Over a recent 3 day weekend we visited Red Rock Canyon just outside of Las Vegas. One of our main reasons for going there was to climb the Kraft Boulders which we had heard were amazing. We went with a few good rock climbing buddies and we were not disappointed in what we found there.
How to Get to the Kraft Boulders
Sometimes following rock climbing directions on the internet can be difficult. We found this out the hard way last year tramping all over Joe’s Valley. We had slightly dated directions in getting to the Kraft Boulders, but we found them without too much trouble.
You take Highway 159 out of Las Vegas. Drive until you see the turnoff for Red Springs on your right (if you pass the visitors center you have missed the Red Springs turnoff). Follow the road to the Red Springs picnic area but don’t go into the picnic area parking lot. Instead turn right and follow the road to the end. There will be another parking lot here, which was full when we were there but there is also parking along the road. Just make sure you don’t park in the places where it says no parking.
From wherever you find a parking spot walk to the end of the road and you will see a trail (marked with a BLM sign). Follow this trail for a short walk down to the boulders. You can’t miss them, literally their are tons of them.
What You Will See and Do at the Kraft Boulders
Climbing at the Kraft Boulders is like a dream come true. Once you reach the boulders, pick a place and start climbing! With appropriate safety precautions of course: always use a crash pad and a spotter when bouldering.
There are likely to be lots of people climbing at the Kraft Boulders while you are there, but don’t worry, there are so many problems (a bouldering route) that you will definitely find something to climb on at any given moment. Be courteous to other climbers, don’t get in their way or distract them.
There are some guides to this area on Mountain Project, but mostly I suggest just choosing an open boulder and climbing. There are problems for all skill levels, and often various skill levels on a single boulder. We had a first time climber with us on this trip and there was plenty that he was able to do. It turns out the Kraft Boulders are a great place to learn to climb.
The Cube is the dominating boulder in the Kraft Boulders area. It rises high into the air and from most angles looks like the three dimensional shape from which it takes its name. It is really too high for safe bouldering, but if you have brought your ropes, harnesses and quick draws you can safely climb it. On the back side (from the trail) you will find a bolt above a ledge that you can lead climb to (provided you have lead climber in your group). From that ledge they can climb to a top out where they can feed the rope through a bolt on the side of The Cube to enable belay climbing from below.
The Cube is fun, but it is really only safe following the procedures I’ve outlined above. So please use all necessary precaution if you are going to climb.
If you like bouldering then the Kraft Boulders are a must for you to visit. They are also located convenient to the Red Rock Canyon Scenic Loop, the Visitors’ Center, the Red Springs Picnic Area, and the Red Rock Canyon campground. This makes it easy to visit them even if your main purpose is sport climbing, hiking, or a scenic drive. There is also plenty of rock scrambling for children. Even though Meagan does not climb herself she really enjoyed being here at the Kraft Boulders.