Dirt Bag Edition
A year ago, we headed out on an impromptu 48 hour trip to Red Rock with some new found friends and have every since, been head over heels for this nook outside sin city. A dirtbaggers dream come true, there’s no better place cure a fix for camping, climbing + hiking. A solid, but smooth 6-hour drive from northern San Diego will guarantee you an unexpected desert escape that welcomes all from the first time explorer to the everyday dirtbag.
Even with the light pollution pouring over from Las Vegas, the starry desert sky is worth sleeping outside. A couple tanks of gas, a pack full of food and a tent will set you up for escape that will make all your friends wish they had locked in a desert getaway too. With a few weeks left of spring + perfect desert temperatures, we’ve put together this 24 Hours To Red Rock, Dirtbag Edition to entice you to take a break and make your way out to discover desert beauty while cooling off in the creeks hidden inside this sandstone canyons while they last.
We’ll eat tacos any day, anywhere. Camp made tacos are the perfect, inexpensive + filling food to share with friends in the outdoors. (recipe here)
Jump starting the day with these protein-packed patties will supercharge your explorations well into mid-afternoon. (recipe here)
Pizza is the way to everyone’s heart. This enjoyment isn’t limited to city streets or fancy restaurants. Campfire pizza will change your life. (recipe here)
You can bring an RV or van but tent camping at Red Rock, in my opinion, is the only way to go. Letting the evening chill set in while you layer up and get cozy under the open sky. You’ll find peace in the stillness you can only hear in the outdoors. Although the whole campground will likely be filled with dirtbags from all walks of life and corners of the earth, the quiet chatter and friendly, welcoming vibes from each of your neighbors will validate any hesitations you might have about caking on a layer of dust for the sake of the outdoors. Individual sites run $15/night and might be tougher to lock down during high season. Access is usually closed June – early September so pack your bags + make a go for it before the summer heat sets in or add this to your fall to do list.
Located inside the Red Rock Canyon National Park, Icebox Canyon is a moderate – difficult but fun hike depending on your skill level. At 2.5 mile round trip, you’ll earn every view you see. Park along the road and put one foot in front of the other up the dirt trail until you hit the overcast sandstone slabs. This is where things get fun. You’ll cross tiny pools of water, squeeze through small openings and crawl over boulders all the way in. For some, making it to the end of the canyon where the only other option was up did the trick. For those who are braver + more curious, scramble up the steep stone wall to, if the time is right, discover the rewards of a waterfall within.
We classified the Icebox Canyon under play as it was fun, challenging but achievable. As we trekked across shallow pools of water and scrambled up slabs of sandstone. The diversity of adventurers we crossed here confirmed that it’s a hike meant to push your limits, whether you’re a seasoned hiker/climber or a mom who’s never hit the trail.
No matter who you are, if you’re attempting this, or any hike remember safety and preservation of the wild are key. A solid pair of hiking shoes with traction, water to keep you hydrated + leave no trace are go to’s for success. Have fun + challenge yourself but listen to your limitations. For more info on the specifics, check out this guide from Hiking Las Vegas and for a reminder of the dos + don’ts of nature, peep the Leave No Trace Principles to help you do your part in keeping the wild beautiful for everyone to enjoy.
This hike was so nice we did it twice. A little nosing around lead us to a less discovered dipping pool just above the waterfall. If you’re hiking in from the trailhead, heading down will take you to a pool filled by a waterfall. If you stay the trail + keep heading back, you’ll discover where this water is flowing from + likely have the luxury of enjoying it all by yourself. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to cool and rinse off after a morning + early afternoon spent under the desert sun. And after sharing the trails with hundreds of other hikers through the day, it was nice to feel like we were really able to leave it all behind and sink into the serenity one is searching for when they escape to the outdoors.
Stranded on Land