Red Rocks: Keystone Thrust Trail

Las Vegas, Nevada

Red Rocks Keystone Thrust Trail

Red Rocks: Keystone Thrust Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Hike along this trail to see the intersection of great and colorful geologic eras. The Keystone Thrust Trail is part of the La Madre Mountain Wilderness Area, designated by Congress in 2002. Vehicle: Passenger car."

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Red Rocks: Keystone Thrust Trail Trip Reports

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Arden Hills, MN
Pathfinder | 130 pts
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After stopping at several of the viewing areas for photos and a little trek in, it was time to hike one of the trails and this was our first one. It was fairly easy. It was beautiful to see all the mountains and red rock all around us. When you get to the back of the trail, you have a great view of Turtlehead Mountain. We enjoyed this one.
Las Vegas, NV
Explorer | 40 pts
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The real treat on this trail is definitely at the end, where the dramatic red rock thrust fills the canyon bottom. The hike to the thrust is a pleasant, if non-eventful, meander. Still worth it in a big way!
Adventurer | 330 pts
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If you do not have the geological background the hike is not so interesting as the other hikes of Red Rock Canyon.
You see a red rock "flowing" like a river between grey limestone hills.
However I read a book about the thrust afterwards, and I have to admit, that you can see very well, how the trusting at Red Rock Canyon worked.
So inform yourself about the geological background before making this hike.

More Red Rocks: Keystone Thrust Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

"An easy day hike to a unique geological feature, the Keystone Thrust Fault Zone, in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Walk 100 yards back down the road (east) to a closed dirt road now on your left (north). Follow the old road across the wash, where it turns left and starts to climb the ridge opposite the trailhead. After approximately 0.75 mile, the trail crosses a wash and climbs into a small saddle. Just up the ridge, the trail forks, with the right fork descending off the ridge into a small canyon. The contact of the Keystone Thrust Fault is visible below, where the older gray limestone has been forced over the top of the much younger red and white Aztec sandstone." Read more
Kimberly Lewis & Paula Jacoby-Garrett
"The Keystone Thrust trail gives the hiker grand views of the area’s ge­ology and the thrust fault that gave this hike its name. For your dog, the hike offers an interesting change in scenery. The first portion of the trail weaves through dense desert plants. Later on, the vegetation is sparser as the trail moves across sandstone rock. Please be advised: At the end of the trail there is a significant drop-off, so be careful with your dog in this area. Small pools can form after a rain, so if you plan the trip accordingly your pup may get to splash around. Under foot and paw: Gravel, dirt, and rock." Read more
Bruce Grubbs
"An easy day hike to an overlook above the Keystone Thrust Fault contact zone, a place where older rocks have been overturned and thrust on top of younger rocks." Read more

Trail Information

Las Vegas
Nearby City
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
460 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
1 hour
Best Times: Cold to warm
4,874 feet
Trailhead Elevation
5,120 feet
Top Elevation
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
Local Contacts
La Madre Mtn. USGS
Local Maps