Red Rock Canyon Part 3: Hiking the Calico Tanks Trail

Red Rock Canyon Visitor CenterThe Calico Tanks Trail is a moderately strenuous two and a half mile (round trip) out and back hike through the valley and up the Calico Ridge. It took us about two and a half hours to complete the hike, including photo and rest stops. Your mileage may vary. I would recommend wearing hiking boots, though it is possible to traverse in sneakers. At minimum, you should bring plenty of water, a snack, a flashlight, a camera, and a hiking buddy. This time of year, early morning is probably the safest and most comfortable time to go – it can get very hot during the day and there is limited shade along this trail. You may just want to save this hike for when things cool off a bit.

Red Rock Canyon Calico TankWe did the hike one afternoon in early February. Weather-wise, Spring or Fall would be the best time for this hike. That gives you plenty of time to plan. Refer to the Red Rock Canyon Interpretive Association website for park hours and admission rates.

Upon arrival, it’s worth stopping at the visitor center before you start so you can use the facilities and get up to date information and advice from one of the friendly and informative guides. That’s how we found out about this fantastic hike in the first place. We asked for an easy to moderate hike that could be accomplished in 2-3 hours in sneakers. After getting an idea of our fitness and experience levels the guide told us about the Calico Tanks Trail. She said that visitors from outside of Las Vegas tend to enjoy the view at the end of this out and back hike. I think she may have downplayed it a bit.

Red Rock Canyon Calico Tanks TrailYou can access the Calico Tanks Trail from the Sandstone Quarry Trailhead. This is the third parking area past the visitor center, off of the scenic loop road. Like most hikes in Red Rock Canyon, Calico Tanks Trail provides interesting biology and geology with beautiful panoramic views along the way. The hike follows a sandstone path, then climbs towards the Calico Ridge over slick stone and boulders. There are a few mild ridges, and the trail requires some scrambling. There are stairs cut into the steeper sections.

The reason I recommend this particular hike is the payoff at the end. The Calico Tank is kind of neat. It’s large pool of collected water in the middle of the desert. Maybe you could get a cool photo with the mountains reflecting off the surface or something. You might see some small fish in the tank, or a larger desert animal stopping for a drink. But, this isn’t the real reason for hiking all the way out here. When you reach the tank, don’t turn back yet – the best is yet to come. Hike up around the saddle to the right and just beyond the tank…

The ultimate picnic spot!

The ultimate picnic spot!

For the most amazing panoramic view of Las Vegas! You can see the valley below, you can see the downtown Fremont Street casinos. You can see the strip from end to end. It’s breathtaking! There are a couple of well placed flat rocks that are perfect for a little picnic (don’t forget, leave no trace). It’s not the easiest or the shortest hike in Red Rock, nor is it the highest or most challenging. But as far as effort / reward ratio, this hike is a jackpot win! Plan some time to soak it all in, get some photos and relax a bit. Just remember to turn back before it gets too hot (especially in summer), or too near to closing time. I hope they will offer a guided night hike out here so I can take in the view at night!

Click to view the full-size panorama (8000 x 1166 pixels)!

Click to display full-screen and click again to view the full-size panorama (12883 x 1878 pixels)!

Tips:

  • Really, if you haven’t already done so, click the panoramic image above. If that doesn’t convince you to go on this hike, nothing will!
  • The Bird and Hike website offers a great detailed trail guide for this and many other Las Vegas area hikes. Print it out before you go.

Website: www.redrockcanyonlv.org

Connect with BAUSTIN on Google+

Related:
Red Rock Canyon Part 1: Driving the Scenic Road
Red Rock Canyon Part 2: Guided Night Hikes

Where In Vegas: Lucky Number Seven

It’s time to play the Where In Vegas game again! Our last winner, Theresa, is now the proud owner of an American Casino Guide 2013. She was the first one to correctly identify the location of our last contest photo, which was taken inside the men’s room at one of our favorite bars – Frankie’s Tiki Room. We hope she saves lots of money with her new book.

Where in Vegas?So here’s your chance to win. Be the first to correctly identify where the photo at left was taken and you’ll get your choice of two fantastic prizes. The photo isn’t the sharpest (neither are we) but if you’ve stood in this popular spot before, perhaps awaiting a tasty treat, you should know exactly where it is. Can you remember? Where In Vegas is it?

