Charleston Peak North Trail is a 21.5 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, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length21.5 miElevation gain5,649 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashHikingNature tripsBird watchingForestViewsWildflowersWildlife
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Contact
Getting There

California Travel and Tourism Commision, P.O. Box 1499 , Sacramento, CA, 95812-1499, Phone: 800-862-2543

Directions from Las Vegas: Travel north on U.S. Highway 95, then take State Route 157 west., then transfer onto State Route 158. Travel north on State Route 158. After driving past the road to Hilltop Campground, park in the second turnout on the left.

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Reviews (56)
Photos (1,882)
Activities (41)
Completed (288)
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Jordan Gilstrap
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Hiking
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Chris McMillon
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Rock climbing

Too much ice

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Eric Anderson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 19, 2020

I decided to take the full loop around for this trip. I started at the north loop trail at sunrise. The are some amazing vistas right at the beginning of the trail to get some incredible photos of the sunrise. The hike is beautiful. As you work you way up a solid 5k feet in elevation you come across several distinctly different climate zones. The "sky island" of the desert 'sea' below is breathtaking. I came across a few deer including a couple of stunning bucks near the top of the set of switch backs that start the north loop. Scenic views abound as you work your way to the peak. Big falls overlook, the adjacent and aptly named Mummy Mountain are some of the highlights along the way. The quaker aspens are in full fall colors right now and are prevalent at the higher elevations. The ancient bristlecone pine forest is gorgeous and the trees are amongst the oldest in the world. This is one of my very favorite 'creation admiration' spots as I call them. *Also not there is a reliable spring water source about 6-7 miles into the 10 mile north loop. It is a steady source of you can treat the water. The view from the peak was incredible too, although it was still a bit hazy from wildfire smoke. I caught a rare day when it was not windy at the top as well. I decided to travel around the south loop back down to take in all the scenery. Just after the southern plateau you come across 'the meadow' which is perfect for camping or a hiking respite. It was a shame to see all of the burnt out trees near this area from the July wildfires in the mountain. I made camp in the meadow, and took a leisurely stroll down the remaining four miles or so the southern loop trailhead. I finished up near the Mt. Charleston Lodge by Cathedral Rock. This was a breathtaking day and a half that I'll be doing again once more before the winter rolls in.

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Anthony Zibolski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 18, 2020
Hiking

Fun

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Jamie Gordon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 18, 2020
Hiking

I took Trail Canyon Trail up to the North loop to chop off about 2 miles of hiking each way. This was definitely a hard hike as far as length and elevation gain, but it was very pleasant. The trail was easy to follow about 99% of the time. I brought a hiking stick which wasn’t necessary but did help coming down. I really enjoyed the hike even though the last set of switchbacks looks hella intimidating. Took my 9.5 hours roundtrip with about an hour worth of snack and picture breaks. I’ll try the south loop next time!

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Jerry Coonrad
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 1, 2020
HikingGreat!

Trail length is incorrect. From parking lot to summit and back was 21.5 miles. It is a well marked trail. Approximately 5 miles in is there is a pipe fed from a spring that is right on the trail. We brought 6 liters of water each but if we’d known about the spring we could have saved a lot of weight. The last mile to the summit with the switchbacks is a killer. Plus hitting the climb over the pass on the way out after hiking 18 miles is also tough. If you are just tying to summit I recommend a different route.

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Danny Hartman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 19, 2020
Hiking

After hiking just about every trail offered at Spring Mountains in preparation for “The Peak”, we decided that the best way to hit it would be a slightly longer route than any I saw mentioned on All Trails... Having hiked “Trail Canyon” before, we felt it wouldn’t be the best idea to kill ourselves right out of the gate in order to save a couple miles to get to the point where it brings you to “North Loop”... It’s a very tough start beginning at “South Loop” as well... One could easily burn themself out to kick this hike off choosing that route... Since we planned to make this a one day (same day) hike, we wanted to ease into it... We simply call the route we took “Charleston Peak via North to South”... Like I say, this route is just over 20 miles... A little longer, but much less strenuous... I know from experience that you can make up twice as many “easy” miles in the same time it takes to hike fewer “hard” miles, and I personally don’t want to start a hike killing myself when knowing there’s a long trail ahead... We started our day at 5:30 a.m. parking one car at the South Loop Trailhead (Cathedral Rock), and drove another car to the North Loop Trailhead where we began our hike... After the drive and stretching, we were on the mountain at 6:30 in the morning... It took us exactly 8 hours (12+ miles) to reach “The Peak” with plenty of breaks along the way... It took just over 4 hours (8+ miles) to get down... All in, we totaled just over 12 hours (20+ miles) to complete it... However, we actually were only moving for 10 of those hours... Like I said, there were plenty of breaks taken (2+ hours worth)... We were back at the car parked at “South Loop” right as the sun was setting at 6:45 p.m.... It was cool to see both the sunrise and sunset while on the mountain... Great thing is that no headlamp was needed during the entire hike because of the planned timing... There was a perfect glow in both the morning and evening... Taking this hike in September is recommended... The temperature was perfect... Being it was only 3 days before Autumn officially began when we decided to take this hike, all the Aspens were showing off their beautiful fall colors... The only gripe is that it was a windy day when we went, so you could really feel those gusts in certain areas... Especially at “The Peak” where they reached over 30 MPH... Besides that, I absolutely LOVED this hike... There are many other beautiful views outside of the colorful Aspens as well... Even the burnt forest on the South side of “The Peak”has a certain “coolness” to it... Even though it’s sad that those trees are destroyed... I highly recommend this hike, and even more so in the middle of September.

