Best Hikes with Dogs Las Vegas and Beyond  by Kimberly Lewis & Paula Jacoby-Garrett

Best Hikes with Dogs: Las Vegas & Beyond Guide Book

by Kimberly Lewis & Paula Jacoby-Garrett (The Mountaineers Books)
Best Hikes with Dogs Las Vegas and Beyond  by Kimberly Lewis & Paula Jacoby-Garrett
Whether your dog is new to proper trail etiquette, an experienced trail companion, or a senior dog who likes easy strolls, Kimberly Lewis and Paula Jacoby-Garrett have selected hikes that are sure to delight every type of dog owner and their four-legged friends. The authors offer more than 20 years of combined hiking experience with their own dogs, and they look at the land through canine-centric eyes. Most of these trails are uncrowded, and include some shady respites-if not water, too-to help keep your dog cool in extreme Nevada conditions. Ranging from short day hikes to extended backpacking trips, most trails are located in the Desert National Wildlife Range, Lake Mead and Spring Mountains National Recreation Areas, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, and Valley of Fire State Park. Also included is a Trail Finder chart that lists hikes by terrain, difficulty for dogs, leash regulations, and more.

© 2005 Kimberly Lewis and Paula Jacoby-Garrett/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Best Hikes with Dogs: Las Vegas & Beyond" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 50.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 50.

The Arrowhead Trail is a short loop that takes you and your dog between two red sandstone hillsides to a great view of the open desert valley, and then to Elephant Rock, a popular rock formation. You and your doggie will enjoy this hike because you get to experience quite a bit in a short distance, which leaves no time for boredom. If you are new at hiking and are not confident in your ability to follow a trail without getting lost, this trail is extremely well marked, so give it a try. Under foot and paw: Sand, gravel, and a metal bridge.
Las Vegas, NV - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.1
Traveling along the bluffs above Las Vegas Wash, this hike is all about the scenery. The well-defined trail takes the hiker from the mouth of Las Vegas Bay up the Las Vegas Wash, ending at the top of a moderate knoll with 360-degree views. Your dog will enjoy the view below and the well-maintained trail. This is an exposed hike without any access to the water below, so make sure water bottles are full and the temperature is mild. If you set out to hike this trail in the morning, be advised that park rangers lead groups of schoolchildren on field trips here. If your doggie does not do well with children, you may want to have an alternate route selected in advance. Under Foot and Paw: Dirt.
Henderson, NV - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.8
When it comes to longer hikes at Mount Charleston, most think of the Mount Charleston loop trail. Although lesser-known, the dramatic Bonanza Trail is definitely worthwhile. Under foot and paw: Dirt and gravel.
Las Vegas, NV - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 32
Who says all the beautiful red sandstone is at Red Rock Canyon? The Bowl of Fire trail takes you from a seemingly ordinary wash to unusual red Aztec sandstone formations. The area didn’t get its name by being mundane; this area is truly one of the most gorgeous spots in the Lake Mead region. Lake Mead can get quite warm, so venture out only when the temperatures are practical for hiking. On a rare occasion you may find water in sandstone depressions called tinajas, but do not count on it for your drinking water. Dogs will enjoy the change from sauntering up a wash to the treat of a little scramble at the end of the hike. If your dog has sensitive paws, you may want to take a pair of dog booties with you on this hike. The sandstone formations have a texture similar to sandpaper, and may wear down the nails and pads of your dog—more so than other hikes described in this book. Under foot and paw: Gravel, dirt, and rocks.
Henderson, NV - Hiking - Trail Length: 9.8
Boy Scout Canyon is one of the reasons why hiking in Lake Mead National Recreation Area can be so wonderful. Few people know about this trail, so it is just the place to get away from it all. It offers beautiful wildflowers in the springtime, pictographs, challenging climbing areas for both you and your dog, and a variety of surroundings. Please note that this hike should only be attempted if your dog is in good physical condition and has tough paw pads. Doggie booties are highly recommended. Under foot and paw: Sand, gravel, large boulders.
Boulder City, NV - Hiking - Trail Length: 7.4
This hike is a favorite for hiker and dog alike. The plant and wildlife di­versity, as well as the views along the trail, keep the hike interesting. Your dog will enjoy moving from deep forests to a ridgeline, and finally to an old road that has long since been closed. In the fall, the aspen leaves turn a spectacular golden yellow. As the trail’s name implies, here you can see bristlecone pines, known for being one of the longest-living organisms in the world. Although there is no water available along the trail, the first portion of the hike is heavily shaded, and the cooler temperatures at these elevations keep the pooches cool and content. Under foot and paw: Dirt trail, old dirt road.
