Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
Red Rock Recluse
Overview: On the outskirts of the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area lies Calico Basin. It lies outside the fee area and offers some of the finest red and white sandstone cliffs in the park. The red, orange, and tan colored rocks appear surreal and create an environment hard to resist if your interest is hiking, scrambling, bouldering, sport climbing, or traditional (trad) climbing. Having such a broad appeal and located near metropolitan Las Vegas you can assume it will be a busy place on weekends so plan accordingly.
Hike: The Red Spring trailhead offers splendid views of the colorful cliffs and canyons in Calico Basin. The trail starts at the north end of the parking area with an immediate climb in elevation. The trail then hugs the cliffs as it heads toward Calico Spring. Wild horses and burros roam free here and it goes without saying keep an eye out for rattlesnakes. There are several crossings of the creek which has a nominal flow most of the year. Along the way you may be entertained by climbers scaling rock features such as Cannibal Crag, Dickies Cliff, Physical Graffiti, Cowlick Crag, or Gnat Man Crag. The gradual elevation gain brings you to the base of the red sandstone which is just awesome. There are several routes available with no one right or wrong way to go. While sometimes the top is the destination in this case the varied and interesting ways to the top are the interesting part of this trip. The sandstone offers great footing and I'm sure you will be tempted to scramble to your limit exploring all the nooks, crannies, and caves. When you have had your fill, head back the way you came.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.