“A popular out-and-back trail through sandstone formations to an overlook of the city and the Las Vegas strip.”
— Kristen Evans
One of the most popular trails in Red Rock Park, this trail weaves through the white and red sandstone that dominates the area. Several small, seasonal pools of water are passed along the way until the biggest is encountered right before the overlook.
Calico Tanks is an out-and-back trail that begins at the Sandstone Quarry trailhead inside the Red Rock scenic loop.
To begin, follow the main trail from the parking area across, and then alongside, a wash. The trail will fork; follow the trail on the right as it quickly makes its way into an open canyon. From here, keep following the the canyon up.
Most of the time it is easy to see the trail, however, sometimes the route will take you up sandstone steps and onto large slabs where it can be slightly more difficult to navigate. Generally, if you get to an obstacle that cannot be easily maneuvered around, take a few steps back and look for a set of sandstone steps.
About one mile into the canyon you'll reach the largest 'tank,' which may or may not be filled with water. If there is no water or the water level is low, it is possible to descend into the tank and work your way across the natural basin before scrambling back up the rocks to get to the overlook. The more common route follows a path up and to the right of the tank before if finally leads you to the overlook.
Take a minute to enjoy 360° view of the Las Vegas valley and Red Rock Canyon before heading back the same way you journeyed in.