BLM Camping

Sloan Canyon Petroglyphs

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is responsible for 1 in every 10 acres of land in the U.S.

The Sloan Canyon Petroglyphs, located within the Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area just south of Las Vegas, NV, is a fascinating piece of federal land under the administration of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The BLM watches over many such sites, with most boasting affordable camping areas and various recreational activities and attractions. 

The Sloan Canyon Petroglyph Site is considered one of the most significant cultural resources in Southern Nevada. The petroglyphs, which feature over 300 rock art panels and 1,700 individual design elements, are believed to have been created by native cultures from the Archaic Era to the Historic Era. Visitors can explore the impressive collection of petroglyphs while walking along an unforgettable trail.

What to See and Do

What to See and Do

Hiking and BikingHiking and Biking

Petroglyph Canyon Trail

Found on-site at the Sloan Canyon Petroglyph Site, this loop trail features two possible routes. On the 100 trail, you'll have to do some challenging hiking and rock climbing, but you'll get to check out the amazing petroglyphs along the way. Alternatively, the 200 trail is a bit easier and features cool pictographs. The trail features no shade, so don't forget the hats and sunscreen!

Length: 4.1 miles

Intensity: Moderate

Calico Tanks Trail

The Calico Tanks Trail lies within the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area to the northwest of the BLM site. The out-and-back trail is a beloved destination for hikers and trail runners alike. The unique trail features sandstone formations, scrambles, rock steps, and, if you reach the end, the famed Calico Tank itself. From the trail, visitors will enjoy stunning views of nearby Las Vegas. You're allowed to have leashed dogs with you on the hike, and the best time to visit is between October and April.

Length: 2.2 miles

Intensity: Moderate

Pine Creek Canyon Trail

The Pine Creek Canyon Trail is also located at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. The trail, which is somewhat of a leisurely nature walk, features a waterfall, pleasant scenery, and chances for bird-watching and wildlife observation. The trail gets fairly busy, so you're likely to run into a few other hikers or trail runners while you're there.

Length: 3.4 miles

Intensity: Easy

Fishing & Boating

Although the area around Las Vegas is notoriously arid, that doesn't mean there aren't some good local spots for water-based fun. If you head northeast of the Sloan Canyon BLM site up to Lake Mead, you can hop in a boat and cast out your line. If you have a valid fishing license, you can reel in largemouth bass, striped bass, channel catfish, crappie, and bluegill from the lake. The lake also features marinas and boat ramps and is frequently used for leisure boating, paddling, and water sports.


Some of the most renowned rock climbing destinations in the region are found at the nearby Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. The sizable area contains many opportunities for sports climbing, bouldering, and more. A few of the specific routes you'll want to consider taking on include the Cloud Tower, Black Velvet Wall, Dark Shadows Wall, and the Fox Area, just to name a few.

Wildlife ViewingWildlife Viewing

The Sloan Canyon Conservation Area is known for the wide variety of wildlife that inhabits the land. While you're exploring the trails or checking out the petroglyphs, you might spot a coyote, mule deer, or a kit fox. You might also see a mountain lion eyeing you from up on a cliff or a desert bighorn sheep perched majestically. Red-tailed hawks have been known to soar over the heads of visitors to the site, and some lucky few will even catch sight of a roadrunner.


Although the arid environment around the Sloan Canyon Petroglyphs isn't everyone's ideal setting for a picnic, that doesn't mean you can't find a pleasant spot with a beautiful view. There's plenty of open space around the site, meaning you'll have numerous options in terms of where to set up your picnic site.


Bureau of Land Management Camping

RV Camping Caravan Icon

You have the option of pursuing RV camping in the Sloan Canyon area, but there aren't any nearby Bureau of Land Management campgrounds to accommodate you. However, with the bustling city of Las Vegas so close to the site, you won't need to travel more than a few miles to reach multiple RV parks and modern camping facilities. Search for "BLM camping near me" as you approach the destination. A couple of the nearest options to the BLM site are Bermuda Palms RV Park and Canyon Trail RV Park.

Free Camping Campground Icon

Bureau of Land Management free camping is the primary form of camping around the Sloan Canyon Petroglyphs area. With no established campgrounds at the site, most who stay overnight either journey to the nearby city or find a peaceful spot for some quiet dispersed camping. The environment is relatively harsh around the site, so if you do plan on putting up a primitive campsite, be prepared to rough it.

RV Rentals Near Sloan Canyon Petroglyphs Plan your next adventure

Planning Your Trip

Credit: Vanna Mae, @vannamaeart

Planning your Sloan Canyon Petroglyphs BLM trip

There are a few things you should remember when traveling to the Sloan Canyon Petroglyphs BLM site. Most importantly, be aware of the potential heat. During summer, the temperature in the area can reach as high as 110 degrees Fahrenheit, so bring lots of extra drinking water and plenty of sun protection. While you're at the site, be sure to watch your hands and feet, as the area is inhabited by the dangerous Mojave Green Rattlesnake. If possible, use a walking stick to check under rocks and brush while walking the trails and exploring the petroglyphs.

The Sloan Canyon area doesn't typically offer reliable cell phone coverage, so visitors should avoid depending on cellular communication during their stay. Before you head out on your trip, check out our blog for all you need to know about BLM camping.

Leave No Trace Leaf

The Sloan Canyon Petroglyph Site is not only a beautiful stretch of natural land, but it's also a culturally important location. For that reason, the BLM needs you to do your part in preserving the site. During your visit, please don't litter, disturb the petroglyphs or anything you find in nature, confront local wildlife, or camp on non-durable land surfaces. You'll likely encounter other visitors while you're there; please treat them with the same respect that you'd prefer to receive.

Leave No Trace

Sloan Canyon Petroglyphs Location

To reach the Sloan Canyon Petroglyphs from Las Vegas, follow S Las Vegas Boulevard southbound until you reach Via Inspirada. Turn left, and the road will curve sharply into Bicentennial Pkwy. Turn right onto Via Firenze and follow it until the paved road ends at Democracy Drive. Turn right onto Democracy Drive, then after a short distance, turn left onto the first paved road you come across, Nawghaw Poa Road. At the end of the road, you'll reach the BLM site's visitor contact station and trailhead.

Ready to visit Sloan Canyon Petroglyphs? An RV rental is a great way to experience your destination. Not only will you be close to all the action, but at the end of a long day exploring, you'll have your RV to return to for the night, where you'll enjoy a full kitchen, bathroom, and nice soft bed. Not sure about renting an RV? Here’s a step-by-step guide to renting an RV with RVshare.