Join us for some socializing and morning snacks. The morning will start at 9:00am. Dr. Kevin Rafferty will provide an informative talk about the area. Then, we will walk along the boardwalk to look at petroglyphs and other cultural resources.
Bring a camera and binoculars!
From downtown Las Vegas take Charleston Blvd (SR159) west for 17 miles, (about 1.5 miles east) of the entrance to the Scenic Drive of Red Rock). Turn right onto Calico Basin Road and drive north, then west, for about 1 mile to where the paved road makes a 90-degree turn to the right. At this point turn left, drive through the gate, and enter the picnic area. Red Spring is located at the far side of the parking lot adjacent to the boardwalk.
The Red Spring Picnic Area contains picnic tables, trash cans, and restrooms adjacent to the parking area.
Note: If while visiting the area you would like to visit the Scenic Drive, you will need to make a timed entry reservation.
The half-mile loop trail to the Red Springs Boardwalk takes you among some of those beautiful red peaks in the state. This trail has been marked as easy, which makes it very appropriate for families with children.
Along the trail, you'll find informational boards discussing the local flora and fauna which adds a nice educational touch to the nature walk.
Bring your binoculars to see several petroglyph panels.
There is also a foundation from homesteader, Ella M. Mason dated to around 1915. She arrived in Las Vegas shortly after the railroad was completed and ran a boarding house downtown. By 1915 she and her daughter had moved out to the grassy meadow near Red Springs and established a small ranch. They stayed and worked the land for seven years, then through the Homestead Act, earned title to the land. The details of their departure are unknown.
The Red Spring Picnic Area features spectacular views of the red and tan sandstone cliffs of Calico Basin. The area is tucked between the gray limestone La Madre Mountains to the north, the red sandstone Calico Hills to the west, and a desert ridge to the south.
The Calico Basin area is fed year-round by water from three permanent springs: Red Spring, Calico Spring, and Ash Spring. The water from these springs support large cottonwood trees, ash trees, scrub live oak, honey mesquite, and saltgrass meadows. Red Spring flows from a shallow tunnel in the rocks along the Red Spring Boardwalk trail, feeding a beautiful marshy grassland and attracting a variety of wildlife.
The year-round Red Spring is fed by snow and rainfall. This precipitation soaks into the limestone mountains and moves through the rock until it reaches an impermeable layer. This then forces the water into a more concentrated stream, creating the permanent spring we see today. Due to the permanent and reliable year-round water source, the area is home to a variety of endemic plants and an abundance of animals, making Red Spring an important area for more than six thousand years.
SPEAKER SERIES VIDEO ON THE AREA:
An hour talk by Dr. Kevin Rafferty. Click here.