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Ice Box Canyon

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Popular spot to escape the heat, lots of waterfalls after rain
Near:Blue Diamond, NV
Distance:3 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:670 ft
Hike Time:2 hours
Trail Condition:Poorly maintained trail
HikeType:Out and Back

Summary: The local Search & Rescue teams tell me they perform a lot of helicopter rescues in upper Icebox. Be sure and know your limitations, especially after rain and snow melt when the seeping water turns to falls which fill this canyon. The humiliation and cost of rescue ($$$$$$) would be a horrible way to remember Icebox. The route I've outlined takes you as far into the canyon as you can safely go without technical climbing gear & expertise. Boulder hop the stream when the trail drops you down. The canyon forks, with huge boulders blocking the main (S) way -- this is the end. Locals may tell you there are 3 main waterfalls in Icebox to hike to, although we've counted over a dozen at a time after good rain. Water continues to seep through the rocks in some places year round. The high walls keep this narrow canyon cool all year round, which is how it got it's name. If you absolutely MUST hike in the afternoon in June, July, or August - do Icebox canyon.
Trailhead: 18 miles W of Las Vegas Blvd. on Charleston Ave. (SR 159) to Red Rock entry (fee) station. Follow the signs along the 13 mile scenic loop, passing the turn to Willow Springs, continue to Icebox Canyon parking lot (vault RR & signs). Park here and follow the signs as you cross the washbed and begin the trail into Icebox Canyon. Head SW up the rocky path as you pass the signed junction for SMYC & Dale's Trail and continue into Icebox Canyon. If you want a longer hike into Icebox, begin at Lost Creek parking, take SMYC to Icebox, then begin this hike into the canyon - making it almost 6 miles RT back to Lost Creek. Or, begin at Pine Creek, take Dale's Trail, then hike into Icebox - this route is 8 miles RT. (Lat:36.15004 Lon:-115.4841)
Trail Guides for Ice Box Canyon:
Keystone Hiking Trails Information
by BLM - Red Rock NCA (BLM - Red Rock NCA)

Hiking Around Las Vegas
by Jim Boone (Jim L. Boone)

Hiking Las Vegas
by Branch Whitney (Branch Whitney)

Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: Red Rock (BLM) ranger at entry to NCA (fee station) 702-515-5950
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Kat Green, who has posted  86 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews  Page 1 of 2   Submit your own review
Reviewed by Chris T. on 2/6/2013
The beginning of the trail gives you a relaxed pace which is good cos it will warm you up for what lies ahead... Upon what it seemed a split of the canyon, the climb with the big boulders and rocks commence. Thus, shoes with good grips will really come in handy. This is a good hike in general and the waterfalls and ponds at the end of the canyon is worth seeing! Happy hiking!

Reviewed by Tonya on 2/2/2013
3 ladies, 45, 25, and 5 and we hiked in until it got to steep then turned back. It was very nice, challenging enough to be called a hike not a walk, and I took lots of pictures. Saw people walking the dogs too.

Reviewed by Meridith on 12/27/2011
Great hike! No sun so it was cold ( Dec. ). Great views, plant life, water running off Canyon etc. Was our first hike, and it was great.

Reviewed by Nico on 1/1/2010
We loved this hike as a family. We did it in late December so as the afternoon crept up, it began to get cold but we were properly dressed, so it didn't become an issue. My wife and I used this hike to gauge our kids to see if they(Ages 10, 7 and 4) could handle a nice moderate hike with weather conditions. There were a couple of spots where I had to lift the kids up to higher ground but they were stellar hikers that day. My kids are all very active and athletic, so keep that in mind for gauging your own children. Scenery is excellent. Be smart at the end of the trail, climbing to the higher waterfalls is very doable but also very deceiving.

Reviewed by Brittany on 10/2/2009
This hike was wonderful! we went on a cool day and brought the dogs with us. They had a good time because there was lots of rock for them to climb on. Once you get down in the canyon it gets really cold. It is a nice escape from the heat and the hike offers amazing views of the surrounding mountains.

Reviewed by tr on 8/6/2008
I hiked this in August, and there was no water at all in the river. It was a pretty hike, but it was almost 100 degrees by 11am, and there was not as much shade as I expected. I would suggest visiting mt charleston instead if you are hiking in the summer, but this hike would probably be great in other months.

Reviewed by Dave on 4/13/2008
This is a great hike if you're looking for something a little challenging but not too technical. Lots of rock scrambling and boulder hopping to get to the waterfall. Just did it today with my girlfriend, will definetely be back.

Reviewed by Primary Colors on 3/19/2008
Hiked the canyon in the morning of March 15 looking for the main waterfall at the end. As others have stated, the farther in, the harder the hike. The water level in the stream was low so boulder hopping back and forth across the stream was easy. When there is more water, you will be wading through... Made it to the big boulders that block the canyon bottom before the main waterfall and took some pictures of the top of the waterfall posted here:

Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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