Part of the Spring Mountain Range, Mt. Charleston looms 11,918 above sea level and is a one-hour drive from Las Vegas. The Spring Mountains get their name from the many natural springs in the area, which are one of the many sensitive resources found here. Here in the high country you'll find a forested oasis and relief from the Mojave Desert heat of southern Nevada, where summer temperatures often rise above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Some of the mountain's recreational sites between 6,000 and 8,500 feet of elevation feature both winter and summer activities. There is skiing and sleigh rides in the winter, and horseback riding, wagon rides and hiking in the summer. The Mount Charleston Wilderness extends across the highest elevations of the Spring Mountains Range, including the highest point, Charleston Peak at 11,918 feet. Short, steep-walled canyons penetrate the range, which is characterized by some 18,000 acres of bristlecone pine, the largest such stand in the Intermountain West. With the combination of range in habitat, unique geology and microclimates, this area supports several endemic plant communities, plants that are found no where else in the world. Some 40 miles of trails include many miles along the spine of the Spring Mountains. Elevation changes and the virtual absence of flat terrain make for strenuous but beautiful hiking.
To get to hiking trails that lead into the Mt. Charleston Wilderness Area, take Nevada State Highway 95 to State Route 157 west. Travel approximately 17 miles to access the South Loop, Trail Canyon, and Fletcher Canyon Trails.
To get to the Griffith Peak Trail take the Harris Springs Road south off of State Route 157. Travel on the Harris Springs road to Forest Road 104. The terminus of Forest Road 104 is the beginning of the Griffith Peak Trail.
To access the North Loop Trail, take State Route 158 north from State Route 157.
To access the Bonanza Trail, take State Highway 95 to County Road 202 to Cold Creek. Continue through Cold Creek to the gravel Forest Road 202. The end of this road is the beginning of the Bonanza Trail.
Full service camping is available from May 1 through Sept. 30, 7 days a week. Walk-in snow tent camping is allowed if vehicles can be parked safely off the highway. Some sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis, but some sites can be reserved. Reservations must be made in advance and can be made up to 120 days in advance. There is also a large RV group site available by reservation only. To make reservations call Toll Free 1-877-444-6777 (International 518-885-3639) or book online at: www.recreation.gov