Favorite thing: Echo Canyon is a subdivision located within Kyle Canyon. The Cathedral Rock picnic area is located in Echo Canyon, as are the trails to Mary Jane Falls and Trail Canyon. A very narrow road leads up Echo canyon, past the lodge and into a residential area.
Hiking Charleston Peak
Favorite thing: A hike to the top of Charleston Peak is an all day affair, but the views en route and on summit are supposed to be very rewarding. There are 2 maintained trails leading to the summit, and both have a similar amount of election gain.
It is advisable to hike Charleston in the summer, as snow accumulations on the trail in the fall through spring make hiking more difficult.
More canyon hikes
Favorite thing: Mount Charleston has numerous great hikes of varying length and difficulty, ranging from a short stroll on a paved trail to an ascent of Nevada's third highest peak. This photo was taken in Feltcher Canyon, along a moderate 2 mile trail with some teriffic views.
National Forest area
Favorite thing: Certain portions of the Kyle and Lee Canyon areas are designated wilderness. In Lee Canyon, where wilderness areas are more predominant, campsites are established, allowing those who really want to get away from it all to do so. Visitors to Mount Charleston can enjoy a backcountry experience in this Las Vegas backyard, wandering for miles through forested areas without encountering another soul.
Favorite thing: The Spring Mountain Visitor's Center is open for limited hours fromThursday to Monday. The visitor's center has some information on hiking trails in the area and its a good place to stop if you're looking for trail information.
Favorite thing: The trail Canyon trailhead is adjacent to that of Mary Jane Falls. It is another hike of about 4 miles, and a fairly steep one. As you can see from the photo, the snow was pretty deep, which made hiking uphill an even bigger challenge, and sans snowshoes at that. I wasn't able to make it through this one either, but I caught glimpses of trail canyon while driving around and it looked pretty nice.
Cathedral Rock picnic area
Favorite thing: Cathedral Rock picnic area is located in Echo Canyon, just a short drive up highway 157 from the Mount Charleston Hotel. Several trails begin at this area, including Mary Jane Falls, Trail Canyon and the Cathedral Rock trail.
During the summer, this would be a great spot to have a picnic and toss a frisbee around for a while. In the winter, you're more likely to see picnic tables covered in a layer of white and visitors tossing snowballs at each other. But there are some nice views of Echo Canyon from here, and, if you feel up to it, you can pick up either of the steep 4 mile trails leading to Mary Jane Falls or Trail Canyon. If visiting in the winter, plan on bringing or renting snowshoes for either of these hikes.
The town of Mount Charleston
Favorite thing: I'm not sure if the official name is "Town of Mount Charleston", and somehow I doubt that it is, but there's a community of people that live up here on the mountain. The live on quiet residential streets bordering Kyle Canyon Road and high above Echo Canyon on narrow roads where two cars cannot pass at the same time.
They are a friendly bunch of people as well. Its a quiet, laid back, roll up your sidewalks at 8 p.m. kind of environment here. The antithesis of Las Vegas lifestyle as portrayed by images of the Strip. But the residents I spoke to seem to prefer the quiet life on the mountain to the pace of the cities in the valleys below.
Lee Canyon Drive
Favorite thing: Lee Canyon can be accessed via a side road off highway 157- the main Mount Charleston Road. Its a paved two lane road which climbs steeply and has some curves, but is very manageable.
Scenic pullouts are provided alongside the road where it passes sweeping views of Mount Charleston and the neighboring peaks. Driving the Lee Canyon Road, it felt as if every turn yielded a more grand sight. Its a worthwhile drive, and one for which you may want to allow time to explore at your leisure
Mary Jane Falls
Favorite thing: Mary Jane Falls is located in Echo Canyon, at the terminus of a very narrow, steep road. The trail is too packed in snow to undertake it on this visit. But I hear the hike leads to some pretty nice falls.
Fletcher Canyon Trail
Favorite thing: Fletcher Canyon is a well marked 4 mile trail located right off hwy 157. The trail climbs a but and it will get you huffing and puffing in this elevation.
On Thanksgiving Day after a big snowstorm, the trail is covered with pristine snow and the canyon is nearly empty. Its a serene walk through the designated wilderness area where the only sounds are the occasional whistling of the wind and the chirping of birds.
The trail leads to an overhead view of the canyon. I didn't make it to the end, fatigue and the snowpack wearing me out. But the entire walk is so spectacular that I can only imagine that the view at trail's end would not disappoint.