Ice Cube Canyon (The Maze)
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Difficulty:4B IV R (v5a2 IV)
Raps:7-23, max ↨190ft
Red Tape:No permit required
30 Sep 2023
"Started at 36.15110, -115.52345, where the road briefly had fairly tough driving conditions without true high clearance. Time is start of hiking to re
This is possibly the best technical canyon near Las Vegas. Long but fun has varied scenery and technical challenges. Lots of cold swims, big rappels, and beautiful slots. There is a fair amount of water throughout this canyon and wetsuits are highly recommended year round, atleast for the lower section which is typically colder than the upper.
Drive in through the gate at Red Rock National Conservation Park which opens at 6am. (Keep in mind there may be a line at the pay station) Drive the 1 way scenic loop around to Lost Creek TH. From here you can either shuttle with a 4x4 up to the approach trail, drive your own 4x4, or hike the 4x4 road.
Unfortunately, the exit TH is on a 1 way road so shuttling from the exit would require driving the entire park loop twice.
From the Willow Springs pavement, the approach is 4.5 miles and 1800' elevation gain to reach the Rocky Gap Road summit. Best done by shuttle in high clearance vehicle. From there it's hiking 900' elevation gain in one mile via the well established bridge mountain trail.
Most anchors are bolted, or have bolted options, current as of 2023
Descent has 3 main sections:
Upper - Slottier with water lots of downclimbs and multistage rappels
Middle - "The Long Walk" this section takes on average 1 hour of hiking, rock hopping, and downclimbing to get to the first rappel of the lower section. Beneficial to lower wetsuit tops as this section can get hot in the sun with minimal water available depending on time of year.
Lower - Big rappels, more swims, colder water. Final rappel is the largest at 190'. Multiple bolted anchors placed high to avoid pull issues. Recommended to only use low rock pinch as a belay point to protect those stemming up to rig as there are high consequences if you slip.
After the big rappel you now have a large boulder field maze ahead of you. Prepare to rock hop and downclimb. Stick together, some routes cliff out. Many of these downclimbs are tough, some have slung boulders for anchors but this is unnecessary the exit is entirely downclimbable spotting each other.
Once you see the ridge appear DCL high on the side of the wash, head for it, this is a hiking trail out.
Once to Ice Box Canyon TH, stash packs in the bushes (or have someone wait with them) and hike the road back up to Lost Creek TH to retrieve your car.
This route lies within the Red Rock National Conservation Park which opens at 6am and closes at various times in the year. https://www.redrockcanyonlv.org/
Entrance to the park is $20 but the "America The Beautiful Parks Pass" is also accepted.
- Chris Brennen's Adventure Hikes (Southwest) : Icecube Canyon; The Maze
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Trip reports and media
- Facebook Album
- Candition.com : Ice Cube Canyon (The Maze)
- Candition.com : Ice Cube Canyon (aka "The Maze")
First descent by John Perry, Randi Poer, Scott Smith, Mark Duttweiler, Willy Hunt and Chris Brennen in May 2003.