Explore the most popular Camping trails in Mount Charleston Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
9 days ago

No snow or ice on the trail yet.

Awesome views throughout. I just did this trail in September. Bring lots of water as it is a 18 mile hike.

I summited yesterday. Took me almost 11 hours. 17.9 miles total 4,724 foot gain. It was a gorgeous day. I took 4,5 liter of water with me. I shared 1/2 l with a hiker who summited Griffith Peak on the way down. You will need minimum 4l on this hike. After the meadow, I took the right at the fork and went on the ridge. It was a bit scary but I had one goal in front of me to get to the top. I saved some time and up and down hill by taking it. So worth it.

hiking
25 days ago

Very challenging but well marked. Take it easy through the meadows after the switchbacks; you'll need the reserve to get up the summit. Take a minute to check out the plane wreckage. Completed in 1 day, stepped on the trail at 7am and stepped off at 4pm, with about 2.5 hours of breaks and sitting at the summit. Stunning views.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

a beautiful but tough trail, not for the novice. it was a little too much for me this time.

What a trail! There are a few spots along the way higher up that flatten out but the uphill is relentless at first. The final switchback section before the summit is intense but keep going, the top is almost there!

If you are a peak bagger, this is worthy of your list. It’s an epic hike. 18 miles and a total of 5,270 feet of elevation gain according to my GPS - since there is some up and down on the route. Took me 8.5 hours without breaks. Fall colors are fabulous. Trail is clearly marked. You go up a canyon, then a trail ridge walk with great views on both sides and then the final rocky ascent to the top. I’m an avid hiker at elevation (Colorado) and while I thoroughly enjoyed it, this one kicked my butt by the end. Take plenty of food and water!

I parked at South Loop TH, and walked to Trail Canyon TH to North Loop up to the peak and down South Loop back to the parking lot. I clocked in at about 18.3 miles. The leaves are changing and the scenery on North Loop was beautiful. The last two miles up to the peak were tough, and the trail had some exposure but the trek itself was awesome!! South loop down was a nice break on the lungs and legs! The burnt forest just down from the peak was a perfect place to eat lunch. This is s long trail full of many different sites to see. I loved it. It took me over 7 hours to complete.

I just hiked the trail yesterday! What an amazing view I went by myself and finished in a time of 7 hours and 53 minutes. I went all by myself, it was quite the hike. The wind was not too bad climbing up, it actually got warmer the closer up the mountain I got. At the top was the most windy, and at that elevation you’re definitely working harder to get air. I loved the air and trees, the peak was really scary climbing up I’ll have to admit. Winds up to 60 miles an hour that day but I definitely go again!

My first time summiting Mt. Charly Peak! Me and my bf decided to park at South Loop TH, thinking we would really thank ourselves later when we dont have to walk an extra mile when we’re already too exhausted. Started at 630 and took us about 28min (1.13miles) to get to North Loop TH. We set a goal to finish it in 12hours so we had to wisely time our rests, factor in the times to take pictures of course lol. Logged in a total of 11hours 15minutes (17.7miles), we thought we did pretty good. My bf has done it before but started at SL. He said he wouldn’t do it again because those switchbacks at SL were hell going up! I was glad I brought a jacket because it got pretty cold and chilly! The weather couldn’t have been more perfect though. Tough hike but not impossible!

Packed heavy with just over 45lbs for 1 night. We started up the south loop at 10:30am... didn’t make it to the summit and camped about 1 mile shy at 12k. Cold night down to about 35F. Next morning started walked to summit at just after 7am and made it back via north loop at about 12:45pm. It was a challenging hike. Packed way too much. Drank about 6 liters overall so slightly dehydrated.

A perfect day for a summit. I connected the north and south routes for more variety. I parked at the Mt Charleston trailhead and walked the 1.5 miles to Trail Canyon before starting up. I figured the walk was more palatable in the morning than on tired legs later on. The only downside would have been if I had to turn back and not do the loop.

Hiked 9/14 into 9/15. Started south to north. Had to park at Echo Trailhead and road walk thru construction to get to the south Trailhead. After coming down the north side, I'm glad I ascended from the south side. The summit climb from. The north side is incredibly steep. It's not as bad from the south side. I camped around 10,800 feet and wished that I had found some bristlecone pines a few hundred feet lower to camp among. The wind was STRONG all night. Gusts made it seem like my tent was going to collapse on me so my trekking poles were used as extra supports. Temp read 35F at 3am. Started at 650am and summited at 830am. It took me 4.5 hours to get to my camp spot, another 1 hour 40 minutes to summit and 4 hours down. There is one spring flowing midway down/up the north side. Please respect this hike and trail. I saw so many "windbreaker & water bottle" people that were ill prepared. It was clear many people attempt this hike without doing their homework. You gain nearly a MILE in Elevation. The temperature at the top will be 30-35 degrees cooler and the winds will be at least 15MPH and likely closer to 35-40 MPH. Weather changes quickly here. I brought 6 liters of water and consciously rationed the entire time. I wish I brought 1 more liter. For the record, I usually go thru more water than the average person. The views along this entire hike are worth every bit of effort. Take your time. Respect the oxygen deprived air at elevation. I'll be back on this mountain!

