2 - 3
FATMAP difficulty grade
The McCullough Hills trail system provides a fantastic escape from the suburban sprawl of Las Vegas, yet it is accessible directly from one of those same suburban neighborhoods.
Here you'll find a well-developed trailhead, complete with bathrooms, located in a neighborhood on the outskirts of Henderson.
And from that trailhead, you can journey deep into the desert! While many of the trails in the mountains above Vegas can be quite steep, the trails in McCullough Hills are mostly quite mellow and well-graded.
The trail tread is sandy and mostly smooth, with very few obstacles to trip you up or cause pause.
In addition, there is very little fall exposure along these trails, and most of the time, absolutely none! As long as you follow the correct trails, you can construct a delightful loop run that's not challenging in the slightest, that simply allows you to soak in the beauty of the desert landscape.
This trail system offers a seemingly endless sea of connecting and intersecting trails, which may make the navigation seem a bit confusing.
But as long as you keep your bearings (or follow the route here) you'll be just fine. As you head deeper into the trail system, the smooth, mostly flat trails begin to gain and lose a little more elevation, and some of the short climbs and descents on the trails themselves can be a bit steep. Do note that these trails run for many, many miles into the desert, so you can't just keep running indefinitely without a plan.
If you're well-provisioned to do a 15-20-mile epic, then you can go as long as you'd please.
But if you're not up for quite such an adventure, be sure you stick closer to the trailhead.
If you're getting tired, there's no shame in turning back. However, if you persevere and make it all the way out to the 701 Loop, you'll be rewarded with some of the best views in the trail system.
To the west, a small mountain range towers above you, with beautiful rock cliffs surrounded by rolling foothills.
It's hard to believe that this wild desert landscape is located so close to the metropolis of Las Vegas, but if you run all the way out here to see it, you will believe it!