Upper Bristlecone Trail is a 4.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Las Vegas, NV that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Rugged stands of Bristlecone Pines, bikes allowed but no horses on this section This trail begins in a nicely forested area with white fir and large aspen, and climbs until you reach the rugged, exposed upper slopes with bristlecone pines. The trail is easy to follow for both hikers and bikes, with many spots along the trail to stop and admire the view. Be sure and look up at the ski slopes in Lee Canyon, you will often see wild horses grazing on the grass in late spring, summer, and fall. In my opinion, this is one of the easiest and most enjoyable hikes in the Spring Mtns. for beginners; not many steep climbs, nice views, plenty of trees, and the trail is very visible and can be easily followed, even with snow patches. The flexibility of this trail can be appreciated by all levels of hikers; tailor the hike to the type of terrain you enjoy. Instead of taking the upper and lower loop, I prefer to retrace this upper trail a few times until reaching the desired amount of exercise. Plenty of lunch spots along the trail, but no water to hike to.
I completed the entire loop, starting at the upper (just past the ski area) and ending at the lower. If you are considering either of the two, i would recommend the upper. The scenery and views are amazing. The lower is mostly an old gravel road. Keep in mind, the road is open to horses... keep your eyes in front of you and look out for brown piles with flies :-) if you do the entire loop, bring plenty of water. Minimal foot traffic today, maybe passed three couples during the 6mile loop. From either trail head, be careful walking on the road to your parked car.. there are lots of curves in this area and cars will be passing you
One of my favorite trails to do around the Spring Mountains. It's a well maintained trail that meanders through the aspen and pine. No crazy inclines or descents. Great views and easy enough for children and dogs. It was 113 in the valley and around 85 at the trail head. There is plenty of shade but bring a liter of water per person at least during the summer months.
Just did it over the weekend. Started upper trail and finished at Lowe trail. Snow is not bad as of 12/12/15, but if you don't know the trail by memory you might want to take a map.
I started my hike from the lower trailhead parking lot and made it a loop to the upper trailhead parking lot, and then, shuffling down the road a short distance to where my vehicle was parked at the lower trailhead. Roughly the first half follows an old dirt road built pre-World War II that wan't completed when the conflict started. The gradual climb makes this 6 mile hike as easy as a hike for that distance as trails come. The views are tremendous across Kyle Canyon as it forms, roughly, an elongated bowl. Along the route the trails namesake Bristlecone Pines proliferate. When researching this trail, I was worried the ski area's scarred slopes might make the trip like a hike thru a clearcut, I needn't have worried. The views were majestic and the trail was far above. Perhaps, during the winter, when this area abounds with people, it might be different. Nevertheless, on a hot day down in the basins, this mountaint-top gem was cool, and breezy. About half way around the trail turns to a single-track and slowly serpentines down a ridge, into a draw, and eventually deposits you at the Upper trailhead parking lot. Not far from the trails conclusion a couple of deer were grazing on a drier slope above the trail.
This is a popular and busy trial as it is not technically difficult to climb and offers plenty of shade; a good family trail. Parking is right next to the ski slopes at the end of Lee Canyon Rd, so it's easy to find. It was the first time my wife and puppy have been to the Mt. Charleston area and they both really enjoyed it. We didn't complete the full length as the 11 week old golden got tuckered out from being in stick heaven and letting everyone pet him. The trail itself is well maintained, but do watch your step for rocks and roots and a little loose gravel. The temperature near the end of June was 85 degrees. Much better than the 105+ in Vegas, but still warm, so be sure you bring plenty of water.
April 4, 2015
So, my buddy and I decided to take our bikes based on a comment we saw here. Little did we knew there was still snow for most of the upper trail part. It was very hard to get thought with bikes and we had to carry them for most of the trail. (Good muscle exercise) Once you get to the top then that is the best part for the bikes. The terrain is pretty much flat except for the huge rocks. Highly recommend you hiking upper trail.
This is a beautiful trail to hike in the fall with stands of aspen coloring the mountain. It is a well-marked trail and is relatively easy to hike even for the hiker who is not in top condition. If you don't want to hike back to the upper trailhead you can continue on the trail to the Lower Bristlecone Pine trailhead and have someone in a vehicle meet you there..
Fairly easy trail. We started at the upper bristlecone trail parking lit and ended at the lower parking lot. Lots of beautiful trees and some were starting to change color.
parked at the upper trail and planned on mountain biking it.... needless to say it was a little more than I bargained for heading in.... upper trail is definitely a hiking trail (maybe riding downhill from the top)... ended up walking the bike up the trail... however, once I got to the connection with the lower trail, oh boy! so worth bringing the bike up... coasted the entire length down on the lower trail and just soaked up the great weather and beautiful views...
if you choose to bring a bike the lower trail is all uphill but easily ridden, the upper trail is all technical and forested... if your hiking just figure out which way you want to end on... keeping in mind that the difference between the 2 trailheads is .8 miles and the upper is higher in elevation... all in all a great few hours out of the day... not to mention all the nice people along the trail