Las Vegas, NV - Hiking - Trail Length: 6
This trail is just fun, fun, fun. It is in a beautiful sandstone area with a lot of twists, a little bit of scrambling, and an enjoyable amount of diversity in the plant life that will keep your dog wagging its tail for more. Not a section of this hike can be considered boring. The trail moves between two sandstone ridges, up to a large tinaja (Spanish for tank), or a natural depression in the sandstone, that typically has water in it. This trail is great for almost any healthy, fit dog that can handle a moderate amount of light rock scrambling. Under foot and paw: Sand and sandstone rock.
Las Vegas, NV - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.4
If your dog likes the water, this is a quick trail with easy access to the lake. The hike is a short jaunt down to Lake Mead for some dog pad­dling, with the added bonus of great views. Just west of the marina, the trail travels from a small peak across a high section of desert and down to two protected coves to the south and southwest. The northeast side of the point, near the marina, has more boat traffic and is not recom­mended for doggie swimming. The trail begins at the unpaved parking area and heads straight up the hillside to the east. The first portion of the hike is the steepest, going up 130 feet in 0.2 mile. There are some areas of loose rock, so tread carefully. At the top of this little peak (1382 feet in elevation), views are a full 360 degrees for miles in all directions. From the peak, follow the trail down the back side, heading south. The trail is met by several small side trails along the way, leading to higher vantage points or out to the water to the north. Continue on the main trail as it meanders over hills, down into little washes, and across the desert toward the south. Under foot and paw: Dirt and sand.
Henderson, NV - Hiking - Trail Length: 2
The Cathedral Rock Trail is a moderately strenuous hike to the top of a 1000-foot limestone rock face, so this hike is only recommended for fit dogs that can handle a substantial elevation gain in a short distance. This trail has much to offer, including colorful wildflowers during the summer months and one of the best displays of fall color anywhere around Las Vegas. In the fall, yellow aspen trees surrounding the trail are a good re­minder that there actually are seasons in Las Vegas. For your dog, this trail has the added bonus of a seasonal waterfall about halfway up the trail. When you reach the summit, pay close attention to your dog—there is a sheer drop-off at the edge of the summit. This hike is not recommended when there is snow on the trail or at higher elevations. The trail leads through an area historically known for avalanches. Under foot and paw: Gravel with small rocks, sometimes slightly slick.
Las Vegas, NV - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.8
With a decent elevation change and some fantastic views, the hike to Cave Spring is a challenge, but worth the work. Your dog will be excited when you get to the end of the trail and discover a water trough fed by the Cave Spring. The trail is well defined and easy to follow, with abundant shade available. The trail is mainly dirt with small gravel-sized rocks, so it should be rather easy on your dog’s paws. Under foot and paw: Gravel and dirt.
Las Vegas, NV - Hiking - Trail Length: 5
The diversity of this hike keeps it fun and entertaining for dogs as well as their owners. The beginning portion of the hike has historical signifi­cance, with a memorial. From there it’s off to a wide wash, then some sandstone scrambling. Then the fun part—water! There is enough water here to splash around in and let your dog get its feet wet. This wash is also not often hiked, so you and your pet will likely be alone. Under foot and paw: Gravel and dirt.
Las Vegas, NV - Hiking - Trail Length: 6.9
This peaceful hike follows a wash down to a couple of cottonwood trees, from which the spring got its name. Your four-legged friend will be sad to learn that the spring is usually dry. However, it is not uncommon to see the efforts of local animals digging down in the sand to reach water. Although there probably will not be any water at the spring, the cottonwood trees provide a wonderful respite for lunch with shade. If your dog feels the need to roll around in the gravel, this is a great spot for some serious rolling. Under foot and paw: Dirt and gravel.
Henderson, NV - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.1
If you and your dog loved the White Rock Canyon hike, you will find this hike just as spectacular and enjoyable. The general characteristics of both hikes are similar, but this canyon is a bit narrower and the canyon walls are more reddish-brown in color. Hikes like these are a pleasure to complete with dogs—they find it such a great treat to reach the Colorado River for a dip in the water! This hike is less known than White Rock Canyon, and usually has less traffic on the trail. Under foot and paw: Gravel and rock.
