Trail Report: Calico Basin to Brownstone Canyon

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Trail Details

  • Time on Trail: 4 hrs 30 mins
  • City / State: Red Rock Canyon /
  • Distance: 6.5 miles
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Categories:   ,


This hike starts in the Calico Basin, climbs to the saddle revealing views of Turtlehead Peak, drops into a wash, connects to Gateway Canyon, and ultimately opens into a very cool trek through white sandstone to the ultimate perch above Brownstone Canyon. The hike is well worth it if you want sweeping views of the entire Las Vegas valley. Great photo opportunities around every corner.

Trail Description

We head up the left saddle which seems to be the more grueling scrambling section, then down the wash to Gateway Canyon. A left into the canyon takes you up a loose wash for a short stretch before the scrambling begins. This scrambling section includes about a half dozen dry waterfalls, one that is about 20 feet high and can be climbed if you have the skills (but I think it’s pretty sketchy).

Gateway canyon makes a sharp turn left and opens to a very cool area with tons of white and red rock. It’s easy to move here but trail finding can be a bit tricky. A short push through the maze brings you to the cliffs above Brownstone Canyon and the views of the canyon and Las Vegas are well worth the effort. Take it in and enjoy a snack and some fluids.

We retraced our path back down Gateway Canyon but continue down the wash past where we entered. A trail emerges on the right that is well marked that heads up the side of the hill and ultimately leads to the other saddle. From here, you can see all of Calico Basin again and Bridge Mountain, Rainbow Mountain, and Mt Wilson in the background. One of the best views in Red Rock if you ask me! It takes 30 minutes to get down to the trailhead from here.

Trail Photos

Trail Notes

This is a great loop and one of my favorite in Red Rock. This is an extension of the basic Calico Basin Loop by way of Gateway Canyon. It's hard to beat the view of Las Vegas from the cliffs above Brownstone Canyon.

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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.