Nevada Nature, Waterfalls January 21, 2017
7 Gorgeous Frozen Waterfalls In Nevada That Must Be Seen To Be Believed
Nothing is quite as breathtaking as seeing a waterfall at the end of a long hike in the wilderness. Even more stunning is that same waterfall in winter, either frozen solid or a mix of frozen and flowing. It makes for a truly incredible picture-perfect sight. Here are 7 hikes in Nevada where have a good chance of seeing a frozen waterfall in winter.
1. Ice Box Canyon
Ice Box Canyon is located in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area near Las Vegas, Nevada. The trails is a 2-1/2 miles loop. There's a lot of rock scrambling on this hike so it's definitely not the best for beginners, small children or small dogs. The hike has some really pretty views all year round and all your hard work scrambling through is definitely worth it to see the waterfall. To get to the
, take State Road 159 and go west. When you hit the Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center make a turn toward the trail (going west). There's a day use fee to use the park of $7 per car.
2. Cathedral Rock
This hike is located in the Spring Mountain National Recreation Area just north of the city of Las Vegas. The trail is 2.7 miles, out and back and it's at about a moderate difficulty level. It's slightly harder in winter as the trail can be quite slippery with the snow and ice so be warned! In addition to the waterfall, you can get an amazing view of the Echo Cliffs on the trail and another incredible 360 degree view at the top of Kyle Canyon. The waterfall is about halfway along the trail and you need to take a short side route to get to it. To reach the trail, take Highway 157 from Las Vegas to the Cathedral Rock Picnic Area. The trailhead is at the first parking lot you will enter.
3. Little Falls
Little Falls is another hike near Las Vegas that is part of the Toiyabe National Forest. It's a short hike clocking in at about .8 miles and it's out and back. The hike starts with a short staircase and you'll find the falls at the end. This is a fairly easy hike so it's good for families, young children and dogs. To reach the hike, drive on the I-15 from Las Vegas going north and then the US 95 north until you reach State Route 157. Make a left on SR 157 and drive another 21 miles. You will see the parking lot on the right.
4. Hunter Creek Trail
The Hunter Creek Trail is located near Reno via the Michael D. Thompson Trailhead. This out and back trail is 5.7 miles and it's moderately difficult. Be careful in the winter as the rocks can be quite slippery when icy. The waterfall at the end is gorgeous, and even moreso in the winter when it's frozen and covered with a soft blanket of white snow in the forest. Winter is also a great time to visit this hike as it can be quite crowded it the summer months but it's less heavily trafficked when there's snow and cold. To reach the hike, from Reno take the 80 East to the McCarren North exit and then drive south on McCarran Boulevard. Make a right onto Mayberry Road and turn left onto Plateau Road, and finally, turn right onto Woodchuck Drive. The street will end in a dead end and the trailhead.
5. Lost Creek/Children's Discovery Trail
This is a short, .7 mile trail, that is a great option for beginners, families and small dogs. In addition to the lovely small waterfall, you can see lots of flora and fauna, terrific views and some petroglyphs. You may also see wild burros. To reach the
take State Route 159 west to the Red Rock station, which is about 18 miles outside of Las Vegas proper. Pay the day use fee ($7 per car) and then drive along the scenic route and make a right onto Willow Springs. Park at the first parking lot you see and follow the signs - you want to use the signs for the Lost Creek Trail, not the Children's Discovery Trail which is accessed from the same parking lot.
6. Mary Jane Falls
Mary Jane Falls is located in the Spring Mountain National Recreation Area near Las Vegas. The trails is 2.6 miles out and back and is generally good for all levels of hikers although be warned that some sections are steep, and more prone to being slippery in the winter. Winter is a great time to view the fall as the trail is not quite as crowded and also much cooler than it is in the intense Vegas summer heat. You can reach the trail via US 95 north from Las Vegas, then State Road 157 going west. Drive 2 miles past the ranger station until you reach Echo Road. Make the left fork just pass Echo Road and drive up this road until it ends and park at the trailhead.
7. First Creek Canyon Trail
This 3 mile trail is rated easy and also has some nice shade which in the desert is always appreciated, even in winter! The hike is good for beginners because it's fairly level and the trail is maintained well for the majority of it so there's no serious rock scrambling, although to reach the waterfall base does require some moving over large rocks. First Creek Canyon is part of the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. To reach the hike, take State Route 159 going west. The
is located on your left before you reach the visitor center area.
Have you visited any of these lovely waterfalls in their frozen state? Share in the comments!