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A Blonquist
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 20, 2020
Backpacking

Did this trail as a 3 night backpacking trip with a group of Boy Scouts. It was especially hard on the higher elevations with heavy packs, but we were able to summit on day 2 and enjoy the “mostly downhill” route on day 3. I’ll leave most of the trail descriptions to other reviewers, but will instead focus on some backpacking and camping information since that was lacking. First of all, we camped at the site near Mummy Springs so we hiked up the less travelled Deer Creek drainage above the Deer Creek picnic area. The trail was fairly easy to follow—especially if you find one of the few recordings for Mummy Springs or Raintree that went that way—and stays out of private property even though some signage makes you think you are on private property. It is a very steep trail with some loose footing so be careful—trekking poles helped a ton. This route was shorter and saved us several hundred feet of elevation had we gone via the Raintree route, but it was definitely steeper and a little more treacherous. The campsite was large and very nice—adequate for both tents and hammocks. It is easy to find just off the trail about 200 -300 yards south of the Springs (and downhill of the trail). The Springs were just a collection of dozens of trickles into small collecting holes when we were there in mid-July (no rain for the previous month+). We had to dig out some sediment from the largest hole to get our pump-style filter to work. Once we did that we had plenty of water for 20+ liters due to the continuous trickles. From night #1 at Mummy Springs, we joined the normal trail at the Raintree and continued past the Trail Canyon junction and up towards the summit. About 1/2 mile from the junction we stopped briefly at Cave Springs. Here, water is piped into a hollowed out log that is shaped like a horse trough. There was plenty of flow and stored water—and is probably reliable year-round. This and Mummy Springs were the only two places we saw water on our trip as all snow was melted by the time we were there. From cave springs, our goal was to find a campsite where we could set up, then summit “fast and light”, and then head back to camp for the night. There are actually 7 campsites spread out once you ascend up to the ridge line between Lee and Kyle Canyons. They are spread out over about 3 miles of trail (between mileage points 5.4 and 8.7 on this trail’s map). Most are located on flat areas where the trail actually crests the ridge line—the rest of the time you are generally hiking below the ridge. Our goal was to camp a couple miles from the summit so we picked the 4th or 5th spot we came to. This one had limited tent spots, but still enough trees nearby for our 6 hammocks. That evening, half our group summitted at sunset and the other half summitted at sunrise. The 4 mile round trip without packs still took almost 3 hours for this formerly athletic, but mostly out of shape 40-something. I was 10,000 ft higher up than I was used to and was definitely feeling it at the end of a long day hiking. The view of Las Vegas as the lights came on was amazing—with Pahrump on the other side (not quite as impressive). We also got to see the Neowise comet while we were up there. It was windy and in the mid 40’s at 9pm when we headed back down by head lamp. Our other group reported much windier conditions and probably in the upper 30’s at sunrise when they were up there. Keep in mind that daytime highs in Vegas were over 110 degrees these days. The next day we hiked back down to the Mummy Springs campsite for one more night. There were other areas along the trail (below the ridge line) where people have obviously camped in the past so you aren’t limited to just the 7 sites at the top. It seems that most backpackers probably hike all the way to one of the higher 7 sites in one day and then summit and return all the way down on the second day. We wanted to stretch things out a bit. This made our packs heavier, and our progress slower, but allowed for a more relaxed pace—especially for our mostly inexperienced group. The biggest piece of advice I would give is to carry enough water from Cave Springs to the summit and for overnight. In those 20 hours I consumed almost 5 liters. Elevation combined with low humidity and several meals made me thirstier than normal. All in all this was a great backpacking trip for our whole group. The pace was just right, doable for beginners as long as they are in shape and prepared. With water our packs weighed between 35-40lbs. Views were spectacular, oh and don’t forget the sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses!

