Leaving Las Vegas
Set in the heart of the 316,000-acre Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, 11,918-foot Charleston Peak rises high above the Toiyabe National Forest. An ecological island in the Mojave Desert, the Spring Mountains are home to mountain lions, elk, wild turkeys and, occasionally, wild horses. You'll have no trouble finding a quiet trail here.Directions: From the Strip, take I-15 north to Highway 95 and go northwest 10 miles until it ends at Rancho Drive/Tonopah Highway. Turn left, drive another four miles to Highway 157 and turn left. From there it's 19 miles to the Kyle Canyon Ranger Station.
North Loop Trail to Mummy Springs
Length: 6 miles roundtrip
From the ranger station, backtrack two miles to Highway 158, turn left and go four and a half miles to a small parking lot on the left signed North Loop Trail. This hike starts at 8,300 feet and heads up, up, up. After about one and a half miles, you'll reach a small plateau offering views of the Las Vegas Valley to the southeast and the Nellis Air Force Base Bombing Range, former site of hundreds of nuclear tests, to the northeast. Then it's up again through the ponderosa and mountain mahogany forest on switchback after switchback. The trail finally levels off at 10,000 feet, makes a hairpin turn toward Mummy Mountain and heads west and downhill to the Mummy Springs cutoff. The bucolic springs are a half-mile away. Return the way you came.
Information: Contact Spring Mountains National Recreation Area at (702) 873-8800.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication