We expected to run into some snow -- after all, you're hiking at an elevation of 8,000 feet or so! But we didn't expect to be unable to complete what should have been a fairly easy hike because the trail disappeared into the snow! Be sure to ask at the visitor center if you are hiking any time other than the middle of summer. (But they said nothing to us about finding that much snow on our hike . . .) You can also check the website below, which has a running banner across the top about current conditions.
We only tried one trail, so this may not hold true everywhere in the area. But the woman in the visitor center gave us some directions, and we did have a map. But early on, at a spot where the trail divided and she told us we should go right, we followed her direction and it became obvious we were not where we should be. There was no sign at the path divide -- it had apparently been taken and there was just a post . . .
The end result? Lots of rocks in our shoes!
When driving up the grade on highway 157 to Mount Charleston be very careful. The posted speed limit on this 2 lane road is 60 mph. Impatient motorists traveling behind you will speed very dangerously tail gating you, and then drive around you passing you up around 80 mph because they act like they got a hot date or something. Please drive the speed limit and take precaution when on this road.
Although the main roads are plowed during the winter, ice can still form overnight and the wind can blow snow back onto the roads. Since most of the road has a pretty steep grade, its best to take it slow while driving.
There are no gas stations on the mountain. If you plan to do any exploring while you're on the mountain, or you're simply low on gas, its best to fill up before heading up the mountain.