Need to cool off while you’re in sweltering, sexy Sin City? Then head out of town for about half an hour to temperate, airy Mount Charleston, where temperatures average 20 to 30 degrees cooler than in Las Vegas.
Looming a stunning 12,000 feet high over the regional desert, Mount Charleston makes for the perfect daytrip from the city, and not only due to its proximity to our casinos: its pristine, beautiful setting is the perfect place to go hiking, horseback riding, picnicking and even skiing.
Getting to Mount Charleston
Take I-95 North to Route 157 West to Kyle Canyon Road. The mountain is about 35 miles northwest of Vegas.
Boasting more than 150 hiking trails all originating from one convenient trailhead, Mount Charleston is a great place to rejuvenate, and to get the blood flowing. It’s the tallest mountain in Southern Nevada’s Spring chain, so make sure to bring proper gear – good footwear is essential – and to dress in layers. Bring water, a compass and sunscreen, and make sure you’ve got a map and a watch so that you don’t get stuck on the mountain at dusk. A casual backcountry hike should take about six hours, but if you’re planning to do the entire in-and-out trek, make sure to take plenty of supplies, just in case.
Take in the aspens, Ponderosa pines and juniper trees from the back of a well-trained horse. Mount Charleston Trail Rides offers horseback tours led by experienced wranglers, as well as sleigh rides.
OK, OK, so it’s not, you know, Colorado, but the powder here is mighty fine, and still a respite from the city. No gear? No problem. The Las Vegas Ski and Snow Resort in Lee Canyon lets you rent equipment and offers lift tickets at about $40 a day.
During the summer, the company offers concerts, scenic chairlift rides (for $10), disc golf (for the price of a lift ride, $10) and other ways to play in the sun. Happy adventuring!
2275 Kyle Canyon Road
Las Vegas, NV 89124