My mom and sisters and I all planned a girls weekend getaway to Vegas at the beginning of the month. Between the three of us sisters, we have 8 kids under 11, so getting away for some time with is just us is so fun! As you might remember, I was just in Vegas in September. (You can read about that trip here) Even though there are thousands of things to do in Vegas, I really wanted to do something different. I suggested going for a hike to take in some of the mountain scenery, and fortunately, everyone was on board!
I found this trail in the Red Rock Canyon, and thought it sounded perfect for us. It was the number one rated trail in the area and said that it was kid friendly, so I figured us four grown women would be able to handle it. I had NO idea what I was getting us in to…
It was about a 30 minute drive the the Vegas strip to get to Red Rock Canyon. We stopped for some Starbucks on the way (like any good mountain hiker would do:)). It cost $7 to get into the conservatory, and I can honestly say that was the best $7 I spent the whole trip. You can drive through a 13 mile loop with lots of stop-offs for scenic views. There are also several trails you can hike on throughout the conservatory. We stopped at the first one and walked a ways down to check out the red rocks. It was beautiful.
Then we headed for the Calico Tanks trail because we knew that was the one we wanted to hike. I laugh looking back at some of the pictures from the beginning because we seriously had no idea what we were about to embark on. I truly thought we were going to walk along a nice little trail through the mountains, and I figured the “moderate” trail rating it had must be because the trail was going to be going uphill quite a bit… I could not have been more wrong! We saw some people stretching at the beginning of the trail, so we joked around and did it too… 😉 (I wish I could go back and tell myself at this point, “Take this seriously, bring some snacks and water… just wait till you make the turn up ahead and realize this is not an easy little walk!”)
We quickly realized this hike was not at all what we were anticipating and that we should probably have been a little more prepared. There was no path, there was no trail. We were legit climbing up a mountain… through streams and up crumbling rock. There was nothing easy about it. Heck, there was nothing moderate about it!
It had rained the whole day before, which left the sandstone extremely slippery and extra hard to climb. But we just kept on going. We knew there was a “tank” at the end of the trail that everyone talked about, and we wanted to get there. We had already been hiking for close to an hour, so we figured there couldn’t be much more to go. Once again, we were wrong. The 2nd half of the trail was crazy hard for us. We were all sweating and huffing and puffing. (and laughing… oh my goodness we were laughing so hard!!) But we kept going. We finally made it to the tank, which really wasn’t much more than a large puddle… maybe a tiny pond if I’m being generous. 😉 But it was pretty nonetheless.
A couple other hikers told us to keep going if we really wanted to see the end. So, up we went. Thank God we did… for THIS. This epic view made the whole thing worth it. There were beautiful mountain views as far as we could see. We could even see the entire Las Vegas Strip off in the distance. It was Ah.ma.zing. I couldn’t even believe it. The website didn’t even say anything about this view. We did the hike to get to the tank, and when that was a bit of a let down, I can’t even explain how excited I was that the real end was this.
I’m clearly not a mountain hiker. That could not have been more evident as I was questioning whether or not I was even going to be able to make it up this one. But the feeling I had when we actually made it to the top was completely indescribable. If I could come close to describing it, I would say that I felt like a total badass. 😉 And the fact that I got to do it with my sisters and my mom… well that makes it even better. ❤
Sure, we had a blast hanging out in Vegas, but I can’t even compare it with this. I guarantee none of us will ever forget this experience. We laughed (at ourselves) so hard and did something that I’m pretty sure none of us ever thought we would. We HIKED a mountain!! How cool is that?
I put together this video of the whole thing if you’d like to take a look. There’s a lot of awesome mountain views, and even a clip of me almost falling off the top of the mountain! 😉
If you’re going to be in Vegas for a few days, I would definitely recommend taking a trip out to Red Rock Canyon. I promise you will not be disappointed!