MT. CHARLESTON, NEVADA

July 10, 2017

Mt. Charleston, Nevada
Mount Charleston reaches an elevation of 11,918' where you start from an elevation of 7,500 ft. ( at the canyon trailhead).  There is a nice well maintained trail that you can easily follow to reach the north loop junction.  

Mt. Charleston, Nevada

If you are coming in from the north, you can take the canyon trail head where you will shave off a couple miles but will elevate your ascent from 7500ft to 11,900ft. You can also come from teh north loop which will add a few miles to your route time.  I hiked from the canyon trailhead to the summit and back in about 8 hours ( around 16 miles) including stops and and a small nap mid trail. 
Dr. Snarles with the merican flag on Mt. Charleston, Nevada

Now what to expect. This trail was a lot more interesting than I thought it would be!  You start off at the parking lot, get there early so you can get a parking spot, and this section is covered with green pine trees and some other vegetation. 

Mt. Charleston, Nevada
 Once you work your way up to the junction, the scenery changes and more limestone is exposed along with the aftermath of the devastating forest tire that happened a few years ago. 

Mt. Charleston, Nevada
You will pass a spring where you can get extra water which is really helpful especially on the way back. I brought 3 liters of water and ended up with a 1/4 liter when I got back to the car. 

Mt. Charleston, Nevada
You follow switch backs up to around 10,200ft and follow the trees become a bit more dwarfed and the scenery is quite impressive.  You will handlebar the ridge for a few miles and cut around draws and spurs until you get to the Bristle cone forest. This place was really fascinating!

Mt. Charleston, Nevada
There are a few trees up there that are over 1000 years old and one tree is believed to be 3000 years old.  It was fascinating to walk through an ancient forest that is still alive. 

Mt. Charleston, Nevada
Soon after I left the tree line to make the final approach to the summit with switch backs and a bit of a huff in my breath. 

Mt. Charleston, Nevada
It wasnt all that bad to get tot eh summit, you want to stay relaxed and pace yourself. The summit was interesting to see the views of pah rump and Vegas as well a small pieces of death valley below. 
Mt. Charleston, Nevada

I could see a storm brewing and heard some thunder in the distance so I made my way down the mountain before it started to rain up there.  That is not a place you want to get stuck in a storm. 
Mt. Charleston, Nevada

Winter mountaineering would be fantastic and I wonder how the south loop trail is in comparison tot he north loop trail.   Along the way, I met some great people traveling
through and it was a fantastic day.


Mt. Charleston, Nevada








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