Explore the most popular mountain biking 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.

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

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.

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.

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!

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.

Gorgeous View...


Nice hike, easy to follow trail. We parked at the upper parking lot and walked down the road to the lower parking lot to start there. The first 3 miles from the lower parking lot is all jeep road, all up hill and not much shade. It’s a nice climb to the point where you see the Bonanza Trail turn off. Continued to the upper where you eventually get to some nice single track trails with shade covering which will take you right back to the upper parking area. Nice views and dog friendly!

we started out at the lower. we gradually climbed and were not sure we would do the upper. we did do the upper and 3 1/2 hours later made it back to our car, but we did it! great views!

Awesome trail, we took the upper bristlecone trail and headed farther up the mountain following bonanza then hit what is labeled as “old bristlecone trail” on the way back. It wasn’t as maintained as the upper trail but was stunning and had shade the whole way back. It was an amazing 8 mile hike going around that route

Really nice hike, perfect for a morning outing before it gets hot. The trail itself is quiet and well maintained. I started from the Upper trailhead. The Upper trail is nicely shaded and really beautiful. Once you get to the Lower part of the loop, the views are still lovely and the trees are green, but the long dirt road gets a little boring to walk on. Saw two mule deer (does), a coyote, good-sized Palmer's Chipmunks, and tons of birds including several woodpeckers. All in all, a great little hike.

We went in early November and the aspen trees were on point! A nice hike for the kiddos too.

Great hike with awesome views! did the upper and lower for the 5.6 mile loop. Next time we plan to just hike the upper out and back to stay in the shade more.

Awesome little hike with a lot of shade.

4 months ago


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.

Amazing views through out, especially as you get closer to the turn around point. Overall a simple, straightforward hike.

beautiful trail which is easier on the knees. we saw wild mustangs.

Beautiful scenery, amazing 64 degree weather. The trail is very easy to find and very defined the whole way to the top. Lovely breeze and trees. Can’t wait to go back. Oh no fees to enter the “park”.

Second time we’ve done this trail and we love it!It’s not too hard so you can bring the whole family. We prefer to start at the upper trail and end at the lower. This way you start basically on a dirt road and end in the middle of the forest with big beautiful trees and it’s a bit cooler (You will have to walk on the road a little bit to get back to the parking lot.) We brought our hammocks so we could chill and have lunch and it was perfect. Even took a little nap! I would definitely recommend this trail :)

I started at the Upper Bristlecone and did the Loop down to the Lower Bristlecone which is the end of the trail. So to get back to the upper trail parking lot, you would have to hike along the side of the road which I didn’t know..It was a very long hike for me.. Burnt lots of calories.. lol!!

Impromtu hike this morning. Just me and my dog. I try to find trails that aren't too rocky since he tends to crecks his paws. this terrain was perfect for him. Was a fairly easy hike. Overall a little over two hours round trip. I came in mid May and everything was beautiful. quite a few butterflies lots of vocal birds and a lot of beautiful trees - can get a little chilly at the top of the mountain so of your coming in earlier months or on a windy weekend you may want a light sweater. Enjoy!

Awesome Hike.

An incredible trail! A good steady climb, but nothing strenuous. Lots of trees, still some snow on the ground, birds singing... just a great trail all around. I didn't go through Lower Bristlecone because it's said to be boring.
April 22, 2018.

Completed this amazing hike last weekend. Some snow and ice on upper bristlecone, proper shoes , maybe poles recommended. With parts of this trail covered in snow we got a bit off trail so be aware of that. Beautiful vistas!

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