Middle Oak Creek Trail is my go-to hike when I head out to Red Rocks for some outdoor time. Located just outside of Red Rock Canyon scenic loop, the trail can be as long or as short as you like and has beautiful views.
Planning and Preparation
Before heading out to the trail, it’s important to plan and prepare for the hike. Check the weather forecast, bring plenty of water and snacks, wear appropriate clothing and footwear, and pack sunscreen and a hat. The trail can be rocky, so it’s important to wear sturdy hiking shoes.
Hiking in Red Rocks is not advisable during the summer, as temperatures can be well over 100 degrees and the area is exposed.
Middle Oak Creek trailhead located along Nevada State Route 159. Take Charleston Boulevard west past the Red Rock park entrance. As the trailhead is no located in the scenic-loop, a timed reservation is not required. Parking can be difficult at peak times.
Please make sure to park completely off the road and off the shoulder – do not block the shoulder The shoulder is a designated bike lane and parking in the pavement will endanger cyclists.
The trail starts just on the other side of a fence, near the dirt parking area. Middle Oak Creek is a moderate hike that offers variations at several points. You can simply do a 3 mile out and back hike or take one of the trails that branch off.
The first major fork in the trail is towards the beginning. The route that takes you left (north) will take you towards Oak Creek Canyon. The right to the left (west) will take you towards the mountain and to a smaller hill known as Wilson’s Pimple. If you go left (west), there are various trails that take you around Wilson’s Pimple and back to the parking area, making for a good loop.
As there are various trails that lead off the main trail, make sure to watch for and follow signs. A map is not a bad idea or if you have cell phone coverage, you can follow the trail on google maps. The further you get into the canyon, the trickier it can be to follow the main trail and there are parts that may require scrambling.
Hiking this area during the day in the summer is not advisable due to the heat. During the winter, snow is possible, so make sure to check the weather. Also, flash flooding is always a risk, so make sure to head for higher ground if you find yourself in a downpour.
Finally, be sure to follow Leave No Trace principles and pack out all trash and litter to help preserve the natural beauty of Red Rock Canyon for future generations to enjoy.