Henderson, AZ - Hiking - Trail Length: 9.3
Who can resist a hidden waterfall and pool nestled among the trees? This heavenly spot is a favorite for hiker and dog alike. The trek to the falls is across open desert and is an area of choice for the local burros, so keep your eyes out for these wild residents. The falls at First Creek are seasonal, so plan your trip after mountain storms or during spring run-off for the best results. The well-marked trail begins at the information kiosk and travels across the desert toward the sandstone cliffs.
Las Vegas, NV - Hiking - Trail Length: 2
This is truly one of the best hikes in this area, and one that can be done over and over. Besides being a nice casual hike through the woods, it has a spring and a narrow canyon area to explore. There are a host of inter­esting plants, insects, birds, and animals along this hike. The diversity of wildlife in the canyon makes this a fun and interesting walk for people and dogs of all ages. It is not uncommon to see something new every time you take this trek. The Mount Charleston area commonly gets more storms than the Las Vegas Valley. Keep weather in mind when hiking up into this narrow canyon environment. Strong water flows etched this canyon out of the rock, and flash floods are still a danger, so stay away if rain is in the forecast. Under foot and paw: Dirt and some gravel.
Las Vegas, NV - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.2
Unconformity, where rocks that are 1.7 billion years old are found layered next to rocks that are about 520 million years old. The rocks on the right side of the historical site are 1.7 billion-year-old Precambrian granite and schist. They formed deep within the earth in the core of an ancient mountain range. During hundreds of millions of years this old mountain range eroded away, leaving the rocks exposed about 500 million years ago. The rocks were then buried by sand when the area was covered by a shallow sea. The sand cemented together to form the sandstone seen to the left of the historical site. The buried erosion surface is the Great Unconformity, which represents about 1.2 billion years of missing his­tory. The earth is about 4.5 billion years old, so this surface represents more than one-fourth of the earth’s history. Under foot and paw: Old dirt road with rocky areas.
Las Vegas, NV - Hiking - Trail Length: 4
Gass Peak offers solitude, a challenging trail, and excellent views of Las Vegas, the Sheep Mountains, the Las Vegas Range, and the Spring Moun­tains Range. This hike is an exciting change from populated, well-defined trails, but only experienced hikers with fit dogs should attempt it. Aside from the distance and elevation gain, the most challenging aspect of this trail is the lack of trail. For the majority of the hike, at best there is a user-created trail to follow. The hike is navigable, though, and if you pay attention to your surroundings, the route will guide you to incred­ible views on top of Gass Peak. It can be mentally challenging for your dog if you let it lead in front of you on the leash and find the best path around bushes, rocks, and other obstacles you may run across. Most of this adventure is on loose rocks, so dog booties may be appropriate if your dog has sensitive pads or nails that wear down easily. Under foot and paw: Loose shale rock (sometimes sharp), limestone outcrops, and dirt roads
Las Vegas, NV - Hiking - Trail Length: 7
This hike is one where you can really get out and hike without meeting many people. This trail passes rocky areas, dense trees, meadows, and a high mountain peak. The fun for you and your pet is the time alone, varied landscape, and an abundance of incredible views. Griffith Peak is also accessible from the Kyle Canyon Lodge area, but this trail is much less traveled and gives you and your pet some privacy. Be aware that the Harris Springs Road is slow going. It takes a great deal of time to get back to the parking area, and a high-clearance vehicle is necessary. There are some sharp rocks on the road so be sure to have your spare tire along. This road is very windy, so if your dog gets carsick you may want to ask your veterinarian about motion sickness pills for your dog before setting out on this trek. Under foot and paw: Gravel, rock, and dirt.
Las Vegas, NV - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 9.5
Do you and your dog love Mount Charleston but hate the crowds? If so, give Hidden Forest a try. This trail begins in open desert and climbs up into the pines, ending at an old log cabin and spring where the sur­roundings make you feel like you are in the Spring Mountains. Best of all, this area is not as commonly traveled, so solitude will be a welcome treat for you and your dog. If your pooch is a camping hound, this hike is suitable for a backpacking trip and an overnight adventure. This hike is only recommended for healthy, fit dogs. The loose gravel that makes up most of the hike can be more tiring than you might expect. Under foot and paw: Loose gravel and sand.
Las Vegas, NV - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 10.2
Off the beaten path, Horsethief Canyon has a bit of everything. It is remote and offers a seasonal spring, wildlife, and some rock scrambling. What more can a dog want? Depending on the season, the spring can be dry or, in winter and early spring, it may produce a small stream down the whole canyon. The rock scrambling is fun, but if it looks too difficult, there is always an easier alternate route to the side. Under foot and paw: Gravel and rock.
Henderson, AZ - Hiking - Trail Length: 11.2