Willow Springs Loop

Round Trip Distance: 1.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 4455 - 4578 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: Willow Springs Picnic Area
Fee: $15/vehicle or annual pass
Attractions: Scenic loop, agave pit

The Willow Springs Loop is located in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area just west of Las Vegas, Nevada. Beginning at the Willow Springs Picnic area the trail travels east past an agave roasting pit. From there the trail parallels the north side of the road until it crosses it at the Lost Creek Canyon trailhead. At that point the trail crosses a wash and loops back along the hillside on the south side of the road to the place where the loop began.

One route to get to the Willow Springs trailhead would be to head west from Las Vegas on US-95 for 4.5 miles and take exit 81A for Summerlin Parkway. Continue on Summerlin Pkwy for 5.6 miles before exiting onto the Bruce Woodbury Beltway. After another 2.17 miles take exit 26 for Charleston Blvd/NV-159. Continue on NV-159 for 5.18 miles and turn right onto the Red Rock Canyon Toll road. Continue on the Scenic Loop Drive for 7.15 miles and turn right onto the Rocky Gap Road where it is just under a mile to the trailhead. Entering Red Rock Canyon in your driving app for turn by turn directions always works best.

Once at the Willow Springs trailhead begin by hiking through the picnic area where a pleasant interpretive trail crosses several bridges and passes a few interesting features that are pointed out by signs along the way.

If you started on the west end of the picnic area you will come across a sign that marks the beginning of the loop.

As the trail works its way to the east end of the picnic area it will meet up with the wheelchair accessible paved trail that leads from the parking area to the agave roasting pit where you can learn about one method of cooking that was used in the past for thousands of years.

From the agave pit the trail works its way east along the base of the hill sharing routes with part of the White Rock Loop trail.

Rugged mountains provide a scenic backdrop as the trail begins turning southward.

Just before crossing the road to the Lost Creek Canyon trailhead the White Rock Loop branches off to the left on its own.

From the Lost Creek Canyon trailhead the Willow Springs Loop begins sharing routes with the Children's Discovery trail and heads off across the gravely wash on the south side of the road.

After crossing the wash the combined trails start gradually climbing until at the 3 tenths of a mile point from the Lost Creek Canyon trailhead the Willow Springs Loop once again branches off on its own to the right.

It's hard to pick out the trail from all the loose talus rocks but after a few feet the trail squeezes through a narrow passage between a large boulder and the side of the cliff. Once the trail emerges from the passage it becomes very distinct and easy to follow.

The trail continues along the side of the mountain for about a quarter mile and then drops back down into the valley where once again it crosses the wash to the road.

The Willow Springs Loop is a nice short hike to do while visiting the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. We came to do the Petroglyph Wall trail which also starts at this trailhead. That trail only takes about 20 minutes so it was nice to have something else to hike to make the drive more worthwhile. The Willow Springs Loop also has a few pictographs but most of what we saw were too worn for a good picture. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.