Upper and Lower Bristlecone Loop

MODERATE 33 reviews
#35 of 114 trails in

Upper and Lower Bristlecone Loop is a 5.8 mile loop trail located near Las Vegas, Nevada and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, horses, and mountain biking and is best used from March until November. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
5.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
928 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

I-15 N from Las Vegas to 95 N towards Reno, W on SR 156 (Lee Canyon) 17 1/4 miles into Lee Canyon until road dead ends in upper pkg. lot for Lee Canyon Ski Area. Do NOT park on helipad for flight for life (signed) ! Trailhead for upper Bristlecone is located at upper end of parking lot. Note that horses cannot access trail from this point. Park horse trailers in large gravel parking area (signed) BEFORE McWilliams campground. You can ride horses up the lower Bristlecone Trail and meet this loop at the Bonanza trail turn (signed, 3 mi.up lower trail- will add 1 mile overall to hike) -- take the turn onto Bonanza trail and follow switchbacks to top (signed); look for turn BEFORE the wooden steps up the hill. When you exit the hike at the ski area pkg, you'll need to ride alongside the paved road back down to main horse trailer parking (gravel lot). If hiking instead of riding, begin & end at upper trailhead and follow loop as shown for this route.

Just hiked the lower and upper bristlecone. Upper is awesome. Lower is a little boring. Upper had a slight dusting of snow. In 2016, last year it had over 12 feet of snow at this same time and was inaccessible.
Was informed by a mountain biker, if doing the bonanza trail, take personal protection because of mountain lions. It’s probably an over night hike.
Just a great hiking destination not far from Vegas.

1 month ago

great hike for the whole family.. puppy inc.

4 months ago

Easy trail for most of the family. Watch for mtn bikes. Great summer and fall hike.

6 months ago

Love this Loop

6 months ago

Nice trail with great views of the ski lodge and surrounding area.

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
Saturday, November 12, 2016

All rankings 1-10
Scenery = 6, if catch aspen changing colors then 7
Difficulty = 3, easy grade, good footing
Solitude = 8, few cars on Sat morning in Nov
Wildlife = 2, some birds not much else
Shade = 5, only on the Upper half of Loop near ski area

Best to go up the South side of the loop. You'll be facing the right way for the views and be in the shade during the heat of day. Lower is on a fire road so would be great for snowshoeing or cross country sking. Upper is more traditional hiking path.

hiking
Sunday, July 31, 2016

Started at the Lower which makes an easier hike to elevation and always you to go downhill for the steepest portions of the trail. The Lower is not very interesting, but the Upper has a number of nice views. The trail is shared with mountain bikers who all gave plenty of notice as they came down hill behind me. I think combining this trail with part of the Bonanza Trail would make a nice backpacking overnighter.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Started from upper bristlecone trailhead which loops to the lower bristlecone trailhead. It's beautiful from the upper trailhead, uphill but not too difficult but the second part leading to the lower trail is really boring and downhill.

hiking
Monday, August 17, 2015

Very beautiful hike. A great way to get away from vegas and the heat. Not too difficult, although could be crowded at times. Overall it was a fine hike, at least for vegas anyway haha!

hiking
Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It was a nice hike, lovely pine trees and bristlecones. Not very challenging, but enjoyed the scenery!

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