Summary: Wow - talk about a great payoff for minimal effort. Hard to decide which is the best feature of this hike: fairly level, wide gravel trail; lush wildflowers blooming along both sides of the trail in purples, whites, yellows, and reds; sun filtering through the dense aspens with deer moving in the shadows; a 3 tiered waterfall (spring) halfway up and 100 yards off the trail; piped spring with cold water rushing under the turn (right at the fork) to Cathedral Rock itself; or the incredible view from the top of this majestic, multi-hued rock jutting over the little town of Mt. Charleston. Although this is a very short, easy hike; there is a fairly short, steep climb up switchbacks the final 1/4 mile before the peak. Do not take small children, people/dogs afraid of heights or edges out onto the peak. They can stay back on the main trail where it is still lovely and has nice views of Echo cliffs & surrounding peaks. Trail on the L at the fork turns into game paths.
Trailhead: I-15 N from Las Vegas to 95 N towards Reno, W on SR 157 (Mt. Charleston - Kyle Canyon) continue past the hotel, past the USFS ranger station, past Echo Road and continue past the hairpin curve to the left. Shortly past the hairpin curve, look for the Echo parking area (stairs and restroom bldg) on the right side of the road. This is a free parking area and if you park here, go up the steps and take the trail to the Left. This is a nice 1/4 mile path that meets and joins the main rock-lined path leading from the Cathedral Rocks picnic area. If you don't mind paying the fee to park, continue past this parking area into the Cathedral Rocks picnic area, park and begin the trail from here. If you do park inside the picnic area ($6), you'll need to return to your vehicle before the park closes for the evening. Parking inside the picnic area actually adds 1/2 mile to this hike distance, but is not as steep as the shorter route from the Echo parking area. (Lat:36.25771 Lon:-115.64932)
Trail Guides for Cathedral Rock:
Hiking Around Las Vegas
by Jim Boone (Jim L. Boone)
USFS free trail guide handout for Spring Mtns (pickup at visitor center Kyle Canyon)
by Spring Mountains Natl Rec Area (USFS and USFWS)
120 Best Hikes in Southern Nevada and Beyond (CD)
by Branch Whitney (Branch Whitney)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: USFS - Humboldt-Toiyabe NF, Spring Mtns NRA (702) 515-5400, emerg (702) 872-5306
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Kat Green, who has posted 86 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 3 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Karen on 8/31/2015
First time hiking this trail. I wouldn't say it was a easy trail to hike. It's pretty much all UPHILL but, wow is it worth it. I would not recommend bringing younger children . There are cliffs when you reach the top and areas that do get a little narrow. Plan on a good two hours round trip, not including the time you will spend on the top. You will want to spend some time at the top. When you reach the top you will see Palmer chipmunk running around. They are very friendly and looking for food. They don't recommend that you feed them since they need to forage for their own food. There are benches on this hike. Also go early if its the weekend. 10am on it gets very popular.
Reviewed by RDP on 9/18/2012
Went early and got lucky to see a mule deer on the edge of the avalanche chute. Well- maintained trail leads you right to the top with beautiful alpine views along the way. This trail is super busy on weekends. I got to the top about 9:00am on a tuesday and was able to sit and enjoy the view by myself for a half hour. Met dozens on the way up when I descended.
Reviewed by Caleb K on 9/6/2012
Great hike for "beginners" to get in shape again. Well maintained trail, makes it easy to keep on the trail. No chance of going off-course, with a good gradient, steep but not excessive. I took my Wife and poodle for the first-time, and we took 50 minutes to ascend to the peak and then 40 minutes to get back to the car-park, and we were going real slow, so just a short hike one can do late in the afternoon before the sun sets, for a bit a exercise, an a great view.
Reviewed by JM on 7/23/2012
Fantastic hike and view of the surrounding mountains and valley. It was more strenuous for us since we don't live at that altitude and already had hiked over at Red Rock Canyon, which was also inspiring and worth a visit. The scent of the trip will linger long after you leave the mountainside and head back to the Strip. Please remember to bring plenty of water with you along with any goo/cliff bars/trail mix as there is nothing available once you pass the Durango exit off of 95. There's an Albertson's just North of the Durango exit where you can pick up some water, nutrition bars, trail mix along with some dried fruit. If you have more time, take the South trail to the actual Mt. Charleston.
Reviewed by andy on 10/13/2010
perfect weather & perfect time to visit the spring mountains!! short & somewhat steep hike but well worth the trip to a beautiful area.
Reviewed by Viewer on 9/6/2010
BEAUTIFUL SIGHT EXPEXTACUALER VIEW FROM THE TOP!........
Reviewed by Kathy L on 7/11/2010
Im not that much of a hiker, but16 of us went up, including my four yr old grandson. The view was beautiful. Native Las Vegan, Its nice to get away
Reviewed by B on 12/30/2008
Not a difficult hike, even for an out of shape computer nerd like myself. It's a very beautiful hike that can really make you forget you're so close to Vegas. Awesome view at the top.
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