Calico Hills are among the most colorful and interesting geological features in Red Rock Canyon. These brilliantly colored hills began as red sand dunes over 180M years ago, the remains of a dune field thought one of the largest to ever form on earth.
Over time, underground water moving through the dune field carried away much of the original color but left behind calcium carbonate, which cemented the sand. The dunes were then compressed and lithified under the weight of overlying deposits that would eventually erode away.
Whether you’re a hiker, scrambler, wanderer, or rock climber, there is something here for you amid these red, yellow and cream colored peaks of the Calico Hills. Calico Hills high points are Red Cap Peak at 4,938 ft. and Calico Tanks Peak at 4,870 ft.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area: Over one million people each year come to experience Red Rock Canyon’s 195,819 acres of desert beauty, towering sandstone cliffs and abundant wildlife. Scramble across fossilized sand dunes, climb sheer rock walls, or just enjoy the scenic beauty along the road. Rock climbers always dot the cliffs in this world-class climbing area.