American Hiking Society crafted itself a challenge: find the best hikes in the West on Bureau of Land Management property. Here’s one to check out next time the family travels to Vegas:

Hike Name: Calico Tank Hike
BLM Unit: Red Rocks Canyon National Conservation Area
Nearby City:
Las Vegas, NV
Directions: Red Rock Canyon is located 17 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip on Charleston Boulevard/State Route 159.
Length of Hike: 2.4 Miles
Loop?: No
Brief Description: Calico Tanks Hike, Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area, NV. Take a journey through otherworldly red rocks only an hour away from the Las Vegas Strip.
Details: This fairly strenuous, 1.2-mile (one-way) hike/scramble starts at a historic sandstone quarry where enormous stone blocks recall the labor and ingenuity of an earlier era. The route runs up a canyon and over red and white sandstone slickrock on an intermittent trail to a large tinaja, a natural depression in the rock that sometimes holds water, near the top of the Calico Hills ridge. If the tinaja has water, look for aquatic plants and insects and ask yourself how got there! Just past the tinaja, stop for a picnic lunch on the ridge top with great views in all directions, including views of the Las Vegas Strip.

Some fun, eh? The rest of the hikes (California’s Lost Coast is on the list, naturally) are here.