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

This is a great hike. I parked at the lower Cathedral Rock Parking Lot and walked down Echo Way (use the road, not trails). Walk to the Trail Canyon Trail Head Parking Area and head up there. The trail is clearly marked and you take off to the left several miles in to take the North Loop Trail. It was about 9.5 miles to the summit from where I parked. The last mile of switchbacks were tough, but the view from the top was spectacular. I went down the South Loop Trail, which was hard on the knees and legs once you hit the switch back section where you drop over 3000 feet in about 5 miles. Overall, great hike with perfect weather. Started out in upper 40s (7AM) and ended about 90 degrees. I logged 17.9 miles, 5348 feet of ascent; it took me 7 hours, 23 minutes.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

I went up the south side and down the north. The north was definitely more exposed and wild feeling. Lots of places where one slip could lead to falling off the mountain. Definitely wouldn’t want to do in bad weather, fog, dark, or snow. Bring lots of water and sun protection, it’s super exposed most of the way. I took my dog and while it was a long day for her, she did great. We took 5L of water and were dry by the end. Definitely recommend doing this as a loop so you see different views on the way up and the way down! I clocked 27km total for the loop and 10.5 hours total (with 2,5 hours of stops along the way).

Great hike! The first bit of switchbacks up to the saddle is kinda a grind, but the meadow after that is beautiful. It flattens out and passes through a gorgeous burn area. The ridge to the summit is exposed if you take the upper trail that cuts up to the right where it splits (but saves you having to go down and then back up). Windy at top, being a jacket. And lots and lots of water! I brought 5L for me and my dog and we were empty by the end. Took me 10.5hrs round trip (I went down the north side), and that’s with 2.5 hours of stops along the way. Highly recommend doing this as a loop if you can! Up south, down north. Its about the same distance as going up and down the south (I think it’s actually shorter!). It’s about a mile road walk back to your car at the end (or you can hitch a ride since it puts you out at trail canyon parking area). The north side is very different from south - more exposed and feels much more wild. Sweeping views the whole way. And wayyyy better than going back down the way you came!

Mt. Charleston North to South. 18 miles including a road walk at the South trail finish back to the vehicle at the North trailhead.

Definitely worth it. Incredible views from the top.

Great hike as long as you have approx 7 hrs to commit. Last 1/2 mile up have my legs a burn, but well worth the views at the top!

I did the Trail Canyon trail up to the North Loop and then took the North Loop to the summit of Mt. Charleston. I returned by the North Loop and Trail Canyon as well. It took me 5 hours up and 4 hours down, going at a deliberate, but not painful or aggressive pace. I would not recommend this trail at any time there is snow. There are points where a slip could prove fatal. I did it September 1 and there was no snow to speak of, but I had tried it in mid June and it was still way too snowy.

Went today, started early. 17.4 mile loop via Garmin measurements fyi. Zero snow on trail!

hiking
bugs
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
bugs
3 months ago

Amazing very well worth it but long steep and challenging

Met up with North Loop via Trail Canyon Trail and went up from there. Much lovelier than anticipated--I was expecting the entire trip to be a bit of an uphill slog, but there's a surprising amount of easy-going steady trail. Last couple switchbacks at and above the timberline are monsters, though, so it definitely is a labor of love to get all the way to the top. Very much worth the effort, though. It's a much different approach than from the South Loop, and great in its own right. No snow to worry about, easy and safe to get around. I had three liters of water plus a 16oz electrolyte drink and that was just about perfect, but it is still warm on the trail (about 80°) so start your hike hydrated and plan accordingly.

Tough tough tough. South Loop approximately 20 miles in and back. Views and wild flowers incredible. Lower meadows great lunch space. The upper meadows great relief for level hiking. The plane crash site is solemn.

completed a few days ago. snow all but gone at this point. about 8 hours total with five 10-15 minute breaks mixed in. 3 litres was a good amount of water thanks to the reviews on here. Everybody pays the price on this one. It was worth it to me.

hiking
blowdown
bridge out
bugs
off trail
rocky
snow
4 months ago

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