First Creek Pool and Waterfall is a short drive from central Las Vegas and not far from the popular Red Rock Canyon area - technically the trail is part of the Red Rock National Conservation Area. The depth and flow of water that form the pool vary based on snowpack, rainfall, and seasons. Late spring flows can swell the the pool, and an 18-foot waterfall feeds it when flows are running high.
As inviting as the pool may appear on a hot day, it is absolutely vital to avoid swimming here. The hot and dry conditions of the desert mean that this pool acts as a critical and unique habitat for the desert species that live here and use its resources. Pollutants that may enter the water with swimmers will not simply be diluted out of the area; rather, they are more likely to become concentrated in the dwindling water source as the dry season progresses. Given the popularity of this area, the threat of long-term damage to this pool is very real. Please do your part to preserve this unusual space and enjoy the pool and waterfall from the sidelines.
Beginning at the popular First Creek Trailhead, it is about a 1-mile shadeless hike with around 200 feet of elevation gain up a clearly marked trail. The route passes cholla, yucca and Joshua trees, and reaches a point where two large pine trees stand on the right side of the trail. Hikers should head toward the rightmost of these two trees. Rather than scrambling down the steep embankment behind them, veer left down a lightly-used path that descends gradually in an upstream direction that will take you straight to the pool.
First Creek Canyon is accessible by continuing up the main trail. This entire area, and the creek canyon especially, is prone to flash flooding. Avoid this area if there is a storm.
There are no amenities of any kind at the trailhead or along the trail. Plan ahead.