Current Protection

Designated Wilderness

Management Agency

U.S. Forest Service/Bureau of Land Management

Year Protected


Total Area

24,993 Acres

The first conservation protection for Rainbow Mountain began when the area was included as part of the Desert Game Range (Desert National Wildlife Refuge) in 1936. This protection was removed in with the passage of Public Land Order 4079 in 1966.   Conservation-minded people in Las Vegas, however, began the work to obtain preliminary protection for this area in 1964 as a recreational resource. In 1967, 62,000 acres of the area, including La Madre Mountain was designated Red Rock Canyon Recreation Lands. It would take another 35 years of advocacy by individuals and organizations like friends of Nevada Wilderness to designate Rainbow Mountain as protected Wilderness with the passage of the Clark County Conservation of Public Land and Natural Resources Act of 2002 (see the Additional Resources page for additional information about the conservation history of this area).

The spectacular sandstone cliffs of Rainbow Mountain Wilderness form the dramatic backdrop of the Scenic Loop at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, located approximately 12 miles west of Las Vegas, Nevada. These 24,993 acres of Wilderness contain a rugged, eye-catching complex of canyons and multicolored ridges and mountain peaks. Elevations within the Wilderness range from 3,800 feet on the alluvial fans on eastern side to nearly 7,480 feet just south of Rocky Gap Road.

Rainbow Mountain is the traditional home of the Western Shoshone, Southern Paiute, and Chemeheuvi who have been living on and with these lands for countless generations.

The Rainbow Mountain Wilderness features numerous trails, and opportunities for rugged, backcountry wilderness exploration (see Map Tab to the left). Friends of Nevada Wilderness has been taking an active roll in stewardship of Rainbow Mountain Wilderness since the area’s designation. Projects include environmental restoration, resource protection, trash clean-up, Wilderness Character monitoring, spring monitoring, and trail and kiosk maintenance.

Agency Information

Managing Agency: Bureau of Land Management/U.S. Forest Service

Local District: Las Vegas Field Office/Spring Mountains National Recreation Area

Address: 4701 North Torrey Pines Dr., Las Vegas, NV 89130

Phone: (702) 515-5000/(702) 872-5486