Turtlehead Peak Trail is a 4.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Las Vegas, Nevada that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,991 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no shade

Isolated walk past petroglyphs to ridge line with views of Sandstone Quarry. Well worn path to the summit of Turtlehead Mountain. Alternate exits exist for this classic Red Rock Canyon Peak. Established in 1990 by special legislation the Red Rock Recreation Lands status was changed to a National Conservation Area. The area is comprised of 195,819 acres and is located 17 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip. More than 30 miles of hiking trails exists in this scenic area including the well worn path to the summit of Turtlehead Mountain. This classic Red Rock Canyon Peak offers stunning views of Las Vegas and the Red Rock Canyon mountain skyline.

hiking
1 day ago

Great hike,

9 days ago

A nice hike with wonderful views of Las Vegas and the Red Rock Canyon. I was disappointed in the various trail markers that got confusing and/or over-abundant (too many people marking it up).. I would do this hike again

hiking
9 days ago

Fantastic trail with wonderful views of Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon and the La Madre Mountains. A variety of terrain, great views along the way and a terrific endpoint at the peak make this a fun and interesting trail.

hiking
13 days ago

Most challenging hike for me to date. when you get to the top, that's the reward! I felt amazing conquering this lil mountain!

hiking
18 days ago

Path is very well mark. The scramble is well worth it for the view down to Vegas.

20 days ago

This hike is very challenging. There is a ton of scrambling up rocks, loose gravel and steep terrain. Thank plenty of water and use dots that are sprayed on the side of the rocks to get to the ridgeline. Overall, the view is totally worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

Short Steep Hike - lots of fun, but bring 30-40% more water than you think you need (We did this in November when it was 80 and still ran out of water on way back). I wouldn't recommend doing this in the summer unless you start before sunrise.

Follow the markings once the trail becomes less clear, they are painted on the rocks. The general path stays low near gully, on the left side. If you are FAR left on that hill, you are off the path. Have fun and take pictures!

hiking
1 month ago

Hike took 4 hours with a half hour stop at the summit. Beautiful views of canyon and strip. We went on a Sunday without much foot traffic once you past the first mile bring plenty of water and a snack

hiking
1 month ago

This hike was tougher than I expected. The trails was difficult to stick with and I think I added at least an extra mile wandering around. It was an interesting and fun scramble though and the view from the top was much better than expected! Don’t forget the sunscreen and water!

1 month ago

The hike was great. Not a lot to see on the way up but the view from the top is magnificent. Lots of loose footing so watch you step

1 month ago

Couple of areas where trail markings were not clear but the payoff....WOW! 360 panorama of the Vegas basin and Red Rock valley. Awesome!!! Worth the effort.

hiking
1 month ago

One of the nicest views and hikes in the area. Some of the trail isn't well marked, I heard it is now so going back next month to do it again. It's not well shaded so make sure to wear a hat, sunscreen, and water. Parking wasn't abundant so you'll have to wait for a spot or park on the One-Way road around Red Rock Canyon.

hiking
1 month ago

Started at 6:30am and had the place to myself! Took about 3.5 hours total including a 30 min break at the top. Toughest part of the hike is the middle portion...really gets your heart pumping. On the way down, be careful of loose gravel. Even being cautious, I still almost busted my butt a good 5 or 6 times (didn’t have any problems on the way up). Loved this beautiful and challenging hike!

trail running
1 month ago

Good morning hike before work type of trail.. just bring a bottle of water.

hiking
1 month ago

we had great fun, no too difficult, but hard enough and terrific views! absolutely word while!

1 month ago

good views
big workout! A lot of bang 4 the distance!

2 months ago

This is a great hike with amazing 360* views at the summit. Well worth the time and effort.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a great hike with beautiful views of Las Vegas and Red Rock Canyon. This hike is in Red Rock Canyon park so there is a $15 admission fee per car. One this trail there are some steep spots with loose gravel/sediment on it, making it dicy in areas. I would recommend trekking poles. Keep an eye out for blue, orange and white dots/arrows to identify the path. There are Many offshoots that will lead you astray.

hiking
2 months ago

Fantastic hike! Not the hardest one ever but still moderately challenging with an incredible view of Las Vegas at the top! If your ever in the area, make this your first stop!

3 months ago

this is a difficult trail with some areas of slippery gravel and rock scrambling. There are a lot of trail markings via spray paint, but still easy to wander off trail in certain spots. Although, heading in the right general direction, any path you pick will get you there. The view of the Valley on one side and the park on the other are worth the journey.

