Beyond Las Vegas

Mount Charleston

Mount Charleston

So you think Las Vegas is nothing but a dry, empty desert filled with 2.6 million residents and few thousand tourists? Look to the west, my friend, and look to the mountains. The tall peaks you see? That’s the Mount Charleston Wilderness Area.

The Mount Charleston Wilderness Area is located west of Las Vegas. It was created by the U.S. Congress in 1989 under the provisions allowed by the Wilderness Act of 1964 and is managed by both the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service.

That’s where we like to go sometimes to escape the heat of Las Vegas summer. In the winter, when Utah is not an option, Mt Charleston can fill your need for some downhill skiing. It’s all up there. Campgrounds, lodging, restaurants, hiking trails, waterfalls, creeks, and wildlife. Not to mention some pretty amazing and expensive homes!

The Details

Just 45 minutes from Las Vegas, the Mt. Charleston Wilderness feels like it is worlds away from the city with invigorating mountain air, ice-cold springs and evergreen forest amid the Spring Mountain National Recreation Area. This cool-weather oasis boasts a combined total of 56,018 acres and is jointly managed by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.
Mt. Charleston is known as a sky island because of its high elevation and isolation from the drastically different desert lowlands. This wilderness extends along the crest of the most north-south Spring Mountains with towering cliffs, deep narrow canyons, steep hillsides, and barren wind-swept summits. The landscape, ranging from 4,440 to 11,916 feet in elevation, showcases a
variety of lifezones, plants and animals. The Spring Mountains are also home to several endemic plants and animals.


The Mt. Charleston Wilderness provides a unique and beautiful backdrop for both summer and winter recreation. Explore the high country with hiking, horseback riding, or camping trip. Nearly 40 miles of trails cover the wilderness, with significant elevation changes offering spectacular views and endless challenges. For the more adventurous, Mt. Charleston’s skiing, ice climbing, and rock climbing are sure to please. Backcountry permits are not required.

(h/t BLM)

Mount Charleston

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