If you think you might know, get that guess in quick! Only the first correct answer wins. The first correct answer gets their choice of two great prizes: A styling Las Vegas Off Strip t-shirt, unisex, size M, L, or XL. Very exclusive! Or, a copy of the American Casino Guide 2013.

Rules:

  • One entry per person, please.
  • Due to the high cost of international shipping, I can only offer these prizes to those with a US/Canadian address.
  • You must provide a valid email address so that I can contact you for shipping info and choice of prize if you win.
  • Have fun!

Prizes: (your choice)
Prize-TshirtAmerican Casino Guide 2013 Front

Where In Vegas: Six (April Fools Edition)

If you’re on Las Vegas Off Strip, then clearly you’re no fool! You know just where to go to get the low-down on all the eats, drinks, sights and entertainment Vegas has to offer, away from the strip. We’re six months old today (happy 1/2 birthday, us) and we hope you like where we’ve taken you so far.

All fooling aside, it’s time for another edition of “Where in Vegas.” After lots of guessing and a few hints, last month’s winner, Heather came up with the correct answer, and the prize. We hope Heather enjoyed her champagne brunch buffet!

Where In Vegas?Check out the photo to the left. If you’ve been in this room, then you know exactly where it is. If you haven’t, you ought to go. Well, maybe not to this specific room, but at least to the building it’s in. Actually, if you spend much time in the building it’s in, you’ll end up in a room like this eventually. So, Where In Vegas is it?

If you think you night know, get that guess in quick! Only the first correct answer wins. The first correct answer gets their choice of two fantastic prizes: A styling Las Vegas Off Strip t-shirt, unisex, size M, L, or XL. Very exclusive! Or, a copy of the American Casino Guide 2013.

Rules:

  • One entry per person, please.
  • Due to the high cost of international shipping, I can only offer these prizes to those with a US/Canadian address.
  • You must provide a valid email address so that I can contact you for shipping info and choice of prize if you win.
  • Have fun!

Prizes: (your choice)
Prize-TshirtAmerican Casino Guide 2013 Front

Where in Vegas: Five

Here it is, the image for this month’s Where In Vegas competition. You have one guess to tell me Where In Vegas this photo was taken. This month we are giving away a promotional voucher that is good for a brunch for two, including sparkling wine at the Cravings Buffet® at the Mirage® (valued at $51.98, gratuity not included). I know, I know, it’s not “off strip” but I bought this voucher from Travelzoo® and I will be unable to use it before it expires (March 22, 2013), so rather than have the promotional value go to waste I figured I’d pass it on to one of my astute readers (that could be you). In case you don’t use it right away, the “base value” of the voucher ($26) does not expire. I’m also willing to substitute a Las Vegas Off Strip t-shirt, if the winner prefers.

Where In Vegas?You’ll have to be quick to win! Last month’s winner, Phil, got the correct answer in just 24 minutes! Thanks to his quick and accurate response, he is now the owner of a money-saving American Casino Guide 2013! You can be a winner too. All you have to do is identify where the photo (at left) was taken. Post your answer in the comments. The first correct answer wins!

Update!

Where_In_Vegas-005-2This is the first Where in Vegas to last a full 24 hours without a winner. It’s time for a little more help: The newly added photo to the right was taken in the same building as the original photo, just down the hall. I hope this helps jog someone’s memory. I’m sure a few of you have been here before. To make it fair, anyone who has guessed already may have one more guess. If you haven’t guessed yet, what are you waiting for? Remember, the first correct answer wins!

More Hints:

A lot of the guesses have the right idea. The picture was taken downtown. It is a place where the general public might go, but it’s not in a casino. And here’s one more big hint: The reason most people went there disappeared at the end of December 2012. So, where is it? Let’s have some more guesses! Since I just gave you some new information, prior guesses won’t count against you. Even if you guessed before, you still have one chance to guess. First correct answer wins!

Another Hint:

Another 24 hours has passed and still no-one has guessed it correctly. It seems that this location is less well-known than I thought. So, I’m going to give another BIG hint: The picture was taken on the 2nd floor above the Walgreens on Fremont Street. All you have to do is be the first to tell me what office I took the photo in. Extra credit if you can tell me what disappeared from there after December 2012 that people used to go there for. Be the first with the correct answer and the voucher (or t-shirt if you prefer) is yours! All prior guesses are wiped out. So everyone has one guess to get it right. Good luck!

