Explore the most popular trail running trails in Mt. 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
1 day ago

Challenging, 2300 ft of gain over the 7 miles total out and back. Start at North Loop trailhead. At 2.5 miles look for a trail the goes to the left. Take it a mile up to the peak. It is NOT 6.2 like AllTrails says. Full 7 miles for sure according to my Garmin and Strava.

I've done most Mountains around the Vegas valley, but none compare to what this brings to you. It's a long, windy(mostly starts at the junction between Griffith peak and Mt. Charleston), ride up there. The continual incline,makes sure you get your butt kicked thru out the entire summit. The weight we had on our backs with snacks and water didn't help either. Overall this is my biggest accomplishment as far as hiking, and I am very proud i was able to do it in one day, without camping up there.

My girlfriend and I started at 8 am on 6/12/18 and reached the summit at 12:37 pm (4 hrs and 37 min.) We spent 10 minutes on top (had enough energy for snowball fight) before heading back down. Took 3:50 to make it back to the parking lot. 8 hour and 26 minute journey. Tough day, but great feeling of accomplishment.

hiking
8 days ago

All incline and a great quick workout for the legs and glutes. Very well-maintained and clear trail to the top. About 1.2 miles up there is a nice breezeway. Plenty of shaded areas to stop if you need a break. Once you reach the peak, you can continue another half mile to Cave Springs or another 6 miles to Charleston Peak. You can also head back down to the North Loop Trailhead which is 4 miles.

backpacking
8 days ago

The scenery was gorgeous, and the continual incline is unforgiving with packs, lol. We weren’t able to make it to the Charleston summit this time; we camped at the trail junction between the peak and the trail to Griffith. Definitely would like to return one day without so much gear so that we can finish the hike. :-) very different hike that I’ve been on since moving back to Las Vegas

quite, well matained trail to start. got a little hard to follow near the peak but found the log book with no problems. saw little to no wildlife.

I'm going to give a New Englander's perspective for anyone traveling from that area.
The hike itself is spectacular. Shortly after you start, you find yourself weaving through a couple of massive cliffs. I tried to get good pictures but they were just too big. If you aren't acclimated, you'll probably be breathing heavy early on as you work towards the cliffs. That's when the switchbacks start...
For those used to White Mountain hiking, you'll be confused why you aren't suffering like you normally do, for most of the hike, the difficulty with altitude is more than offset by the switchbacks.
Once you reach the ridge, the views are amazing, much different from the whites because you can see down to the desert floor to the east and west. I thought it was surreal how much empty space there is. For about two miles the ridge is a nice leisurely stroll even though you are at about 10,700'. Then you start ascending to 11,300' as you wind around a prominent hump and get disappointed that it is not in fact Charleston Peak. At this point for me, the slight grade didn't help. I was in full struggle mode for every step.
Be prepared to suffer for another 1.5 hrs. first you descend to about 11,100' and start weaving your way back up. the trail splits left and right, I stayed left and would probably recommend it since I never saw the other side rejoin. This is where the trail became much more exposed than I anticipated. If you are scared of heights you will struggle a little (I'm very afraid). The trail is carved into the side of some kind of rock slide that is pretty steep in a few places. I found that when looking ahead it looks worse than it is when you actually travel through it. But in any case, you see the peak for a while and wind around. At this point I was moving in slow motion. Altitude definitely matters above 11,000'. The way down is easy once you get through the exposed part. Took me 5.5h up with lots of stops for pictures and 4 to go down with one stop to backtrack and find my cell phone. This is comparable to how I go vs AMC book time, so for those familiar with that, you can still use as a benchmark.

hiking
14 days ago

Kind of flat and I little boring hike. Perfect for beginners thou

hiking
14 days ago

Beautiful slow grade climb through the woods, and then the last .2 miles is a steeper incline into an AMAZING rock canyon! KEEP GOING - it gets more and more amazing the further up you go! My dog and I went at least another .5 mile past the official end of the trail up the dry wash bed!

