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Top 10 Running Trails in Las Vegas

Map of 10 trails to run in Las Vegas.

Although you may not consider running to be one of the top activities in Vegas, there are plenty of great locations to get those miles in. Whether you’re looking for an off-road trail run, a scenic residential jog through the area neighborhoods, or a one-of-a-kind trek through the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, this city has it all. Here are the top 10 running routes in the area.

1. Red Rock Canyon

Aerial view of Red Rock Canyon in Nevada.

Red Rock Canyon is one of the most highly recommended spots for running in the Las Vegas area. This spectacular 185,000-acre National Conservation Area is just 20 minutes outside the city and features 30 miles of trails. Anywhere you run in the Mojave Desert will offer breathtaking views, and there are plenty of trail options. Some popular trail runs include the White Rock Loop (6 miles) and the Grand Circle Loop (11 miles). Although beautiful, there are limited facilities at Red Rock Canyon, so make sure to bring plenty of water along with you.

Tips: If you can, try to run here while the wildflowers are blooming. You’ll be amazed by the gorgeous scenery!

2. Sunset Park

Lake full of ducks at Sunset Park in Nevada.

Sunset Park is widely known as one of the best parks in Las Vegas. This outdoor recreation area features 300 acres of green space and is only a few miles from The Strip and the airport, boasting 3.5 miles of fantastic running trails. The 9-acre Sunset Lake is a lovely backdrop, and amenities like a playground, splash pad, sports courts, dog park, and more make Sunset Park a fun place to run and explore afterward. Choose from four different trails that weave through the park, each offering a distinct running experience in Vegas.

Tips: Sunset Park hosts many special events throughout the year, including the popular Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival.

3. The Strip

VIew of the Las Vegas strip during the day.

Although running on the Strip can be a challenge due to the crowds, obstacles, and heat, it’s undoubtedly a unique experience you can only have in Vegas, featuring many iconic sights and landmarks. The bustle of activity never stops on the strip, and thanks to all the lights, you can run this route any time of the day or night. Navigating the area can be tricky since there isn’t a seamless sidewalk route (there are several interruptions). Still, as long as you’re willing to run up a stairway or through a building to complete your run, it’s an exciting, one-of-a-kind experience! Running from the MGM Grand to the Sahara Las Vegas hotel is about 3.3 miles, and you can take the monorail back to where you started.

Tips: Go early to avoid the heat and the crowds, and stick to the sidewalk on the west side. It’s wider and may be easier to navigate through all the pedestrians.

4. University of Nevada, Las Vegas Campus

A corner of the UNLV campus in Nevada.

The UNLV campus doesn’t have any designated running trails, but it is home to several excellent paths for running. If you run along E. Harmon, you’ll end up at the UNLV campus, which offers pleasant scenery in the city and modern architecture to admire while you get your steps in. The North Mall is one of the prettier areas on campus, filled with lots of trees and no vehicle traffic. You can create your own route every time you run here, allowing you to customize the difficulty and distance of your workout each time.

Tips: The northwestern section of the UNLV campus also features an outdoor track if you prefer to run there.

5. Clark County Wetlands Park

Clark County Wetlands Park with view of the nature preserve and mountains.

Clark County Wetlands Park is only 20 minutes from the Strip and is full of incredible nature trails that wind through the desert. The park comprises two main sections: a 210-acre nature preserve and a 45,000-square-foot nature center. The nature preserve is home to more than 3 miles of paved paths that carve their way through the natural landscape. Not surprisingly, running here offers stunning views of the mountains. Another popular trail for running at the park is the Wetlands Loop Trail (14 miles), a mostly paved 14-mile route that follows the Las Vegas Wash to Lake Las Vegas. You can easily customize your running distance with several different trailheads. Check out the park map for more running trail options.

Tips: The trails here are moderately difficult, so come prepared for a good workout! Bring lots of water and dress appropriately to protect your skin from the sun.

6. Historical Railroad Tunnel Trail

Historic Railroad Hiking Trail in Nevada.

