Summary: Short but very strenuous hike utilizing switchbacks and stone steps (rip-rap) on a very well marked and heavily used trail. Keep your dogs leashed and under control since a lot of hikers seem to bring their dogs on this one. With a very steep trail, loose rock, and netting in place for erosion control, you definitely don't want to cut across this trail. Older children can make this hike, but be sure they are used to climbing and high altitude. There is a nice size cave along the N cliff, to the left of the falls on the left (see photo); with an easy to follow path leading to the mouth of the cave. From the base of the falls you can see Big Falls to the WSW, and Charleston Peak in the background (snow covered until mid/late Spring). This is a pretty trail with ponderosa pines, white fir, aspen, and mountain mahogany. Look for deer and fox in the aspens at sunrise and sunset, near the beginning /end of trail. Hike early to avoid the crowds at Mary Jane Falls.
Trailhead: I-15 N from Las Vegas to 95 N towards Reno, W on SR 157 (Mt. Charleston - Kyle Canyon) continue past the hotel, 2 miles W of USFS ranger station, to Echo Road. This is where the road curves sharply to the left to head up into old town and the lodge. Instead, continue to the right (almost straight) as it becomes Echo Road. Turn left at the fork (signed) onto the gravel road and park at the trailhead. There are RR at this parking area and it is also the trailhead for Big Falls. MJ Falls is a good trail for the visitor who wants an escape from the casinos and from the desert floor - - it is a short hike and the drive up and back is very scenic. Pack a lunch to enjoy at MJ Falls, but don't expect heavy water flow over the falls unless it is early spring. LOTS of people use this trail so please pack out any trash you see along the trail, there is a dumpster at the parking area to put it in. (Lat:36.26776 Lon:-115.66295)
Trail Guides for Mary Jane Falls:
USFS free trail guide handout for Spring Mtns (pickup at visitor center Kyle Canyon)
by Spring Mountains Natl Rec Area (USFS and USFWS)
Hiking Around Las Vegas
by Jim Boone (Jim L. Boone)
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 7 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Justin on 4/18/2015
I'm in no way a hiker, nor is my fiancé.. But we went up with our puppy, sandwiches and water and had no issues. Guns registered in Las Vegas are allowed open carry but no shooting allowed (for peace of mind only) and we went 4/17/2015 about 11am and water and snow was falling from waterfall. Avoid getting hit with larger pieces of ice which are rare but I did see a few. We loved it and will do Mary Jane falls hike again.
Reviewed by David of Ballar on 5/23/2014
Hiked on 5/21 early afternoon. The car's thermometer said it was 45 degrees at the trail head, and there were a few flakes of snow coming down, but a t-shirt was perfect. This is a steep trail. We spent 1.5 hours going up, 1 hour coming down, with lots of stops for photos. Very few people. The sign where the trail splits is gone: go to the right. The falls weren't much more than a shower. I understand last week in the heat wave there was a lot more water. Overall great hike, great views. Bring water!
Reviewed by Lisa on 3/18/2014
My husband and I had no plans to hike this weekend and were not well-prepared. I would have worn my hiking boots and most definitely would have brought my daypack w/water & snacks. As unprepared as we were, we did make it to the end and the views were spectacular all along the way...only regret was not wearing my hiking boots and not having water & snacks. I was exhausted but, I am looking forward to doing this again.
Reviewed by GMC on 2/27/2013
We hiked this well maintained trail yesterday. If you are in the Vegas area, you have to do this trail! The scenery is incredible even if you can't make it to the end. But, take your time and you will be well rewarded if you do make it to the end! The trees, snow, and waterfalls seem all the more unreal given that you are in a desert! This hike was a major highlight of our Vegas trip. The frozen waterfall was melting causing ice sheets to fall from the high falls.
Reviewed by Janice on 7/29/2012
Awesome hike. As a beginner hiker, I really liked the switchbacks because I made each one a "goal" to climb. Then I would rest, then move on to the next switchback. Next thing i know i was at the top! I felt great after this hike.
Reviewed by Liz Tiesdell on 3/27/2012
25 March 12Suffering badly from acrophobia I was persuaded to attempt this hike. From the start of the zig zag up everyone told me it was 'just a little way now' as the jogged down smiling and laughing. It took me about 2 hours to reach the waterfall and the beautiful ice stalagmite gasping for breath every 10 steps. But what a site I would have missed if I had stayed at the bottom. I"m sure it will look as breathtaking in the summer, who knows I may run up next time.
Reviewed by Rochelle on 9/19/2011
Yesterday I went hiking at Mary Jane Falls with my boyfriend Kyle and 2 of our friends Mark & Lori!!! We ended up running into 2 of our other friends Niki & Jay and their 3 kidson the way down. It was a beautiful hike!!! The weather was gorgeous and the scenic view is breath taking! I took a lot of amazing pictures of all of our beautiful surroundings!! This hike is definitely a work out but is so worth the pain the next day. I was not so impressed with the food at the Lodge that we stopped and ate at on our way home. Next time I think we will take some light snacks and maybe some sandwiches!! Don't forget water when you hike.... it's important!!!!
Reviewed by Kristina on 7/10/2011
We hiked Mary Jane Falls yesterday and had a wonderful time. My husband carried our 11 mth old daughter in her hiking backpack the whole time. We were able to reach the falls in about 45 minutes. It is definitely a strenous hike as there are quite a few switchbacks but well worth it. Once we made it to the falls which were not that big since it is July, we hiked over the cave about 100 yards away. What an amazing view of the canyon. We will definitely hike this trail again.
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