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Mel C
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 3, 2020
Hiking

Six times a charm! Yup, that is the amount of times that we have attempted to summit this beast and finally getting our chance a few weeks ago. Whether we chose to hike through the North Loop or South Loop, snow prevented us from completing our task every single time. Nothing is more frustrating than getting to about a mile from the peak and having to turn around. Remember the saying...Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory. Safety First! Going Up We started our hike at exactly 5:57 AM at Trail Canyon and proceeded through the North Loop to the peak. We took a total of 4 breaks to hydrate, snack, and shed some clothing. We finally made it to the top at 11:47 AM at a 2.1 mph pace. Making it to the peak was very challenging and rewarding. In my opinion, hiking up Trail Canyon and the last 1/2 mile of switchbacks was the toughest part of this hike. The 6 miles after Trail Canyon and before the final switchbacks weren't that difficult to complete, just long. We still encountered about 50 feet of snow/ice near the top as well as a huge tree that blocked our path. To summit Charleston Peak is both challenging and rewarding. We spent about 45 minutes at the peak to take our photos, sign the logbook, hydrate, snack, and rest. Going Down For most, the trek down Charleston Peak is easier and faster. For me, a hike down a hill is more challenging. Our pace back to the trailhead was between 2.5-3 mph. It wasn't until we got to Trail Canyon (the last 2 miles) where I really slowed down to almost a crawl at a pace of 1.5 mph. My feet were killing me, and my planter fasciitis kicked in. We made it down about an hour faster than going up, but it was no picnic. I was in pain by the time I made to the car. Overall, Charleston Peak is a beast and to summit is very rewarding. It's the tallest peak in both Clark County, Nevada, and the Spring Mountains. To date, Charleston Peak is also my longest hike and highest peak that I accomplished in one day. The view at the top is awesome. Views include the surrounding peaks, Las Vegas, and Pahrump. Tip #1: Be prepared. Pack enough hydration and food to get you up and down the trail. NOTE: I packed 7 liters of hydration and 2,000 calories worth of carbs, fats, and protein. I went through all my food and 4 liters of water Tip #2: Poles are not required. But I do recommend them, especially if you have bad knees. Tip #3: Dress appropriately. A good pair of sturdy hike boots and comfortable clothing is a must. Keep in mind that parts of the hike are exposed to the sun and it's very warm. There are parts of the hike that is shaded and due to the higher elevation, it can get a bit nippy. Tip #4: Review the stats. To summit is no joke. Understand what it takes to summit and how long it will take you. Don't forget about altitude and the elevation gain. Some people can get to the top and back in less than 8 hours. These people are hike fit and don't take many breaks. It took us close to 12 hours round-trip (2.5 hours of breaks). Tip #5: I'm content not having to hike up Trail Canyon again this year. I rather reach the peak via the South Loop or from Griffith Peak. Regardless of how many times I have hiked up Trail Canyon, it's always a beast.

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Jaimee Troth
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 30, 2019
Hiking

Still a few spots with some slushy snow. I went around it I didn’t have any poles to make sure it was safe. One of my favorite hikes if you’re looking for a great climb with a gorgeous view. Worth the time and it’s nice to escape the heat.

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Madison Sheridan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 28, 2019
Hiking

There is still a lot of snow on the last mile or so of the trip. So much so that I was unable to summit Mt. Charleston. Will try again near the end of July.

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Tolo Martinez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 26, 2018
Hiking

It’s so fun to get to Charleston! And then take south loop down. Have two vehicles. One for north loop trailhead and one at cathedral!! Make sure to take a local beer for a summit beer.

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Rick Virmani
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 17, 2018

Started down this trail on 9/16/2018 for about 30 minutes and was hard.

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Cathi Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 26, 2018
Hiking

Awesome hike & views, harder than I expected. The last mile or so feels like forever. Well worth it, glad I did it. Bring plenty of water 3-4 liters, bring a windbreaker or something for the wind at the top. I lucked out with amazing weather, which helped

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Yannette Gallego
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So hard. I in no way completed the hike. I did 3 miles in and 3 miles out. Kicked my butt.

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Eric Lerma
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 27, 2018
Hiking

I did this hike November of 2016. One of the toughest hikes I’ve ever done in a day but one of the most enjoyable. Bring a buddy and a camera, this one has some breathtaking views!

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Dan Peressini
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 24, 2018
Hiking

We hiked up and back 6/23/18. We had wonderful weather and great views. We even were able to throw a couple snowballs with the patches of melting snow remaining.

