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

cool. found by accident. super neat.

15 days ago

Great loop trail with spectacular views of the limestone cliffs of Mt. Charleston. Parked at the Lower Bristlecone trailhead. Did the loop trail clockwise, hiking up the road to the ski area and the Upper Bristlecone trailhead. This makes for a steeper climb to the bristlecones with a gradual descent down the trail to the parking area.

We parked at the Lower Bristlecone Trail lot, ended at the Upper and then walked back downhill (on pavement) to our car. It’s a smaller lot but it worked out really well for us. Beautiful trails.

I did this hike on Thanksgiving and WoW! it was beautiful. It had just snowed. 75% of this hike was through snow. Did not complete the full loop.

1 month ago

I've hiked nearly all the trails at Mount Charleston and a few of them several times (Charleston Peak x 2, Griffith Peak, etc).

This hike is now my favorite.

The trail can be very tough to follow - but there are cairns along the way.

There is a very difficult part near the summit which will require a bit of technical climbing. The rock face is near vertical. The going up part isn't so bad - but you had better be sure in your rock climbing ability on the way down.

Unreal views from the top which was quite windy.

I wouldn't recommend going this one alone unless you've done it before and even that is a little risky.

We made the entire trek in around 4 hours with a break of 20-30 minutes up top.

Very relaxing hike. Gets some good exercise and also cool down from the hot city. I parked at the lower bristlecone lot and ended at the upper lot and walked on the road to my car. I think that’s the smart play.

1 month ago

No restrooms at trailhead, campground about 100 yards away has restrooms

1 month ago

Short easy trail that is great for a sunrise hike. It can be quite narrow in places, so could be a pain if crowded with people going both directions. Also there are cactus plants with HUGE spines all over the place, so be careful with dogs and young children. Our dog ended up with some spines in her hiking boots when she strayed from the trail going after a mule deer (she was leashed so she didn't get far).
We started hiking about 30 minutes before sunrise and were out of the trees in plenty of time to see the colors creep up. Went on a weekday morning in October and were the only ones the entire time. It was also very frosty, so between the cactus spines and the frosty ground we were glad our dog had her boots.

on Sawmill Short Loop

1 month ago

I had fun getting lost, literally lost, but I felt robbed of my time because we ended up not even going on the right trail because the trail markers were minuscule and easy to miss. We got lost for maybe most of the hike, thankfully we had a compass and kept heading south until we found our way. Regardless, it wasn’t very scenic, the view of Mummy Mountain was better on the way there. Maybe if there had been snow I would’ve enjoyed it more.

1 month ago

Went with some friends or else I wouldn't have known where to go. There is zero signage and very little evidence of any sort of actual trail. Basically you just follow the river bed to where a waterfall might be at the end if it's rained enough recently. There is definite scrambling and lots of opportunities for rolled ankles on this hike. I would not take young children. We took our dog, but she's old and wasn't able to jump up and down the rocks on her own, and there are some steep drops that made me nervous that she might slip off. I would consider your dog's age, athletic ability, and personality before bringing him on this trail.

A very long, difficult 18 mile one way trail (including the Bristle Cone section). Much harder than i thought it would be, due to the never-ending climbs and steep drop-offs and very high narrow/washed out loose shale trails. For those who are afraid of heights like me, about 30% of accomplishing this adventure is full of anxiety, very tense, and slow moving. We started hiking at 8:30. One team started at Cold Creek, the other at Lee Canyon. Met in the middle for key swap. We are all experienced long distance hikers, and this trail took us much longer than an average long trail due to the unrelenting ascents in both directions (and slow pace for me on the scary parts). We all made it back to our cars between 5:30-6pm. The scenery on this route is superb so it gets a 5 star. But some of it is hard to follow due to wash outs and steep ravines. Be sure to take GPS, maps, and download Alltrails on your cell! No time for long breaks, for the sun will be setting before you know it. Take a flash light and warm clothing just in case!

Awesome views

off road driving
2 months ago

Yeah if you rank this trail a 3/5 you're either drunk or stupid.

