Sober in Vegas: White Rock Hills Loop Trail at Red Rock Canyon

It feels like a bit of a race against the weather clock here right now–it’s starting to heat up so my husband and I have been trying to be outside as much as possible before we start hitting the triple digits in Vegas.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I am so grateful for the amount of peace the outdoors brings to me, especially during hard days with sobriety, depression, and anxiety.  Or, on those wonderful days where all three rear their ugly head together…

A year round pass to Red Rock Canyon is one of the best investments I’ve made, and I wrote an overview about it in one of my earliest posts back here.

I have been wanting to get into more detail about specific trails in this area, and we recently did the White Rock Hills Loop Trail, so here you go!

The Willow Springs Picnic Area where we began the day

There are a few different places you can start this trail, we decided to start at the Willow Springs Picnic Area as parking is ample and there are restrooms here.

We also like to start at Willow Springs because it offers access to a number of different trails, depending on how far you want to go for the day.

Looking back at the rest of Red Rock Canyon that is visible along the scenic drive 

To do the entire White Rock Hills Loop was just over six miles, and took us about as many hours.  It was moderately strenuous, so depending on your comfort level, I always say do as much as feels good for you and listen to your body.

The plant life is abundant in early spring!

We’d tried to do this loop in back in December, but the wind in this part of the canyon can be especially strong in some parts of the uncovered areas, and the day we’d gone out was a bit too blustery…!

Keep following signage for White Rock and you’ll be able to stay on the loop

I recommend getting an early start if you want to tackle this trail.  It’s not that it’s the most challenging trail I’ve ever done, but it’s enough to make your bones ache when you got back into the car at the end of the day.

Reds and whites of Aztec Sandstone against the clear blue sky

I would also tell folks who aren’t from here and who are out on this trail to take more water than they think they’ll need, and to bring a few snacks as well.

I had almost not brought any kind of snack along, and at the last minute threw some granola bars, apples, and string cheese in the hiking bag.

To be honest, I’m not sure we would have made it the full loop if we hadn’t had extra water and the last minute snacks!

This trail backs up against over 40,000 acres of wilderness

One of the things that was really special about this loop is how much the biodiversity varies from mile to mile.

Trees and mountains for miles

All the pictures in this post are from the 5-6 hours we spent on the White Rock Hills Loop and you can see the rocks change from red to white and that at some points we’re in a forest!

Plants in harmony along the trail

I really love in Nevada how the cactus and trees live together.

When people hear about ‘the desert’ the last thing that comes to mind is biodiversity. Often times dust and nothingness are the images brought up, and as you can see here so much more thrives under these arid skies.

Creosote along the ground looking up to the diverse rocks along the way

This trail was well populated and we ran into many groups throughout the morning.  We saw families, couples, young and old along the trail, and this area is also very dog friendly (so long as you clean up after your pup please!)

Partway through and everything looks different than when we began

If you start at the Willow Springs Picnic Area it’s nice to know that about halfway through you’ll reach some more restrooms at the White Rock Trail parking lot…am I the only one who worries about this…?

I love this…the red and the white rock together!

Although I mentioned that we’d seen a number of folks also out enjoying the trail, we never really felt crowded.

It felt so good to be under the sun for a few hours breathing in the fresh air.

After our long hike, we decided to reward ourselves with lunch out at one of my favorite alcohol-free places Cafe Zupas. I haven’t had a chance to write a full post about it yet, but it’s on the docket. 😉

It’s amazing when we allow our brains to turn off for a few hours the healing that can happen.

Sure, there were a million things that morning I could have done–ran errands, written a few blog posts, chores….but sometimes you have to throw all of that to the side and allow yourself a few hours outside in the peace of nature.


Thank you all for reading and happy sobering friends!

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18 thoughts on “Sober in Vegas: White Rock Hills Loop Trail at Red Rock Canyon

  1. Your hiking routes look so beautiful. Triple digits sounds terrifying. If I ever visit Vegas it will have to be on the coldest day of the year – I got sunburn yesterday in the UK, in MAY!? Enjoy your outdoor time and thanks for sharing your lovely pictures 🙂

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  2. First of all I would like to say congratulations!! Sobriety is a well earned achievement.

    Thank you for sharing this side of the country with us. Beautiful photos. I’m from the south no desert or the heat – I will be enjoying LA via you!

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