Hiking in a Forest in the Desert

We traveled to Las Vegas in late November to celebrate our anniversary. We love the food, the lights and the shows in Vegas. However, we love the hiking around Las Vegas even more. This year we headed to Mt. Charleston, which is about 35 miles northwest of Vegas. It is the highest mountain in Clark County, about 11,900 feet, Nevada and is located in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. I know…you’re thinking a national forest in the middle of the desert!

This area has over 50 miles of maintained trails ranging from beginner to advanced trails. We started with the Fletcher Canyon trail, which was a pretty easy out-and-back trail. It is 1.9 miles from the trail head to the end and has a slight incline, but is easy to navigate.

After lunch we headed further up the mountain to Cathedral Rock. This trail is a 2.5 mile moderate hike.

This trail twists and turns through ponderosa pines, white firs, and then aspen trees. Half way up the hike you will find a waterfall just off the trail. We heard water and then saw the waterfall and ice!!!

My husband REALLY enjoyed exploring the spring and waterfall! This hike has impressive views from the start and all the way up. We hiked quickly as we were running our of daylight!

We enjoyed both hikes at Mt. Charleston and hope to return to check out the Mt. Charleston Lodge and complete a few more hikes in the area. We may also have to check out the ski area next time.


Before you head out to hike don’t forget your favorite hiking boots, backpacks and gear. Having waterproof hiking boots was great when we went through puddles and small streams, and don’t forget a backpack for snacks and water!


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