The Historical Railroad Tunnel Trail is about a 30-minute drive from Las Vegas, offering an exciting running experience with panoramic views of the Lake Mead and Hoover Dam area. The flat, gravel trail runs about 3.5 miles between the Lake Mead Visitor Center and Hoover Dam. Back in the day, it was used to transport materials to build the dam, but today, it’s a popular recreational area for runners and cyclists and is part of the 35-mile River Mountains Loop Trail. As you run this trail, you’ll pass through five different tunnels and several historic sites along the way.

Tips: This trail is flat and smooth enough to push a stroller while running if you plan to head there with kiddos.

7. Cottonwood Canyon

Path on Cottonwood Canyon.

Cottonwood Canyon is a scenic linear park in the master-planned community of Summerlin in Las Vegas. Nestled against the Red Rock National Conservation Area, this linear park is home to picturesque paved pathways for urban running with a view. The path is well-lit in the evenings and at night, and it features playgrounds, picnic areas, and benches to rest all along the way. With a few gentle uphill curves and about 1.4 miles of distance to run, this city pathway is ideal for runners of all fitness levels.

Tips: There is no parking available at the eastern end of the trail, off Hualapai Way, so you may want to plan to start your run elsewhere.

8. Buckskin Cliff Shadows

Buckskin Cliff Shadows trail.

Just west of North Las Vegas, you’ll find Buckskin Cliff Shadows, a trail runner’s paradise. This 4.4-mile trail is primarily dirt, loose rocks, and some sections of solid granite, making for a rugged and challenging running route. The main trail loops around the mountain, featuring stunning views of Redrock Canyon, bold-colored wildflowers (depending on the season), and bird’s-eye views above the nearby Summerlin. This is one Las Vegas running route you don’t want to miss out on.

Tips: If you’re running this trail during the summer, be aware that there is little to no shade. Bring plenty of water and wear sunscreen.

9. River Mountains Loop Trail

Walking and Cycling  on River Mountains Loop Trail.

The River Mountains Loop Trail is a massive 35-mile paved bike loop trail in the Las Vegas Valley, and it’s extremely popular among runners too. The trail-running route surrounds the River Mountains and connects several iconic locations, including Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Hoover Dam, Henderson, and Boulder City. This trail offers fantastic views, varied terrain, and plenty of hilly challenges to keep you on your toes due to the two ancient volcanoes that formed the mountains with lava flow ages ago. There are trailheads in Boulder City, Henderson, and Lake Mead, which makes accessing this trail extremely easy and convenient.

Tips: Most runners don’t run the entirety of this trail, but no matter what segment you explore, make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks. The route is very exposed and provides minimal access to resources along the way.

10. Pueblo Park Trail

View of running shoes in park.

The Pueblo Park Trail is a well-landscaped 1.5-mile trail and a popular running route. The east side of the trail begins at Pueblo Park and extends uphill to Rampart Blvd., where it connects with Bruce Trent Park and the Angle Park Trail. Although it’s a short run, it features plenty of pleasant desert landscaping and offers amenities like exercise equipment, bathrooms, and basketball courts along the way. Once you reach the Angle Park Trail, you can continue running for an additional 2.7 miles from Bruce Trent Park to Alta Drive.

Tips: This trail is highly trafficked, so consider running on it in the morning or on a weekday to avoid crowds.

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Sources:

  1. https://www.redrockcanyonlv.org/
  2. https://www.clarkcountynv.gov/government/departments/parks___recreation/services/area_reservations/sunset_park_webpage.php
  3. https://files.clarkcountynv.gov/clarknv/Parks%20&%20Recreation/Parks%20&%20Trails/sunset-park/sunset-park-map.jpg?t=1666360672894&t=1666360672894 
  4. https://greatruns.com/the-strip/
  5. https://www.unlv.edu/campuslife/our-campus
  6. https://www.clarkcountynv.gov/government/departments/parks___recreation/wetlands_park/index.php
  7. https://www.nps.gov/lake/planyourvisit/hikerr.htm
  8. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/nevada/summerlin-cottonwood-canyon-park-trail
  9. https://www.hikingproject.com/trail/7100940/buckskin-cliff-shadows
  10. https://rivermountainstrail.org/
  11. https://wizardofvegas.com/trails/pueblo-park/

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