Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
605.00 ft (184.40 m)
Trail type
3.30 mi (5.31 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Red Rock Canyon Scenic Loop will often close for long periods of time on busy days to prevent over-crowding in Red Rock Canyon National Recreation Area. A great alternative spot to hike on those days is in the Calico Basin at the north end of the park, and one of the best hikes is the loop around Kraft Mountain. Some segments of this loop are popular with rock climbers heading to or from their routes, but much of it is seldom-traveled, especially compared to the popular hikes in Red Rock like Oak Creek Canyon or Calico Tanks.

From the trailhead, the recommended direction to hike this loop is clockwise, starting west in the direction of Ash Spring. The trail splits after a short distance and the loop trail heads right toward the saddle of Kraft Mountain. The hike up to the saddle is the toughest part of the hike, but the spectacular rocks and great views make it easier. Once on the saddle, the trail heads down toward the distant Gateway Canyon. There are several minor trails that head to the right of the main trail, but avoid those unless the goal is to scramble down cliffs to get to the canyon. At the intersection with the canyon wash, head right to follow the canyon down along the north face of Kraft. There are many places that require scrambling down rock falls or jumping off ledges, but it is all pretty easy without any equipment. At the mouth of the canyon, the trail rounds the shoulder of the mountain and returns to the flat desert and the parking area.

This hike is absolutely spectacular for its many-colored rocks, varied desert vegetation (including blooming redbud in late March) and mildly-challenging rock hopping. It is also easy to find the route even though the trail disappears in many spots.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Less crowded than many Red Rock Trails. Gorgeous rock formations. Light canyoneering. No park pass required.



Trailhead Elevation

3,615.00 ft (1,101.85 m)


Rock climbing
Bird watching
Big vistas
Geologically significant


Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Lake Mead National Recreation Area


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