3 months ago

PA girl, first time hiking on the west coast and decided to challenge myself to a more difficult rated hike. This trail was amazing! Awesome views! Starts off pretty mellow, but by the midway point there's some scrambling. Get to the top, take it all in. Little shade, take it while you can! Overall, not a super difficult hike. Best hike I've ever accomplished. Hardest part was the descent because at some points, the trail is hard to follow. Markings are faded. Also, small stones/pebbles make it challenging as well. Super easy to slip on the descent. Watch your step!

For those of you who are used to east coast weather and/or humidity, the most challenging part is gauging hydration status. So, just keep drinking! I finished 100oz of water and that still wasn't enough.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike, not as difficult as I thought it would be but still challenging, especially going up hill as we were approaching the summit, since the ground was not as sturdy. Have the proper attire for a dessert environment, long pants and hiking shoes to protect from the dessert plants and bushes. Keep hydrated and enjoy the great view of the canyon and Vegas from a distance.

hiking
4 months ago

Challenging and fun.. very little shade, but I knew it would given it is Vegas.. Trail isn’t marked too welll...

hiking
4 months ago

The first half was easy. And very enjoyable. The second half the trail pretty much disappeared. Loose rocks and scrambling. The long slope to the top was very boring and dull. it's a very hard walk bushwacking with no trail. After I was done I could have kicked myself and should have done a more scenic hike around the red rocks. But I made it to the top.

hiking
4 months ago

I'm from Vegas and my sister and I would do this hike a couple times every summer. If it's in the summer, though, you should make sure to get an early start because there's no tree cover until you get to the slope of the actual mountain and even then, it's just some short and pretty sparse junipers. The hike is long and the "trail" becomes less defined as you get closer to the slope of the mountain, so my sister and I would usually end up taking whichever route we wanted that given day, often the wash that was still shaded by the peak. The view at the top isn't great just because visibility isn't great, but otherwise, getting to the top feels pretty good. I would recommend this hike to anyone, just make sure you bring plenty of water!

hiking
4 months ago

Been a few years since I hiked this trail. It was my first hike in a long time so I found out real quick that I was out of shape (even though I was 7% body fat). I went home exhausted and burnt from the lack of shade and poor preparation, but it was the beginning of a hiking/climbing journey. Since then, I’ve hiked and climbed all over the country!

5 months ago

Great hike but there was a couple of areas that were a little treacherous

hiking
5 months ago

You can see by my rating of this trail how I feel about Turtlehead…

…but just because I did not totally enjoy it does not mean that you won’t.

The pros first:
1. Turtlehead is one of the more challenging trails at Red Rock.
2. The views from the peak are magnificent.
3. Wildlife can be observed.

…so what’s not to like right?

Well, for me, compared to other trails at Red Rock, the trail to the top is boring: Rocks and Junipers with little variation; the one Red Rock trail that come close to this level of monotony is the last few miles of the White Rock loop where the old road ends.

Wild life is around but hard to spot unless you are towards the top where I saw four of Bird of Prey; I think a Prairie Falcon and Crows. I did see some kind of ground Birds towards the trail head, along the wash; Chukar, most likely. Those two sightings were the highlight of my hike.

The trail is challenging and, at times, downright dangerous and that has never stopped me from hiking a trail but there is usually some variation. I did like the challenge and some of the danger but most of the danger was from loose scree which was more annoying. The hike to the abandoned mines at La Madre Springs has a similar amount of scree but with variation.

Some Tips:

Regarding heat management/water… I hiked at midday in some serious heat, took tons of rests but finding shade was hard; I drank 3 liters of water but could have used 4. If you hike during peak heat expect that kind of water consumption. Camel up at the car and wet down your clothes and hats: that should keep you good in the heat for the first 2 or so hours. Sometimes I pack my pockets with micro fiber cloths and wet those down too. Conserve your sweat, not your water.

Rest when you need to, the heat causes your heart rate to rise so break when you are tired and don’t over exert yourself till you are descending from the peak. When resting wait for your heart rate to get nice and low, preferably in the shade.

Gloves would be a good idea because there is some class 3 scrambling. I took a hiking pole with me and I am pretty sure it was helpful your results may vary.

If I did not stop to take pictures, the hike would have taken me about 5 hours due the numerous rest breaks I took going up: three going up and two going down.

6 months ago

Super fun & challenging!! Your thighs will hurt, coming back feels harder than going up! Take a light lunch to have at the top! Beautiful view to have while eating lunch!

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike! Starts off pretty easy but gets challenging having to scramble up some rocks. The descent was far more difficult, wear shoes with good tread, and expect to slip and slide a bit on your way down. Bring lots of water and get ready for great views at the top!

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