Not bad for my first hike in this area. I sure do miss trees! Towards the end the rocks were pretty cool but I didn’t expect it to just end.. was hoping for some views but overall it was a decent day hike.

great hike

hiking
27 days ago

VERY pretty, well-marked trail. SO many Aspens here - can't wait to hike this again in the Fall when the Aspens change color!

hiking
28 days ago

Great workout! All incline, all the way. The trail is well defined and easy to follow. Great views from the top and it intersects with other trails. The way down was no easy task. Be ready for a leg workout.

I hiked this trail on 4/14/2018 and trail conditions then were not favorable. The first 2.5 miles were snow free, after that microspikes/crampons were highly recommended and trekking poles. My buddy and i are pretty experienced hikers who have climbed multiple high altitude peaks even with snow, but even then, there were portions of the trail that were just completely covered with thigh high deep snow. We made it pass the saddle and continued for another mile with Charleston in plain sight, but unfortunately due to time we had to turn back. Had it not been for time we surely would have summited, going again this weekend. Awesome trail though, just a bit long.

hiking
1 month ago

nice climb easy for most

on Fletcher Peak

hiking
1 month ago

Challenging but worth the view.

It’s “easy”, but prepare yourself for the incline the whole way there. Lots of shade, lots of trees, lots of places to stop and admire the beautiful scenery. There’s usually water at the very end, it was dry to the bone today, bummer. Great hike! :)

May 7, 2018. Hike got snow-covered about 3 miles from trail head. Nice hard and beautiful hike. Recommend wait 30 days unless using traxx and poles. Will be back.

hiking
1 month ago

A nice easy trail, welcome escape from the Vegas heat! Plenty of wildlife if you take the time to look for it. Great trail for walking the dog or hiking with your kids - the Eagle side trail offers some better views....

Attempted this trail yesterday (04/25/18) with a goal of making it to Griffith Peak (total = 4.0mi one-way), and unfortunately only made it to 10,000' before I had to turn around (vertical 1000' / 0.7mi short of Griffith Peak). While the first ~3mi on the trail were mostly clear of snow (with some patches of 6-12"-deep snow on thinner parts of the trail over hills, which should be considered very carefully), the last mile of the trail's switchbacks are pretty heavily loaded in deep snow. At one point, the tracks I was following made by previous hikers became too unclear, and I decided to play it safe and turn around. It is worth noting that I passed a few other hikers coming down who had made it to Griffith, but each of them noted some trail-finding would be necessary as the upper portion of the trail was unclear to them, too.

Aside from the snow, this trail was beautiful -- steep and challenging, especially when considering the altitude (you'll be going above 10,000' if you do the whole thing, and starting at 8000' in the parking area), but really wide-open scenery with tons of great views and lookouts that get better and better the further you ascend. Highly recommend. Bring poles and consider microspikes, if available for the snowy patches, and definitely take your time and be safe with the snow. As always, avoid altitude sickness by staying well hydrated (water with electrolytes!) and fed.

hiking
1 month ago

It’s actually 4.6 miles to the top and back according to my GPS. Tough on the Way up (elevation gain is 1600+ ft.) all incline. Start very early in the day, took me about 3 hours; Start to finish but I took my time and enjoyed the view.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy kid-friendly hike right off SR 157. If you’re short on time and just want to escape the Valley heat for a couple hours, book this one. No real spectacular views along the way but always nice to smell the pine trees and listen to the wind speak through them.

trail running
2 months ago

Did this hike yesterday 4/2/18. Was able to only get to about 1.5miles before the summit. There is still too much snow. For a solid mile I was following old footsteps through the snow until they stopped and there was no longer a trail to follow. Amazingly beautiful hike though! Can’t wait to complete it in a month or two.

Not much to see on the way but cool rock at the end

hiking
2 months ago

My favorite hike!

hiking
2 months ago

A decent trail near Mary Jane Falls trail. The beginning of the trail is a easily followed (though constantly ascending) gravel path with little overhead shade and conifer trees. Push past this part and you’ll be rewarded with great views at the top. Overall, not a trail I would take again unless I was going to converge with another trail at the peak.

I couldn’t do this hike unfortunately- upon arrival the cathedral rock picnic area is closed for the season & that’s where you’re supposed to start. Just a heads up!

hiking
3 months ago

Not much to see, but an enjoyable hike if you're looking to get some exercise.

3 months ago

Easy. Not much to see

Long but worth everything

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