Living in Las Vegas brings a multitude of convenient outdoor activities. Mt. Charleston, which is part of the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, is just one of many, but is the ideal escape during the hot summer days. When the temperatures are soaring above 100, Mt. Charleston is generally a good 20 degrees cooler. With a short jaunt outside the edge of town, your family can drive out of the desert scenery and into the Pine tree forests. The best part is there is no entry fee to explore Mt. Charleston.
A leisurely drive up the winding mountain roads brings breath-taking views, log cabin homes and hiking trail escapes. There are many scenic stopping points where one can just take in the views or snap some amazing photos to share later. So, if you aren’t into hiking, it definitely is still worth the drive up.
My family likes to take advantage of the hiking trails once in a while, where there are even more breath-taking opportunities. The great aspect to the various hiking trails is one can choose from easier trails that the younger kids can enjoy or the more treacherous trails for the avid hikers. If you are really brave, you can hang out and camp for the weekend, too.
A couple of our favorite trails are Echo/Little Falls, Cathedral Rock and Mary Jane falls; the last two being more difficult hikes. We got to meet the little chipmunks at the top of Cathedral Rock and feed them some sunflower seeds; while enjoying the great view. If you don’t like heights, you might avoid that one! The different falls, which typically are seasonally based, are wonderful to view, and the water is crystal clear and ice cold.
A great resource to plan your getaway to Mt. Charleston is: http://www.gomtcharleston.com/home.html. It is a great information resource for hiking, camping, volunteering and more. So plan your weekend to escape the heat and enjoy nature’s beauty.
What are your favorite hiking trails near Las Vegas?