Hiking Ice Box Canyon, Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area, NV

This is the waterfall at the end of the trail. Some people tried to climb all the way up there (think people coming to Vegas and that never hiked before...). It is very steep and sleek. Much easier to climb than to downclimb... All of a sudden, we heard a big splash!

Seriously, people!

And a nice guy and his girlfriend helped that woman come down... She had fallen into the upper pool of the waterfall... And in the next 30 min, we saw a few (asian) tourists try to go up and get in very tricky situations... 

With a name like that, especially on a warm day, that canyon sounded very appealing! We came to Red Rock last year and did some scrambling in the Calico area and some awesome rock climbing too. Red Rock is a climbing paradise and our plan this year was to come spend 4-5 days to climb at the beginning of JF's vacation since there is no cell signal at the campground. However, since JF broke his finger mountain biking in Virgin, that plan went out the window.

We instead stayed at one of our favorite campgrounds (Las Vegas Bay, next post!) and came hiking to Red Rock. We wanted to hike Turtlehead Peak, but while doing some research on it, I found out that a woman had fallen to her death down the trail 10 days ago (lots of loose rocks on this exposed trail). However, given what we witnessed today at the waterfall, I understand that people die on hiking trails... Red Rock is only a 20 minute drive from the Vegas Strip and most people that go to Vegas, come to Red Rock... so lots of inexperience hikers doing things too hard for them or being unprepared = lots of accidents.

Ice Box Canyon was a nice hike that meanders through the desert for about a mile before dropping down into a canyon that ends at a waterfall. There is some scrambling required and a fair bit of rock hopping, which makes it a moderate 3 mile hike. 

Rock climbing in Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon is well-known by rock climbers. It is a sandstone paradise! The approach walks are challenging and fun (a 30 minute scramble up) and the view is amazing. Once we reached our destination, we had the whole wall to ourselves (there are nearly 2000 routes in the park, so the climbers are pretty spread out). The kids did their Junior Ranger activity booklet while JF set up the route. We were on the South facing slope, so the sun was cooking and we were soon looking for shade under the rocks.

Notice the barrel cactus at the bottom of our route (covered with a cloth bag in case JF had a fall...).

Two tailless lizards...

You can see the barrel cactus under our route pretty well in that picture! It sure was an added challenge!

*Many of the pictures have been taken by my friend Jennifer, since I didn't bring my camera (that's also why there are more pictures of me!).

That day is undeniably up there in our top 10 memorable adventures. It is so fun to have met friends that are just a little crazy like us and love a good adventure!

If ever you plan on going rock climbing there, we highly recommend you get this rock climbing guide book. It would have been pretty impossible to find a route without it. This place is a real maze (but a super fun one!).


Red Rock Canyon, Nevada

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is located 17 miles west of the Las Vegas famous Strip. Unfortunately there is no cell signal at the campground, so we could not camp there during the week. We stayed at an RV park in the hood in Vegas. The hood is the bad part of town (not that there is a good part of Vegas...). There were couples fighting and screaming in building appartments right outside the RV park and 4 hookers walking in front of the gate at any time of the day. JF even got a few waves! And from 4 pm on, ambulances every 20 minutes... Oh, and planes every ten minutes, 24/7. If I extended my arm through the bedroom window, I could touch the neighbors' trailer's slide out... 

I don't remember if I talked about the fact that I was electrosensitive here or not. I found out the hard way after we had installed the solar system on the bus and I started feeling very unwell. I shortly found out that I was reacting to the dirty electricity from the EMF. Long story short, we fixed the problem and I am usually OK, as long as we turn off the electricity and the Wifi before going to bed. But when we are in big cities with lots of cellphone waves and wifi, even when I turn off everything in the bus, I toss and turn all night (like the princess on the pea), wake up with a headache, burning eyes and nausea. I feel irritable and my brain is foggy.

Needless to say, I was desperate to get out of there. Sitting on top of the red rocks after a very fun scramble up, I felt like myself again.

Since I found out about my (low-level) electrosensitivity, I understand better why the city drains me and nature helps me come back to center... If only we didn't need cell connexion for work...!