Looking for a great trail in Rainbow Mountain Wilderness, Nevada? AllTrails has 5 great hiking trails, walking trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Just looking to take a quick stroll? We've got 2 easy trails in Rainbow Mountain Wilderness ranging from 2.1 to 5.5 miles and from 3,743 to 6,492 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

hiking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

nature trips

bird watching

Although this area is signifcantly smaller than the adjacent Mt. Charleston Wilderness and La Madre Mountain Wilderness, the terrain consists of beautiful vertical red and buff sandstone cliffs, capped by limestone in some areas, that are deeply incised by narrow, twisting canyons carpeted with vegetation. The area contains one perennial stream. Elevations range from 4,400 feet to some of the high points including Mount Wilson at 7,070 feet and Rainbow Mountain at 6,924 feet in elevation. This wilderness is located approximately 12 miles west of Las Vegas, Nevada, and is jointly managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service. GEOLOGY Here you will find Jurassic sandstone cliffs with great examples of cross-bedding, which reveals their origin as sand dunes. You can also find older limestone that has been thrust over the younger sandstone. The geologic scenery of the wilderness is associated with the Keystone Thrust which extends for more than 45 miles through the Spring Mountains. FLORA AND FAUNA The range in elevation in this area provides for a variety of life zones. Here you can find ponderosa pine, pinyon pine, juniper, ash, manzanita, silk tassel, bitterbush, apache plume, scrub oak, willow, and hackberry. This range in habitat and the area's unique geology and microclimates support several endemic plant communities, plants that are found no where else in the world. With a keen eye you can spot desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, gray foxes, ringtails, rock squirrels, white-tailed antelope squirrels, and Merriam's kangaroo rats. You may also spot golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, Cooper's hawks, great horned owls, Anna's hummingbirds, yellow warblers, western tanagers, and black-throated gray warblers. CULTURAL SITES High concentrations of rock art, including both petroglyphs and pictographs, add to the uniqueness of this wilderness area.

hiking
20 days ago

Great hike through varied terrain.

hiking
rocky
29 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

It's a nice trail for an easy Sunday hike. It's a very green trail, nothing like the usual Canyon trails around Las Vegas. If you miss the green landscape every now and then this is the place to go. We have seen more spectacular views, but we're a little spoiled and have been doing many trails already

hiking
over grown
1 month ago

Very physical 9 hours trail, with some climbing and tricky passages. Quite hard to follow the path, actually it is also quite easy waste time following misleading signal left by unwary hikers. Overall nice view and rewarding adventure. You must enjoy hikes...

hiking
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

This damn near killed me and I’m in decent shape. 8+ hours. Trail is nearly impossible to find in places, that added 1.5 miles to my day.

hiking
off trail
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

backpacking
2 months ago

has anyone backpacked in ??

hiking
off trail
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

First Creek Trail is an easy-to-follow trail through the valley to the base of the mountain range. Once you enter Rainbow Mountain Wilderness, however, the path begins splitting in all directions (various parts of the creek, canyon, etc.) until it is reduced to almost nothing. Route seems to work best along the south side of the creek. Be wary of thorny wildlife and slippery rocks/drop-offs. During spring/summer, expect to be bushwhacking. Trail is most rewarding late Fall - Spring, when the creek is flowing nicely and the foliage is thinnest or blooming. Definitely deserving of the "hard" difficulty rating, so expect to spend 8-10 hrs. minimum on the hike. Would not recommend for pets/young children. Great hike/workout. One of my favs, views are absolutely worth it.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

5/5/2019. took dogs. long straight first 1.5 Mike's but the green, trees. creek at about 3 miles. went around wilsons pimple loop.

we only went to the loop split, but as far as we went it was very nice. easy to follow trail, not too many switchbacks and lots of gorgeous views of mt Charleston.

A great early morning hike. Lots of wildflowers, somewhat rocky, but overall, a fun hike

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

A freebie if you don’t want to pay the park fee. Very rocky well marked trail till you get pass the wilderness area sign, if you follow the wash you will get a nice upper body workout & refine your route finding skills. Leaning going left the trail ends at a mostly dry waterfall, but a rope & sketchy trail looks to keep going onward

hiking
closed
private property
3 months ago

Didn’t realize I had to pay to get in ($10) so really make it worth your while. Beautiful views but no lake. Lots of areas roped off due to private property. But overall, beautiful hike.

walking
no shade
3 months ago

was a good walk for little kids. trails are super short and we spent more time eating lunch in the picnic area than we did actually "hiking".

hiking
3 months ago

Go again and find the water

hiking
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

I found this hike to be incredibly rewarding and the hardest I've ever done. Partly due to the physical stress and partly due to the large amount of bushwhacking. The All Trails map shows this as "Route Up Mount Wilson" and that's about all it is. After you pass from the First Creek trail to Rainbow Mt Wilderness area the trail slowly fades to almost no existent and you generally follow the wash up and keep your eyes out for Cairns of those who've come before and kindly marked an easier route. The boulder scrambling is plentiful, it's actually most of what you'll be doing until you start to rise out of the canyon. At this point it's an almost straight shot up to the top of the ridge that runs up to the peak. Excercise caution as this part is all loose rock at a fairly steep grade. If you keep your eyes open you can make out the path most people take. At the top of the ridge is a great view of the southern side of Rainbow Mt. From here just follow the ridge line up, the peak will be in view as a marker for most of the time, again, keep your eyes out for cairns. The peak has 2 USGS markers and an ammo box with a notepad inside to register your climb. So far this is the best view I've seen of Red Rocks, Blue Diamond and the greater Las Vegas valley, on a clear day you can even see Lake Mead. This was a rough one for me, I'm no endurance hiker but I like a challenge and this one whooped me. Next time I'll probably camp at the peak and come down the next day. The views of Vegas at night should be stunning.

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