Summary: Southern Nevada is charged with the grandeur of God, paraphrasing Mr. Hopkins. This hike is exceedingly difficult, but so indelibly amazing in splendor that anyone who loves to hike in the Southwest should drop what they are doing and head to Las Vegas. NOW!
Kyle Canyon is one of the most splendid spectacles on the planet, especially when viewed panoramically from 11,000 feet. You traverse nearly 360' around Charleston Peak, and most of the trail (at least 9 miles) stays along the ridgeline above 10,800'. You are rewarded with jaw dropping views in all directions including straight down. The trail is relatively flat after you gain the first few miles, and it stays that way especially on the south trail.
The last few miles going down are incredibly tough, even though the scenery is just as fantastic. The trail peters out into a convoluted maze of old paths, and you get a valley floor view of the reason you had to go so far around. The cliffs are amazing. Wow! Go!
Trailhead: This trail is not for acrophobics - stay home!
The map and book lie. This trail feels a lot longer than 16.5 miles. If you have to hike the road back the extra 1.5 miles to your car, you'll feel as if you've run a marathon. Find a generous soul to give you a lift from the picnic area.
Drive north from Vegas on the 95. Turn left on the 157. Drive for 19 miles, its a very straight road. Continue straight on Echo Rd, when the highway turns sharply left. Follow the road around a curve to the signed trailhead with roadside parking.
I saw only a few people on a Sunday; truly a place to find God, Nirvana, or whatever you are into. (Lat:36.27141 Lon:-115.69556)
Trail Guides for Charleston Peak via North Loop Trail Canyon:
by Bruce Grubbs (Falcon)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: USFS - Humboldt-Toiyabe NF, Spring Mtns NRA (702) 515-5400
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Allen Riedel, who has posted 123 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 2 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Jon T. on 6/14/2013
Had been hiking less than 3 weeks when I decided to do this hike solo. Park at the Trail Canyon parking lot. At 2 miles, there is a sign that says 6 miles to the summit, it's actually 6.8 miles. Once you've completed the first 4 miles, that hard part is over until you reach the scree switchbacks below the summit. At this point, you're already tired from the 8 miles of hiking, you're at 11,400' and the scree switchbacks become a "death march". I got to the trail head at 6:30am and reached the summit at 9:21am. BTW, I'm afraid of falling, but just put it out of my mind and don't look down. For the descent you can take either the South loop or return the same way.
Reviewed by John B on 11/15/2010
Climbed the north loop trail November 2 (voted absentee since it was election day). Weather was great, sunny and low 50's. Turned back where the trail crosses the north face about 700 feet below the summit. Way too much snow on the path at that point. Even before that, the snow was a problem above long drops where the sun does not hit the trail this time of year.
Reviewed by Brent.B on 8/8/2010
As a true LV native I finally hiked the summit and what a great experience it was!!! My friend and I hiked the summit on 08/06/10 to celebrate my 39th b-day, which was 08/05/10. Here is some of what we experienced on our route to the top. We started at 6:00 am at the Trail Canyon Trail and hiked to the junction 2 miles up. At that point we went left and followed the trail sign that tells hikers it is 6 more miles to the peak. The view and weather were awesome but some of the trail thins out pretty good and if one were to slip the results would be bad. If you do not like steep places it may not be a good route to take up. It got pretty breezy as we skirted the ridge just past the horse trough about 2 Â½ to 3 miles into the hike and th
Reviewed by Chris on 6/27/2010
My son and I took the South Loop to Charleston 2 years ago and yesterday tried from the North Loop trailhead, which is over 8 miles to the summit. The scenery was breathtaking with an unobstructed view of Kyle Canyon and the South Loop Trail from the campground up to Griffith Peak saddle. There is not a whole lot of level hiking like the South Loop. Most of the time, you are ascending or dropping steeply. There are points on the trail where you are literally inches from the edge of thousands of feet of straight down dropoff. If one is prone to vertigo or acrophobia, avoid this trail and take the South Trail! It is also definity not for small children. We went up and back in 1 day for our summer "Shakedown". Sore today!Highly recommend it
Reviewed by Tom on 6/6/2010
6/6/10. Hiked the North Loop trail today via the Trail Canyon Trail. I didn't go to the top because it was clear that the switchbacks on Mt Charleston itself were still covered in snow. I expect the North Loop trail to be clear of snow before the South Loop trail is. Possibly as soon as next weekend.
Reviewed by Keita on 9/14/2009
I just went up today, 9/13/09. We started from the South Loop, summitted, and came down the North Loop but taking the Trail Canyon to get down to NV 157, and that trailhead is about a mile from where you parked your car near the South Loop trailhead, making the total loop around 18 miles. You do NOT want to go down the N. Loop trailheaed all the way b/c you will end up MILES and MILES away from where you parked. Overall, very scenic and relatively strenuous hike, at the limit of difficulty/distance for a day hike IMO. I personally hated the N. Loop. It's long and drags on and on with long traverses. If you are afraid of heights, turn around and go back down the South Loop. N. Loop is exposed with areas of rock fall and fall risk.
Reviewed by Mark on 6/28/2009
Would disagree with Nicholes review more... take the north loop via trial canyon up then south loop down. And if you have the ability to scramble class 3-4 thenn take the Devils Thumb shortcut! This is a very beautiful hike, bring your camera. Also note: be prepared for severe weather!! The Las Vegas weather report has no bearing on this mountain. 4 liters of water, food, rain/wind/snow/sleat protective clothing in pack. ENJOY!!
Reviewed by Bobby D on 6/18/2009
Hiked to the summit on June 16th , 2009 cant believe I lived here 49 years and never did it before . We found it rather easy going up the N.Loop trail,the views of Mt Charleston on the way up are awesome ,hard to believe your going to be on top of it in a few hours.We got snowed on at the top mid June so go prepared , we didnt and got pretty cold . we went down S.Loop trail the views were amazing but we made the mistake of going to the Griffith peak trail head , we thought it was the so. Loop trail head which is not even marked up there , go down where it says Charleston national ,Which I never heard of till now . Thank God we came upon a guy out 4 wheeling for the afternoon or we would have been a search and rescue mission.
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