Calico Basin is the
first place that you can go to when you enter Red Rock if you are driving
in from Las Vegas. People actually
get to live here. Many of the residences
were here long before Red Rock became a park.
There is a picnic area called Red Springs in small visitor area at the end
of the Calico Basin Road. This area has bathrooms, a picnic area and
hiking trails and seems like a great place to have a picnic.
Red Spring spawns a very short estuary. While the flow is quit strong from
its mountainside source much of the year, it disappears
almost immediately into the ground. This place is a small oasis that
exemplifies the hydrologic architecture of this region.
If you want a really nice place to have a picnic, come early. While
relatively unknown, this little spot is visited often by those who
do know about.
This is a full
featured picnic area with bathrooms, garbage receptacles, parking and
photo and easy but rewarding hiking opportunities. Nearby are striking
red sand dunes. The cliffs on the mountain which the spring runs out of
is easy to climb and will give you some decent vistas of Red Rock.
The most appealing part of Calico Basin is the spring that flows
there. You can see it
coming out of the mountain and it is not dry except for some year. This spring waters the large field
lust below the
spring. The whole area thrives from the benefits from this tiny
but mostly reliable trickle of water.
You can actually go into the spring for about 10 feet. This is not a
cave or rock shelter though. The opening is narrow and small.