This is a great hike at Red Rock Canyon without driving the Scenic Drive to get to the trailhead. The trailhead is the large parking lot at the exit of the 13 mile Scenic Drive. It's sometimes referred to as the horse parking lot.
From the parking lot, cross the scenic drive exit just inside the tire spikes. The trail goes southwest toward the Potato Knoll, the large mound at the base of Mount Wilson.
The first part of the hike is across open desert. Soon you'll descend to a dry creek bed with lots of boulders. The trail is very easy to follow on the other side of the creek. It winds back and forth for a way, and there are some side trails. You eventually come to a fork in the trail. I go left and go around the Potato Knoll in a clockwise manner.
Along the Knoll, you'll see some wonderful rocks formations and some great cacti. In July, some of the Barrel Cactus were just starting to bloom. On the far side of the Knoll, there is a trail that goes to the top. If you're adventurous or want to extend your hike, continue up this side trail and enjoy the view from the top. Return to the base of the Knoll to resume your hike around.
This part of the hike takes you past the trail to Oak Creek. Instead of going to Oak Creek, stay on the trail going around the Knoll. You'll pass through two more dry creek beds before joining up with the trail you came in on.
There is not much elevation gain nor loss for this hike. Bring plenty of water especially if you hike in warmer weather. There are only a few spots that have shade. For a good part of the hike, you'll be going across open desert.
Keep your eyes open for the rock formations that vary in different sections of the hike. This was once a quarry and a man had a claim on the land. When he died, his family could no longer afford the annual fee and the land reverted to the public later becoming part of the Red Rock Canyon Recreation Area before it became the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.
There is cell phone coverage on much of the trip, but I suggest you download the GPX file at the link below and load it into your GPS unit.