment (performed Wednesday through Sunday), as audiences are treated to recreated gunfights, melodramas, and hangings, and the Nevadan artifacts displayed throughout Old Town as part of the Old West Museum.

As seen on Ghost Adventures (season 4, episode 11), the ranch has left visitors stricken with stories of paranormal activity throughout the years. From ghoulish school children to reanimated wax figures, rumors persist as to the haunting of Bonnie Springs and the Opera House in particular. Appropriately, the entire Old Town area is refitted as a haunted house and zombie turf during October as part of “Bonnie Screams”.

The restaurant is open daily from 9am to 9pm! We are busy serving up the best burgers, chicken, and ribs in the West. Try our famous authentic bison burger! We have live entertainment Friday and Saturday nights and stay open a little later.

The site includes among its buildings: restaurant, gift shops/general store, stamp mill, photo gallery, schoolhouse, wax museum (accessible during tours), blacksmith’s shop, mine, shooting gallery, opera house, petting zoochapel, and saloon(available for larger parties and serviced by catering).

  • Shows, Shops & Snacks
  • Live performances and gunfights in the street
  • Black & White Photos
  • Convention & Banquet facilities
  • Weddings

 

Horseback Riding

Start your day the cowboy way, with an early morning ride or any of our 1 hour trail rides. First come first serve; no reservation required. You must sign in 30 minutes before your scheduled ride at the main bar in the restaurant. To book a reservation for one of our specialty rides, contact the office at least 24 hours in advance. Email info@bonniesprings.com or call (702) 875-4191.

Horseback Riding is $60.00 per person for a one hour guided trail ride. 

View our full horseback riding options and prices.  Click here. CIS RRStables2017

Burro, bonnie springs ranch, red rock canyonThe Red Rock Riding Stables:

  • Guided trail rides by horseback
  • Pony rides
  • Specialty & group rides
  • Horseback weddings
  • Horse boarding facilities

Horseback Riding requirements:

  • No one under 6 years of age.
  • No one over 250lbs.
  • No open toed shoes.
  • No double riding.

 

 

Phone: 702-875-4191 | facebook.com/bonniesprings LIKE US! | Text “bonniesprings” to 902

Spring Mountain Ranch

Sprawling and splendid, Spring Mountain Ranch State Park is adjacent to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and has been used historically as a working ranch and a luxury retreat by a string of colorful owners, including German actress Vera Krupp and millionaire Howard Hughes.

Today visitors can explore some of the oldest buildings in Nevada, a 1860s blacksmith shop, the Sandstone Cabin that was home to the founding family and the ranch house. Hiking trails throughout the park, in addition to tree-shaded picnic sites with tables and grills, make day trips to the park a family favorite. And, every year Super Summer Theatre offers a variety of outdoor shows to enjoy.

FACILITIES & AMENITIES

Group Use Area: A group use area is available by reservation for groups of up to 200 people. Please contact the park office for more information or to make a reservation.

Picnicking/Day Use: Tree-shaded picnic sites offer tables, grills and restrooms.

Main Ranch House: Visitors will find information about the ranch and surrounding areas and can take a self-guided tour of the ranch house interior. Park volunteers are available to answer questions.

Guided Tours: Call the park for information on guided tours.

Living History Programs: Living history programs bring the past back to life for a brief moment, giving visitors an opportunity to view life at the ranch as it might have been. These programs, which began in 1992, include costumed role playing, demonstrations and re-enactments of historic events.

Each spring and fall a series of living history programs are presented depicting the lives of early settlers such as Bill Williams, Jim Wilson, Olive Lake and other prominent Las Vegas pioneers. Programs are presented in the first person as seen through the eyes of the character, or are narrated descriptions of events in the lives of early pioneers. Demonstrations of pioneering skills are also presented, and visitors are encouraged to participate.

Super Summer Theater: Cultural events are put on by Super Summer Theater every May through September. View the performance calendar and get ticket information by visiting www.supersummertheatre.org or calling (702) 579-7529.

Programs: Information about program scheduling may be obtained from either park staff or kiosks. Upon request, special presentations can be arranged for groups.

Hours: Park hours vary by season.

  • June, July & August: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • September: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • October: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • November, December, January & February: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • March & April: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • May: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

FIELD NOTES

Drive on established roadways.

  • Park in designated areas.
  • Pets are welcome, but they must be kept on a leash of not more than six feet in length.
  • Removing, disturbing or damaging any historic structure, artifact, rock, plant life, fossil or other feature is prohibited. State and federal laws protect this area and its resources.
  • Dispose of litter in appropriate receptacles.
  • Observe closed areas and all signs.
  • Do not climb trees – the trees are more than 400 years old.
  • Visitors are responsible for knowing all park rules and regulations in effect. Detailed rules and regulations are posted at the park or may be obtained from any Park Ranger.
  • Trails close one hour prior to park closing. Stay on trails.
  • View the Spring Mountain Ranch Commercial/Recreational Photography Information Sheet
  • Those with developmental and/or physical limitations are invited to enjoy all of the recreational activities of Nevada State Parks. If you would like to request additional support or accommodations, please call Nevada State Parks at (775) 684-2770. We continually seek ways to provide recreational opportunities for people of all abilities and welcome any suggestions you may have.
  • View a list of frequently asked questions.

NATURAL RESOURCES/CLIMATE

Because of the higher elevation, the ranch offers a diverse opportunity for plant study. Four plant communities are represented: Desert scrub, Black brush, Pinyon-Juniper and Riparian. Plants typical of the desert, as well as woodlands, can be seen. With adequate rainfall the spring brings a burst of wildflowers. Common species sighted are desert marigold, globe mallow, brittlebush, Joshua tree, Mohave Yucca and Indigo bush. Animal life is diverse, but nocturnal, so many species go unseen. Typical desert animals include a variety of lizards and snakes, antelope ground squirrels, jackrabbits, cotton tails, kit fox, coyote and wild burros. Higher elevation species include rock squirrel, badger, mule deer and bighorn sheep. (READ MORE)


HISTORY OF SPRING MOUNTAIN STATE PARK – Established in 1973

Rich archaeological sites provide much information about early cultures that inhabited the area around today’s Spring Mountain Ranch.  Evidence has shown that man has been in the region for at least 10,000 years.  The many springs in these mountains provided water for the southern Paiute and later brought mountain men and early settlers to the area. The park was a 528-acre oasis originally developed into a combination working ranch and luxurious retreat by a string of owners who have given the area a long and colorful history. Past owners of the ranch include Chester Lauck of the comedy team “Lum & Abner,” German actress Vera Krupp and millionaire Howard Hughes. (READ MORE)

PARK FEES

 

Day use entrance fee:  $10.00 per vehicle

Bike in:  $2.00 per bike