Red Rocks Canyon National Conservation Area (just west of Las Vegas) has many opportunities for hiking, climbing, and exploration. We spent 3 days hiking a few of the trails. We left Death Valley and arrived later on our first day so we randomly chose a shorter hike. The Keystone Thrust Trail starts at the White Rock Trailhead, then climbs up through the desert hills under the La Madre Mountains.
A rocky trail wound through blackbrush, yucca, cholla, and cacti.
We followed the trail to the end then chose to create our own loop by following ridges back down, then traversing back to the parking area, a 2+ mile hike on a cloudy day.
The Keystone Thrust is a geological feature. A series of earthquakes has caused the older layers to be pushed up and folded over the newer layers. The trail crosses the exposed rock and then ends at a viewpoint.
The Calico Hills are to the east of the viewpoint. The best hikes/scrambles in the area are in those sandstone hills.
Bridge Mountain lies to the west with the Spring Mountains above on the south and west
We enjoyed this short hike because of the wide open views of the whole Red Rocks area. If you only have one day, the Calico Hills are the best choice, but Keystone Thrust is one more hiking opportunity in a park offering good hiking for both locals and visitors.