Rules:

  • One entry per person, please.
  • The voucher will be delivered to the winner as a .pdf via email.
  • If the winner is unable to use the voucher within the promotional period (before March 22nd), they may request to receive a Las Vegas Off Strip t-shirt instead, unisex, size M, L or XL. A US or Canadian mailing address is required.
  • Have fun!

LasVegasOffStrip has no affiliation or agreement with the Cravings Buffet® , the Mirage® , or Travelzoo® and each is a registered trademark of its respective company.

Related: Winner, Winner, Champagne Brunch!

Where In Vegas: Number Four

Where In VegasIt’s time for another “Where in Vegas” contest! I scraped up two prizes for this month’s contest – the winner gets to choose. You’ll have to be quick to win! So far the winning answer has averaged only nine hours, with our fastest correct answer coming in only 29 minutes! All you have to do is identify where the photo (at left) was taken. Post your answer in the comments. The first correct answer wins!

This photo was taken in one of my favorite spots in Vegas, and I haven’t written about it yet. Where In Vegas is it? The first correct answer gets their choice of two fantastic prizes: A styling Las Vegas Off Strip t-shirt, unisex, size M, L, or XL. Very exclusive! Or, a copy of the American Casino Guide 2013.

Rules:

  • One entry per person, please.
  • Due to the high cost of international shipping, I can only offer this prize to those with a US/Canadian address.
  • You must provide a valid email address so that I can contact you for shipping info and choice of prize if you win.
  • Have fun!

Prizes: (your choice)
Prize-TshirtAmerican Casino Guide 2013 Front

Contest: Where in Vegas?

There was a blog I used to read years ago, I can’t remember the name of it any more, that used to post a picture each month and ask the readers to identify which Las Vegas casino the picture was taken in. The pictures were always tightly cropped shots of obscure bits of decor inside the casino – the sort of details you might never notice, and no-one would think to take pictures of. It was a fun little contest, but it came to an end when the blogger was harassed and nearly arrested because one of the casinos thought he was casing the joint and didn’t buy his “well I have this blog and I run this contest” spiel.

Where in Vegas?He decided it wasn’t worth the trouble, and I don’t blame him, but I think this sort of contest is kind of neat. So, I’m going to give it a shot here. The pictures can be from anywhere in Las Vegas, except the strip, of course. Since I’m not limiting myself to casinos, I plan to offer pictures with a bit more detail. I’ll be filling space in my blog with this about once a month.

So here it is, the inaugural “Where in Vegas?” photo contest. Give your answer in the comments of this post. The first person to correctly identify where the photo was taken wins… Bragging Rights! And a small prize. This month’s prize will be a collection of Las Vegas guides and coupon books mailed anywhere in the US or Canada. The guides are mostly from October, but many of the coupons do not expire before the end of the year. There is also information about many great things in Vegas. Some of them are even off the strip! You could collect all of these guides for free while in Vegas, but it’s much more fun to get them delivered to your house, and you’ll be able to use them to help plan before you arrive. So check out the photo and tell me Where in Vegas it is, and this lovely prize package could be yours!

Be sure to include an accurate email address with your entry so that I may contact you for a shipping address if you win. Also, comments are moderated, so your post will not show up immediately. One post per person, please.

Sorry, those outside the US/Canada must settle for bragging rights as their only prize. It is simply too costly to ship overseas. Maybe we can work something out if you’re willing to contribute to the shipping cost.

The Prize:Photo Contest Prize

Welcome to LasVegasOffStrip!

On October 1, 2012 a new blog will launch, LasVegasOffStrip.

Las Vegas is the most American of cities, a melting pot of cultures from around the country and around the globe. It is a city passionate about freedom, full of beauty, talent and spirit.

Many tourists never venture far from the spectacle known as the Las Vegas Strip, but that is only one part of what makes the city great. Join me as I chronicle the bars, restaurants and attractions of the rest of Las Vegas. Eat Chicago style pizza for lunch, Vietnamese home-cooking for dinner and Hawaiian style oxtail soup for a hearty late-night snack. Get a steak dinner for $8 (with beer), or a bucket of shrimp for $4.50. Drink an authentic Zombie in a tiki bar or a Brandy Alexander in a modern speakeasy. Enjoy free concerts on the street and talented performances in the bars. Then venture a little farther afield and enjoy the serenity of the mountains or take in a free tour at a world famous American automaker.

I will cover all this and more, right here on this page. Subscribe to the RSS feed, or keep checking back, so you won’t miss a single tip or discovery.

Connect with BAUSTIN on Google+