First Creek Canyon hike

[tab:Overview]

Activity: Hiking

Location: Red Rock Canyon NCA

Time on Trail: 2 hrs 30 mins (moving time)

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Distance: 3.90 miles

Elevation: +/- 593 feet

 

First Creek Canyon is a very accessible canyon in the Red Rock area.  The trailhead sits outside the scenic loop so the normal access fee for Red Rock doesn’t apply.  The trailhead is just north of Spring Mountain Ranch and south of the exit of the Red Rock Loop.  The parking area is large enough for about 8-10 vehicles.

I did the First Creek Canyon hike with my friend Brian as a going away hike.  He and his family were making a move to SoCal and this hike was our way to close out a great hiking partnership.  We have tackled many of the big hikes in Red Rock together and this one would be the icing on the cake.

The first section of the trail is a very gentle grade and the trail is wide and well maintained.  We made great time in the first section and arrived at the seasonal falls and pond in less than 30 minutes.  The falls had dried up but there was still lots of water in the pond and fish darted off in all directions as we approached.

This first leg of the hike is great for kids and would make for a perfect fall afternoon for any family.

We cracked a few drinks at the pond, snacked a bit, and then moved on.  We reached the mouth of the canyon and began scouting for a perch to hang at for a bit.  There are tons of options.  We made our way up the south side of the canyon on approach to a well-known climbing wall that Brian had conquered in the past.  He recounted the story of the climb and we decided to spot up on a large boulder just below the first pitch.

We had plenty of refreshments and snacks to hold us over while we watched the sun set behind Mount Wilson.  Be sure to check out the photos – it was one of the most amazing sunsets I have ever seen.  Not often do you get to see the sun set behind such a big rock!

We chatted about our past hikes, the adventures that we still need to tackle together, and even some of the options in SoCal.  Brian gladly accepted the role of SoCal Sherpa and agreed to scout out some new hikes for us to do when I visit with my family.  Obviously, that will happen very soon!

We decided to head down the canyon wall before we lost all light.  We used our headlamps to navigate back down to the main trail and then turned them off, navigating with just the moon light the rest of the way.

This was one of my first hiking experiences at night other than what I have done on backpacking trips.  The desert looks completely different at night and offers a very different vibe.  It was a very cool experience and I will certainly be doing it again as soon as possible.

We made it back to the trailhead in the dark without the use of headlamps in just 50 minutes.  This is a great family trail or the perfect outlet for anyone that needs a quick break from the city after work on any clear evening.

[tab:Photos]

[tab:Video]

No video on this one.  Sorry!

[tab: Map]

FirstCreekCanyonTrack.gpx

[tab:Notes]

There was a concert at Spring Mountain Ranch the night we hiked First Creek Canyon.  We could hear the music from our perch on the big boulder up in the canyon.  Very surreal.

The falls and pond offer a much needed water source for the wildlife in and around the canyon.  Try to minimize your impact.  Leave no trace and don’t put anything in the water.  This source could be easily contaminated and could have an adverse impact on the wildlife in the area.

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I'm the founder of Vestor Logic, the digital strategy and web design firm that created Trail Sherpa, ParksFolio, and Modern Steader. I'm a day hiker, top chef in camp, doting husband, and father to two headlamp wearing boys. My work in digital media brings those experiences to life.