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Russell Spring
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 25, 2017
Backpacking

This is the true North Loop to the Charleston Peak. It starts from the North Loop trail head that is off of deer creek highway and continues past raintree onto deer creek trail to the peak of Mount Charleston. This is a 20 mile hike that leads you though the greenest part of mount charleston. There are epic views of the forest, plenty of cliff edges to walk along, and overlooks to selfie. So if you are afraid of heights, you might want to consider taking the south route starting at eco trail. This route will take you past mummy mount and to just over 10,000 feet to hang out with the 3000 year old raintree. Then you will drop down a 1000 feet to a trail junction of trail canyon trail and deer creek trail. You will then head up deer creek trail to the north ridge line of mount charleston. One mile onto this trail you will cross a cave springs water log. A good water filter here can top off your bottles. Proceeding on this trail will bring you to a up about 10,000 to 11,000 feet for a few miles until you reach the final ascend. There are several places to make a overnight camp before making for the top. The climb to the top is made up of 6 monster switch backs in 100% open sun. Weather on Mt Charleston is as random as it gets, so be ready. We had 3 seasons in 2 days. It was hot upper 80s then drop down at night to the upper 40s. We experienced rain storms and .22 caliber size hail. It was Nevada dry one day and Florida humid the next. Flash floods are very real on this mount you can see the results of them from time to time. If you view my profile you will see the actual full route logged for a better understanding. AllTrails only has part of this route recorded.

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Tomas Cernas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 2, 2017
Hiking

my first trail. Completely under estimated this but this was worth it.

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Regina Harrison
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 18, 2016

Love this trail. Very challenging to me! The switchbacks at the end are a killer!

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Tessa Campbell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 31, 2015
Camping

We backpacked the entire north loop to the summit. Stayed the night near Devils Thumb and then backpacked out the next morning. It was definitely grueling at times. My Fitbit calculated 15 miles day one and 10 miles for day two. It was a lot of mileage with big packs on our back but our campsite was out of this world. We watched the sunset and then gazed at the stars all night. The views up to the summit are way better than actually from the summit but it is cool to see Las Vegas and Pahrump from the top. I'm don't think I would ever backpack it again, but I might do it as a long day trip. And also I wouldn't do the full north rim. If you do trail canyon, you can shave off 3 miles each way, which could have made the difference for me between 4 starts and 5. Overall it was a great experience and a hell of an accomplishment.

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Nico Medrano
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 26, 2015
Hiking

Awesome trail and one of my favorites! I did this hike in mid-August and started at 2:45 am because I knew it was going to get hot. Amazing views throughout. I completed it as a day trip (8 hr RT) but wish I would've camped a night. There are stellar sites about half to three quarters of the way up. Very easy to navigate. Take plenty of water and nutrition.

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James Cook
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 14, 2013
Hiking

This is a great trail. The closer to the peak, the more treacherous it gets with some very serious (certainly fatal) drops. The first tow miles you come to "the view" point looking over the Charleston valley. From there it's down to the trail canyon intersection (all down). About .6 miles further your at cave springs (slight grades to this point). From there you hit a couple long switch backs which brings you up to the cliffs over looking Charleston village. A mile and a half later your hitting the first saddle and taking a slight up and down grades to the 3 camping areas. After the last camp area is where things get a bit hazardous and definitely more strenuous. Things from here get interesting with about 7-10 spots where just below the trail there are drops about 500-1000 feet. Not sure exactly but they didn't look survivable. They did look amazing and definitely picture worthy (if your battery didn't die like mine). You think your close but for the next mile or so your thinking the giant switchback must be just around this outcrop. But it's not, there are a few of those and then finally, your in the big switchback. Air is thin and it gets pretty chilly (even in June). A few turns and your are at your destination! When at the top. Please be mindful of the stone wind break area. We sat down and made lunch and found little red ticks all over (don't need hitch hikers). Good luck and sign the book in the ammo can!

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Wandering Cheri
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 14, 2013
Hiking
First to Review

This trail is beautiful, but there are difficult parts due to the pitch of the trail and slippery rocky ground cover. I did not make it to the top the day I headed out as I left too late in the day and realized I would not make it down before dark and there are some very dangerous parts of trail......if you slip you have a long way down!!! Gorgeous hike though! I always start utilizing the Trail Canyon route. I only completed 13.5 mile loop this day.

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Juan carlos Lopez
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Hiking
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Castle Daniels
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Hiking
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Bryan Ramirez
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Hiking
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Brianna Grindstaff
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Hiking
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Brianna Grindstaff
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 23, 2020
Hiking
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Jon Fulbright
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Hiking
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