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
5 days 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
5 days 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
13 days 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
14 days ago

backpacking
22 days ago

has anyone backpacked in ??

hiking
off trail
rocky
scramble
27 days ago

hiking
rocky
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
2 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
2 months ago

Go again and find the water

hiking
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
2 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.

hiking
2 months ago

some down trees on path. easy hike

The trail was more easy then moderate but definitely stay on the path.

Windy Peak hike with boyz. We signed 2 notepads. One in the way up the mtn I spotted a bright case with registration info. The other was at the top of wind peak

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

I started at Overlook Loop and finished with the Sandstone Canyon Loop. All the views were so beautiful. You could hear frogs and so many birds, the the Sandstone Canyon trail had butterflies flying all around it. Highly recommend.

It was a great trail for the dogs. It was rocky but the rocks weren’t too big. The views from this trail were beautiful! Would definitely come back.

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

Just a few tips- it’s been a really wet winter here so the trail forces you to cross a running creek almost right away (maybe 6-12inches of water as of 3/6/19.) It can be a bit confusing to start off but just keep heading toward the mountain and don’t go off on side trails at the beginning. Also- lots of broken glass in random areas so be careful for dog’s paws! All in all a totally pleasant hike and a great choice when Red Rock is closed for weather.

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

All I can say is WOW! I spent a morning doing every trail at SMR and this one was my FAVORITE! It’s been a very rainy winter so be prepared to get your feet wet! Very well maintained and super easy to follow. Just a total pleasure- I can’t recommend enough.

Fabulous hike! Met a local half way through named Donz, great guy and really knew his stuff. Such a pleasure. Loved the stream and all the animal tracks. also got to see a lot of snow covering areas that normally melt.

MUST have high clearance vehicle. Five star view at peak - the mountains and rock faces are truly breathtaking. There isn’t really a trail - we used the map and our compass. It’s not marked at all - once you enter the wilderness, eventually you’ll follow the wash with rock stack markers here and there, then climb thru wilderness to the peak. It took us more than 5 hours with an extra mile and snack breaks.

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

Very muddy and windy today. Dog friendly and great views. I will be back very soon when the wind has died down and it dries up.

Fun trail & little creek to cross through. Short and easy hike but lots too see & really scenic. My Annie loved it

Nice easy hike although rocky at the beginning. Nice scenery.

hiking
7 months ago

Bit hard to follow once at the huge rock, but just follow the small stacked rocks, and you’ll be fine! *wear good hiking shoes/boots!!!

hiking
7 months ago

When you get up to about 2.1 miles, there is a great bench-like rock along the ridge to sit and have lunch & a beer while gazing at a great view of the Strip.

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