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Mummy Spring Trail
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Spring Mountains NRA (Mt. Charleston)

 
raintree
Trail junction at the Raintree (view W)

Overview

This is a short, easy detour off the North Loop Trail to an avalanche chute with a spring located high on the cool, east-facing slope of Mummy Mountain. The water and "alpine meadow" vegetation provide a nice, cool destination to relax and enjoy the views. However, while the Mummy Spring Trail is only 0.3-miles long, the 2.7-mile hike up the North Loop Trail to the trail junction is pretty stout.

Link to map or elevation profile.

Mummy Spring
Start of Mummy Spring Trail at Raintree (view N)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, this is pretty safe hike, but the elevation is high, so take it easy if you've just come up from the desert. The spring water probably is safe to drink, but it would be safer to treat or filter it first.

While hiking, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. Also, this hike is fairly long, so be sure to bring the 10 Essentials.

mummy spring
Mummy Spring Trail and bristlecone pines (view N)

Getting to the Trailhead

The trailhead is located up in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area (generally referred to as Mt. Charleston) on Deer Creek Road between Kyle and Lee Canyons, about 1 hour northwest of Las Vegas. From town, drive out to the North Loop Trailhead.

mummy spring
Mummy Spring Gully. Water flows near the log high on the left edge of the photo (view W)

The Hike

From the trailhead (Table 2, Waypoint 01), follow the clearly marked and well-maintained North Loop Trail west into the forest. Lower down, the trail passes through a mixed forest of tall ponderosa pines, single-leaf pinyon pine, Utah juniper, limber pine, white fir, mountain mahogany, and wax currents. About 1.4 miles out, the trail crosses the Viewpoint (Wpt. 02), an open, flat ridgetop with good views of Las Vegas and other points east and south (see below). The trail then switchbacks steeply up a bristlecone pine-covered hillside to the Highpoint (Wpt. 03) on the ridge east of Mummy Mountain. The North Loop trail then runs west along Highpoint Ridge to the Raintree (Wpt. 04), the 3,000-year-old bristlecone pine that stands over the intersection of the North Loop and Mummy Spring trails (2.7 miles out).

From the Raintree, the Mummy Spring trail runs northwest, drops off the ridge, and traverses the east-facing slopes beneath the Mummy's feet and ankles. Most of the way out to the spring, the trail crosses over a narrow, barely perceptible ridge. Just down the ridge, a sheltered campsite hugs the ridgetop.

In total, the trail passes through a dense forest of bristlecone pines for 0.3 miles (10 minutes) to a wide gully. The gully is swept by avalanches during winter, so only quaking aspen, shrubs, and grasses grow in the gully. A spur trail runs steeply up the south side of the avalanche chute to the spring.

Mummy Spring is located above a band of limestone cliffs about 50 feet up the gully (Wpt. 05). Water emerges from the ground, trickles down the rocks, and falls over the cliff as a gentle shower.

mummy spring
Mummy Spring during fall (view N)

The gully is an avalanche chute, so there are no trees to obstruct the view to the east. However, the avalanche chute is narrow and bordered by tall ponderosa pines and quaking aspen, so there is plenty of shade. The vegetation in the chute is composed of low-growing grasses, shrubs, sedges, ferns, columbines, and other "alpine meadow" species that lie below the snowpack and are protected from avalanches. The air temperature on this east-facing slope tends to be cooler than other places along the North Loop trail, and the snow here melts off later than elsewhere, so this is a nice, cool place to relax, enjoy the view, and listen to the sounds of falling water and birds.

mummy spring

They say that before the snow falls in the autumn, the waterfall freezes and that the ice is particularly beautiful because it resembles formations found in caves (such as cave draperies, stalagmites, stalactites).

To get back to the trailhead, retrace your steps to Highway 158. If you've made prior arrangements to shuttle vehicles, you can continue west on the North Loop Trail to the Trail Canyon Trail, and head down Trail Canyon to the trailhead in the bottom of Kyle Canyon.

Mummy Spring
Trail junction at the Raintree
Mummy Spring Trail
Historic sign at Raintree trail junction
Mummy Spring
Hiker on trail to Mummy Spring (view NW)
Mummy Spring
Hiker on trail to Mummy Spring (view NW)
Mummy Spring
Campsite on ridge below trail to Mummy Spring (view NE)
Mummy Spring
Campsite below trail to Mummy Spring (view NE)
Mummy Spring
Campsite below trail to Mummy Spring (view NE)
Mummy Spring
Hiker on trail to Mummy Spring (view NW)
Mummy Spring
Trail arriving at avalanche chute below Mummy Spring (view NW)
Mummy Spring
Hiker at trail junction for spur-trail to Mummy Spring (view NW)
Mummy Spring
Mummy Spring area (view NW)
Mummy Spring
Mummy Spring during spring with water flowing over rocks (view W)
Mummy Spring
Hiker at Mummy Spring (view W)
Mummy Spring
Hiker sitting in the shade on ice at Mummy Spring (view W)
Mummy Spring Mummy Spring
mummy spring
Pool of water at base of limestone cliff
Mummy Spring
Pool of water
Mummy Spring
Spring flowers just getting started for the year
Mummy Spring
Spring wildflowers at Mummy Spring
Mummy Spring
Moss and dampness at Mummy Spring
Mummy Spring
Moss and dampness at Mummy Spring
Mummy Spring
Quaking Aspen at Mummy Spring (view W)
Mummy Spring
View down avalanche chute below Mummy Spring (view E)
Mummy Spring
Hiker resting at Mummy Spring (view S)
Mummy Spring
Spur-trail down from Mummy Spring (view E)
Mummy Spring
Hiker descending spur-trail below Mummy Spring (view E)
more to come ...

Table 2. Hiking Coordinates Based on GPS Data (NAD27; UTM Zone 11S). Download GPS Waypoints (*.gpx) file.

Wpt. Location UTM Easting UTM Northing Elevation (ft) Point-to-Point Distance (mi) Cumulative Distance (mi) Verified
01 North Loop Trailhead 624706 4018904 8,435 0.00 0.00 Yes
02 Viewpoint 623635 4018053 9,331 1.45 1.45 GPS
03 Highpoint 623419 4017531 10,023 0.78 2.23 GPS
04 Raintree 622786 4017247 9,968 0.47 2.70 GPS
05 Trail below Mummy Spring 622347 4017551 9,826 0.35 3.05 GPS

 
Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
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© 2014 Jim Boone; Last updated 120610

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