Raintree Trail is a 7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Las Vegas, Nevada that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, birding, and horses and is accessible from June until November. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.
Steep climb to oldest living thing in Nevada, Bristlecone pine named Raintree Steep switchbacks and the altitude will test your endurance on this hike. Views of surrounding peaks and valleys should make it worth while. If the views don't impress you, perhaps the magical feeling of walking underneath the Bristlecone Pines will. These trees have been living here since before the Roman Empire and deserve our love and respect -- there is an "Alice in Wonderland", or surreal feeling about this hike. If you travel quietly (sunrise or sunset), you could see deer, and perhaps mountain lion tracks. If there has been snow, the trail may be impassable, even through May. The trail is extremely well marked and easy to follow -- just keep climbing. Downhill is a breeze. Once you're at Raintree, it's only 1/3 mile to Mummy Springs (trailhead/sign at Raintree). Please respect the Bristlecones (as well as the other trees) and do NOT remove or deface them in any way, even dead braches lying on the ground. Forested hike with ponderosa pine and white fir.
I've done this hike twice, and today brought our 4 kids (1, 8, 14, and 16 years old) and two dogs. Our 8 year old was ready to turn back about halfway there but toughed it out and was super happy to get to have his lunch on the roots of a 3000 year old tree. Not easy but beautiful and totally worth it. I'm pretty out of shape and was able to do it with a 20 pound baby on my back. Just take your time and rest as needed.
strenuous but beautiful hike
Tried this trail last week, and due to late start, warmer weather, higher altitude and fast elevation gain which I was not quite used to, had to turn back 8 switchbacks above the viewpoint. y
Yesterday started earlier in the day, and made it to rain tree. amazing views, photo ops, things to see. Rounding the ridge at the high point and that first view of the mummy's toe ( a landmark most Las Vegans don't get that close to), the enchanted bristlecone forest,and finally the 3000 year old tree... wow what a spiritual experience. We knew it was going to be a great hike when, not a quarter mile from the trail head we saw deer 20 feet or less away.
The trail is well marked, a little rough in some short sections. a great cardio workout at 8400 to 10,000 ft elevation. The rewards are many! We will definitely go back!
This hike is a GREAT workout, and can be done in 3-4 hours so it's a great early morning or evening trail. This hike is only difficult because of the steep rise in elevation, so don't let that deter you! If you're a beginner, you can make it a half day and take plenty of breaks to catch your breath and eat lunch.
Beautiful but trails are not clearly marked. Quite difficult for me as the elevation gain is pretty steep.
It is an enjoyable hike. Not really that difficult if you are in moderate shape. I went in the middle of March and there was still quite a bit of snow on the ground. This made some areas really difficult to follow the trail as some people had marched through snow banks so I was inclined to follow footsteps that led the wrong way. On the way down I stepped off the trail at some point and wandered for about an hour until I found it again. I'd imagine during the summer months this hike would be very very excellent but because of the poor trail markings I can only give it an average rating
This was a good escape from the "extreme temperatures advisory" in effect in the Las Vegas basin... around 110 degrees at the time.
Other than cooler temperatures at 8500 feet, this short(ish) hike has a lot to offer.
(1) Living near see level, and wanting to do long hikes at "high" altitude (10K-13K), I used this trail as a "trial run" to acclimatise myself before tackling more challenging routes (I hiked Charleston Peak the next day for example).
(2) The chance to come in contact with a ~3000 year old creature such as Raintree is a treat.
(3) The scenery/views all around (Mummy toe to the West, Kyle Canyon to the south, Vegas Basin to the South East, etc.) are worth the hike by themselves.
(4) The bristlecone pines forest by itself is quite magical with its very colorful and twisted trunks; some areas do have a feel of "enchanted" or "haunted" forest, depending on your state of mind :-)
Only word of "caution" is that I went on a Sunday and I never felt in danger of suffering from Acute isolation Syndrome...what with a throng of fellow hikers going my way or coming from the other direction.
The only "minus" side of my visit to Raintree was witnessing too many folks not being aware of, or not minding at all, the fragility of the ecosystem in this area and in particular around Raintree. It was not too hard to sit down about 50 feet away from the tree, on a dead tree trunk or rock, and yet still enjoy this special place.
I am adding a link to a very good hiking site I discovered when looking for routes in the Vegas area.
Not in the best shape and did it with no problem. 2 liter bladder was not enough water. Beautiful training trail.
Got my ass handed to me by the altitude, but finished strong! You can't do this without some decent cardio ahead of time, in my humble opinion.
Pretty strenuous as it's uphill the entire way. Over 1500 feet elevation gain. A breeze on the way back! Raintree is totally worth it - Great views, enchanted looking bristlecones.
This is an great hike. My only recommendation is to wear warm cloths if you intend to this trail in late november as I did.
Start early in the day.. Saw folks going up late afternoon and had to turn back..
Started at NL trail head and continued past Raintree to the Trail Canyon Trail and out at the trail head (TCT - had a car parked on both sides). This was an excellent hike with my daughter (10yo). About 1.2 miles in you make it to the first clearing with vast views all around. Then come the switchbacks in the trees. This is shaded and you can feel the temp drop. A short hike up to approximately 2.1 miles and you are at the view point looking at the Mummy Toe. A short distance down .5 to .7 miles and you are at the Raintree. If your heading to the trail canyon trail (or further on the North Loop) remember to take the trail to the left. We almost ended up at Mummy Springs. A couple miles of winding gentle down grades and you are at the NLT / Trail Canyon Trail intersection. If your taking the TCT down from here it is an awesome quick paced trail to the TH. that is an excellent path with kids (depending on maturity and physical ability). Will definitely do this one again!
Beautiful trail, steep gain switchbacks. Don't go during monsoon season as I did. I ended up getting stuck in hail, lightning, rain and it was pretty damn scary considering all the trees you see zapped by lightning up there. Besides all that what a beautiful trail.
The hike was gorgeous, and the temperature was perfect. When we got to Raintree, it was incredibly windy and we couldn't stay long. But otherwise it was beautiful. And I highly recommend the hike. It was well worth it.
Great hike! We did this in August and the temp was a perfect getaway from the Vegas heat. Once you get to rain tree drop your packs and walk down to your right to see the mummy springs. Beautiful flowers and a good water source if you have a pump.