By Gady Medrano
We wanted to get away from the city, but not go too far. Mount Charleston was the perfect choice. It has the highest peak in southern Nevada and one of the most popular hikes in the state. Mount Charleston is less than a 30-minute drive from Las Vegas, but provides a dramatic change of scenery. Huge trees and alpine meadows, it feels like you are no longer in the Las Vegas desert. It is also 20-30 degrees cooler due to the elevation, which makes it even more perfect for hiking during the summer.
There are over 50 miles of maintained trails and over 10 hiking trails to choose from. Trails range from beginner to advanced trails.
Beginner: Uphill sections that include up to 1,000 feet of elevation gain and possibly uneven terrain. There are two beginner trails to chose from.
Intermediate: Well-marked trails with gentle grades and few obstacles. There are three intermediate trails to chose from
Advanced: Extreme steep uphill sections with loose rocks, more than 1,000 feet of elevation gain, possibly difficult terrain and longer distance.
For our hike we couldn’t decide between Cathedral Rock or Mary Jane Falls, both are considered advanced trails. Mary Jane Falls is best known for reaching the waterfall and Catheral Rock is known as the highest panoramic view. My friend had recently visited The Grand Canyon, specifically Havasupai Falls (article coming soon: Top 10 Natural Marvels to Visit Around Vegas) Havasupai Falls has a spectacular waterfall that has no equal in Las Vegas and it’s surrounding areas. Therefore; we decided to hike Cathedral Rock for the high panoramic view.
This photo makes me laugh. I wasn’t trying to look sultry. At this point; my allergies started kicking in, and the hike began to incline quite a bit. I needed a break. I found shade under these tress and took the photo. Right before the photo I discovered that I forgot my allergy medicine and could not find it in me to crack a smile. What I had left was only the determination to reach the top of the mountain.
Reaching the top of an uphill climb feels great!
From the top of the mountain all the homes below look like pieces on a monopoly game board.
The homes in Mount Charleston are beautiful, a nature lover’s dream. They range from $150,000 for a summer mountain cabin in a gated community to a 3 million-dollar luxury property with panoramic views. If you would like more information about homes for sale in Mount Charleston click here
Below is my favorite picture of the day. Brody being carried down the mountain. He hikes regularly and loved the climb, but didn’t seem too happy climbing down. Like the loving dog owner she is, she carried him down the mountain instead.
At the bottom of Cathedral Rock is “The Mount Charleston Lodge.” It is the perfect end to a hike in Mount Charleston. The view from the patio is beautiful and relaxing. You can smell the great outdoors while listening to live music and having a meal with friends.
Las Vegas is so much more than the bright lights of the strip. It is surrounded by unexpected natural beauty and endless opportunities to explore the great outdoors. In Las Vegas and it’s surrounding areas you will find unique hiking grounds, ski slopes, lakes, waterfalls and even one of the “Seven Natural Wonders of the World.” The strip is world renowned and great for bringing in the tourism dollars to our city. However; the natural attractions surrounding Las Vegas are nothing less than breathtaking, but they often get overshadowed by the bright lights of the strip.