This past weekend we were anxious to get out of the city and get to some cool mountain climbing. The ability to drive from the desert up to the mountains in less than an hour is one of the things we like most about the west. We decided to drive up to the Spring Mountains National Recreation area, about 30 minutes from downtown Las Vegas. The Spring mountains are inside the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and encompass more than 316,000 acres. This area is also knows as Mount Charleston. Mount Charleston is 11,916 feet tall and was already snow capped during our visit.
The elevation in the park means the temperatures are 20+ degrees cooler than in Las Vegas. We opted to hike up to Cathedral Rock, a short 3-mile round trip hike that brings you to the top of a rocky promontory.
The views from the top look out at Kyle Canyon
and back towards Mt. Charleston. The hiking in this area reminds us of New England because of the tree cover on the trail.
The weather at the summit was windy and the temperatures were in the low 50’s during our hike (it was in the 80s by the afternoon at the RV). On the way back from the hike we stopped at the Spring Mountains Visitor Center.
This is a really nice visitor center and worth the stop. There are exhibits and a gift shop inside the center. On the outside there is a short walking path that leads to the Silent Heroes of the Cold War National Memorial
and the Steven Stones Plaza honoring the Southern Paiute.
This is definitely a place we will return to for another hike when we need to escape a hot day in Las Vegas.