Great trail, easy to follow. Moderate trail. Beautiful trees all along the way.

2 months ago

Very nice trail. I only say 4 because this was my first hiking trip and I suspect there are other really great trails.

It was very easy to follow and the view was amazing but there were some areas that were very loose gravel on a steep incline which made going up and coming down difficult.

Even in the middle of the desert the temperature (75) and low humidity were perfect for an out-of-shape person like myself.

I would definitely take this hike again.

Great trail! The leaves are changing color making for great scenery. I will upload pics. I started at the Lower Bristlecone Trailhead and ended at the Upper Bristlecone Trailhead. From the Upper Trailhead I walked about a mile down the road to my truck. This is the best way to do it unless you want to walk a mile uphill after the hike.

Beautiful hike - fun with some scrambling over rocks Easy, not difficult or too steep. Beautiful views and lightly trafficked.

Just what we were looking for. Not much elevation, beautiful views. Easy for young kids.

Pretty walks through the trees and lots of shade and a nice view at the top. You can continue the trail to complete lower bristlecone, but you will have to hike back up the road to your vehicle.

The drive to the trailhead(from Vegas) is a little longer than other hikes on Mt. Charleston. Once you get to Cold Creek, the road changes to gravel. I wouldn’t try to make this drive in a car. We have a Subaru Impreza outback sport and we were scraping in some places. If you don’t have the clearance you could high center. Truck or SUV recommended. The hike itself is wonderful. Amazing views on the way up. Lots of switchbacks. Good amount of shade. We were the only hikers on the trail that day, so I’d you’re looking for a secluded hike, give this one a shot. The last person to sign the book at the summit was there 4 days before us. Bring lots of water and make sure you use the bathroom at a gas station on the 95. There are no services in cold creek. Hike is more like 9 miles rather than the stated 7.9.

Decent trail just not much shade. A lot of shrub brush but some cool views of the mountains

Very cool trail. Not super aggressive, but pretty.

Beautiful hike and relatively easy. We read on other reviews that the upper trail is more strenuous, so we started there for the main incline and ended at lower. Upper has larger drop offs, some switchbacks and narrow pathways, but it leads to some breathtaking views. It isn't very difficult but those new to hiking or with a fear of heights might be a little uncomfortable at parts. Once you get to lower, it's a wide dirt road/path and it's just a nice simple walk the whole way down through the forest. There isn't a lot of shade on the lower trail, so bring sunscreen. The worst part about this hike is the parking situation, since even though it's a loop trail, it starts and ends at different spots. We parked at upper and had to make the trek up the road to get back to our car once it was over. Those last 15 minutes were the worst and hardest part about the whole hike to us. So plan accordingly, but it really has to do with preference.

started from the mcwilliams campground to the upper trailhead and made all the way down to lower trailhead and back to camp. nice hike with a lot of shade. it was cool, around 70 in late afternoon.

We love this trail. If you want to do the entire loop, start from Lower Bristlecone Trail. Otherwise, you will have to finish the loop with a grueling march back to your car, about 800-900 ft. gain in just over a half mile. It's not unusual to see wild horses, burros, or chipmunks in the general area. The Upper Bristlecone is shaded, whereas you'll take in a lot of rays on the lower part, so remember sunscreen. Where the upper and lower meet, you can stray off on Bonanza Trail too.

It gets pretty chilly up there. Also hailed and rained on us. If you get cold fast bring a jacket. It was a fun and easy hike!

3 months ago

A favorite for sure!!! Not heavily hiked and lots of climbing to do for sure!!! Your upper AND lower body will get a workout! You’ll need to have your map on to guide you to this trail as it is literally off the beaten path!! Sooooooooo much fun and we will definitely do this one again!!

3 months ago

My friend and I kind of stumbled upon this hike because we didn’t realize there was a trail near lee canyon. It was a really great hike through the forest. There are a lot of aspens and parts of the trail go through an ephemeral stream. It’s really pretty. The views at the end of the trail are well worth the trek in. It looked like you could even keep going at the end, and if we had more time we would’ve gone further.

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