Spring Mountains-Escaping the heat

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.

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Top of Cathedral Rock with snow capped Mt. Charleston behind us

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.

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Cathedral Rock

The views from the top look out at Kyle Canyon

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View towards Kyle Canyon from top of Cathedral Rock

and back towards Mt. Charleston.  The hiking in this area reminds us of New England because of the tree cover on the trail.

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Hiking in the trees

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.

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Spring Mountains Visitors 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

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Silent Heroes of the Cold War National Memorial

and the Steven Stones Plaza honoring the Southern Paiute.

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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.

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About gizmogoeswest

I just "pre-tired" from my job of nearly 30 years as a nurse. John, my husband and Gizmo our Shih Tzu are embarking on a cross country RV adventure. We are searching for awesome hikes and adventures
This entry was posted in Dog Friendly, hiking, National Parks and Monuments, The journey west and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Spring Mountains-Escaping the heat

  1. Pingback: The End of the Journey West and the Beginning of the Journey East | gizmogoeswest

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