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Stanley B Springs Trail
Hiking Around Las Vegas, Spring Mountains (Mt. Charleston), Kyle Canyon
Stanley B Springs
Stanley B Springs
Kyle Canyon Rd at Stanley B Road (view NW)

Overview

The Stanley B Springs Trail runs about 1.2 miles up an old road on the north side of Kyle Canyon (forested, south-facing slopes) to an area of springs surrounded by ponderosa pine, white fir, mountain mahogany, and limestone cliffs. The main wet area, the confluence of two smaller canyons, is a good place to relax in the shade and watch birds as they come in for water. Just above the confluence in the east fork, a use-trail leads to two mines that provide habitat for forest bats (grates keep humans out), and water trickles from the lower mine. Up the west fork, a use-trail continues up the canyon to the official springs and on up into the high country.

Link to map.

Stanley B SpringsHikers in the Pinyon-Juniper Woodland (view N)

Watch Out

Other than the standard warnings about hiking in the desert, ... the most dangerous part of this hike is walking some 400 ft along the paved road. Be sure to walk facing traffic and be extra careful with the kids.

The trail is fairly easy, but some parts are pretty steep for a road, so take it easy at this elevation if you've just come up from the desert (the air is thin up here at nearly 8,000-ft). Other than that, the trail is safe and easy to follow. The two mines are blocked with heavy grates; be careful if exploring off trail.

While hiking, please respect the land and the other people out there, and try to Leave No Trace of your passage. Also, even though this hike is short, be sure to bring what you need of the 10 Essentials.

Stanley B Springs
Hikers with grand view of Harris Mtn and Echo Cliffs

Getting to the Trailhead

This hike is located in Kyle Canyon up in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, about 45 minutes northwest of Las Vegas. From town, drive out to the Spring Mountains Visitor Center, then continue up Kyle Canyon Road the the Stanley B Springs Trailhead.

At the parking area, a symbol sign translates to "No Parking;" but only during "December Thru March." It is okay to park here except during winter when parked vehicles would interfere with snow plows.

Stanley B Springs
Hikers resting at the confluence (view NW)

The Hike

From the trailhead parking area (Table 1, Waypoint 01), the trail starts another 400-ft up the road. The highway shoulder is narrow and some drivers exceed the speed limit, so walk quickly and carefully to a dirt road (Wpt. 02) that cuts up and right (east) across the steep hillside above the road.

On the dirt road, the trail passes a gate and continues up across the hillside. This area has been heavily thinned to reduce the chance of wildfires, and the remaining ponderosa pine, manzanita, and shrubby gambel oak provide open woodland habitat for birds.

Stanley B Springs
Above the confluence in east fork [more photos]

Eventually the trail turns more to the north and starts up Stanley B Canyon. In this area, the trail exits the thinning zone and tall mountain mahogany and tall gambel oak form a nearly impenetrable thicket. This provides shade for hikers, but birders will need to listen as birds are harder to see.

The trail turns to the east, crosses Stanley B Wash, and climbs gently to an open area with grand views to the south. Across Kyle Canyon, the striking limestone cliffs, the Echo Cliffs, link Harris Mountain (east) and Griffith Peak (west), and a bit farther up the trail, Cathedral Rock comes into view farther to the west.

The trail winds back to the north and drops across a low area with a flat spot suitable for camping (Wpt 03). Continuing, the trail generally runs northwest as it drops closer to the bottom of the canyon where more-moist conditions support tall ponderosa pine and white fir, a species typical of higher elevations.

Stanley B Springs
Above the confluence in west fork [more photos]

The main trail passes a use-trail to the left (Wpt. 04) that serves as a shortcut back down the canyon. Given that the hike is short, it makes more sense to just stay on the main trail. In the bottom of the canyon, soil conditions become even more moist farther along, and wild rose, Rocky Mountain maple, elderberry, angelica, and stinging nettle become common.

Shortly, water trickles in the wash and the trail arrives at the confluence of two canyons (Wpt. 05) in a shady, moist area with lots of forbs and birds. This is a good place to relax in the shade and listen to the birds before heading up the east canyon to two mines (Wpt. 06, 07) or up the west canyon (Wpt. 08) to the official Stanley B Springs.

Return to the trailhead by following your footprints back down the trail to the trailhead.

Stanley B Springs
Trailhead parking along Kyle Canyon Rd (view W)
Stanley B Springs
Sign at trailhead: No parking from December to March
Stanley B Springs
Hikers starting up Stanley B Road (view NW)
Stanley B Springs
Looking down on trailhead parking
Stanley B Springs
Hikers on trail in fire-control thinning area
Stanley B Springs
Hikers in dense Pinyon-Juniper Woodland
Stanley B Springs
Hikers in dense Pinyon-Juniper Woodland
Stanley B Springs
Hikers with grand view of Harris Mtn and Echo Cliffs
Stanley B Springs
Grand view of Mummy Mountain
Stanley B Springs
Flat area suitable for camping
Stanley B Springs
Hikers in the woods
Stanley B Springs
Even in a dry year, a field of purple lupine flowers
Stanley B Springs Stanley B Springs
Stanley B Springs
Hikers in the woods
Stanley B Springs
Hiker arriving at confluence
Stanley B Springs
Hikers at the cool, shady confluence; this is a nice place to sit, relax, and listen to the birds (view NW)
Stanley B Springs
Mining claim sign high on ponderosa pine tree at the confluence.
Leroy Mining Claim, D E Nelson, Owner
Stanley B Springs
From the confluence, view up east canyon (view NW)
Stanley B Springs
Lower mine with trickling water in east canyon [more photos]
Stanley B Springs
From the confluence, view up west canyon (view W)
Stanley B Springs
Another hole in the ground (hint: just watch birds) [more photos]

Table 1. Hiking Coordinates Based on GPS Data (NAD27; UTM Zone 11S). Download Hiking GPS Waypoints (*.gpx) file.

Wpt. Location UTM Easting UTM Northing Elevation (ft) Point-to-Point Distance (mi) Cumulative Distance (mi) Verified
01 Trailhead 622805 4013426 7,019 0.00 0.00 GPS
02 Leave Pavement 622683 4013411 7,067 0.08 0.08 GPS
03 Camp Area 622864 4013969 7,519 0.65 0.73 GPS
04 Use-trail Junction 622783 4014069 7,540 0.08 0.81 GPS
05 Confluence 622554 4014558 7,792 0.36 1.17 GPS
. . . . . . . .
06 Wet Grated Mine 622527 4014645 7,885 0.07 0.07 GPS
07 Dry Grated Mine 622506 4014689 7,947 0.04 0.11 GPS
. . . . . . . .
08 Campsite 622423 4014577 7,944 0.10 0.10 GPS

Happy Hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
© 2014 Jim Boone; Last updated 120620

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